Apr 27 | 2017

FCT is Recognized as a Great Place to Work Again!

Posted by:

Great Place to WorkWe are pleased to announce that the Great Place to Work® Institute has named FCT one of the “Top 50 Best Workplaces” in Canada for the third consecutive year. FCT now ranks 21 out of 50 Large and Multinational companies, moving up 7 spots since last year. We have also been named one of the “Top 50 Best Workplaces for Women” in Canada for the second year in a row.

To earn a spot amongst the hundreds of companies vying to get on the list, applicant companies must participate in an employee survey and respond to an in-depth questionnaire about their programs and company practices. The only way to get on the list is if your employees put you there!

“At FCT we strive to create an environment that makes people feel engaged, appreciated and motivated to succeed. The fact that we’ve made this list for three years in a row, and we’ve now been named a Best Workplace for Women for the second year in a row, indicates our people feel we are delivering on our commitment to them,” says Sharon Wingfelder, Vice President of Human Resources/Corporate Affairs at FCT.

We are invested in our employees and their development. We empower them to deliver their best each and every day through programs that allow them to surprise, thank or make it right with our customers as they see fit. Our internal learning and development initiatives provide employees with access to hundreds of courses to improve their skills and set them up for success. We also offer competitive benefits and recognition programs, along with an annual volunteer day to encourage employees to get involved in the communities in which they live and work. Through the FCT Charitable Foundation, employees are able to make a difference by donating time and money to charities across Canada.

This is the 12th year that the Great Place to Work® Institute has announced its Best Workplaces list in Canada. Great Place to Work® is the global authority on high-trust, high-performance workplace cultures. They are a research and consulting firm whose mission is to build a better society by helping companies transform their workplaces.

We are so proud to be among the top 25 on the list this year and will continue to work towards making FCT a Great Place to Work in 2018!

Oct 29 | 2014

Teambuilding: it’s an art, not a science

Posted by:

TeambuildingHow jazz, dance and improvisation fuel ace customer service at IBM, Zappos and more

If you’ve ever watched a small jazz ensemble play, you’ve seen four or five people, silent except for their instruments, listening to one another like crazy. Jazz-Impact, a Minnesota-based jazz improv program and the house band at the Banff Centre’s management program, has used this metaphor for prestigious clients like Starbucks, the Kellogg School of Business, the Mayo Clinic, IBM, Microsoft, Credit Suisse Group and other Fortune 500 companies.

Michael Gold, a former jazz teacher who founded the jazz program at Vassar College and later served as a real estate executive, developed Jazz Impact to help business leaders lead their teams more effectively. In this world, it’s not about ‘management’ but far more about responsive leadership, a much rarer skill.

The results are startling: exposed to really having to listen to how the musicians cue one another and anticipate changes in the music, Gold’s clients find they actually listen better to team thinking, share the results better and, most subtly of all, actually apply the best practices simply because they work instantly.

But you don’t need a sax or a bass to improvise, as Second City’s corporate learning program has proved. Headquartered in Toronto, the same comedy skills made famous by the likes of Dan Aykroyd, Stephen Colbert, Tina Fey and Mike Myers have been shared by over 400 Fortune 500 clients, who learn that ‘learning works when it’s not boring.’ Comedy cuts through facilitation boredom (think: Monty Python John Cleese’s business videos) by crisply packaging team-building ideas that people actually want to use.

All of this is second nature at Zappos, the online shoe company so good at customer relations Amazon.com bought the company for $2bn and didn’t change a thing: the deal was designed to share Zappos’ powerful learning and team-building culture throughout Amazon. Zappos has so mastered team-building through a deep culture of ‘instant solutions’ and superb listening techniques. The company has a thriving online consultancy, Zappos Insights, which shares the principles of the company’s hugely successful ‘culture camps,’ where Zappos’ notion of ‘bottom up’ leadership where teams self-assemble and even self-direct.

Additional Resources

How Toyota used Miles Davis’ jazz thinking to create the Lexus (Harvard Business School series)

http://www.hbs.edu/faculty/Publication%20Files/BernsteinBarrett(2011)-JazzMindset-ROCDVol19C2-Prepublication_8e5f20fb-e5bc-48bf-8f21-510cfd3e5727.pdf

Five ways to kill innovation in your company (Harvard Business Review blog)

http://blogs.hbr.org/2012/06/five-ways-to-ruin-your-inno/

How the World Bank learns

https://ieg.worldbankgroup.org/evaluations/learning-and-results

Jul 23 | 2014

Is it Philanthropic to promote your own Philanthropy?

Posted by:

PhilanthropyThis year FCT and its employees have received some significant recognition and reached a number of milestones for our Corporate Philanthropy program. And while I am unbelievably proud of these achievements and want to shout them out to anyone who will listen, I am also struck by the apparent contradiction of being selfless in giving and at the same, tooting your own horn.

I put this issue to some of my colleagues who indicated to me that if we don’t toot our own horn, then no one will hear about it. And if they hear nothing about our corporate philanthropy efforts they won’t believe that we do anything. I also recognize that it is FCT’s Team of highly motivated employees who have contributed the lion’s share to this success, so it is for them that I am tooting this horn.

So in the spirit of sharing our activities and recognizing our employees’ greatness, I am absolutely delighted to tell you that:

  • This year marks the milestone of $300,000 in FCT/FCT Charitable Foundation donations to Habitat for  Humanity as well as the 150th Habitat for Humanity home we have title insured for free in Canada.
  •  It is also the 10th anniversary of FCT participating in the St Joseph Hospital Foundation Around the Bay race and we have raised $130,000 to date for research and treatment in Hamilton.
  • FCT received the Community Builder of the Year award from the Hamilton Chamber of Commerce’s Outstanding Business Achievement Awards in 2014.
  • FCT consistently places its teams in the Top 5 fundraisers for the Oakville Relay for Life in Support of Cancer Research- we were #1 and #3 this year!

And can you believe that there is still another half a year to go in 2014! Our employee-led FCT Charitable Foundation is very active and you can see all of the organizations that we support across the country by clicking on this link. https://fct.ca/about/corporate-social-responsibility.aspx

I am looking forward to more achievements in our corporate philanthropy program – but I am still struggling on the horn blowing.