Innovative Practice/Initiative: Employee Centric Culture
The Organisation's Initiative
Hy-Tech Drilling Ltd. has various HR initiatives in progress including improving the retention of employees. The company is recognized for its innovative practices in human resources, and has been named one of Canada's Best Places to Work by the Great Place to Work® Institute Canada. The Institute makes its annual selection based on how companies across an array of sectors measure up in terms of five key criteria: credibility, respect, fairness, pride, and camaraderie. Hy-Tech was 32nd among 75 firms on the list for 2009. The company acknowledges that its business success is as much about its 120 employees as it is about leading-edge tools and technology.
Since its founding in 1991, Hy-Tech has made a concerted effort to develop a culture which reflects its focus on people. That effort has included:
Endeavouring to make Hy-Tech a year-round rather than seasonal workplace, thereby offering employees better stability and helping to recruit and retain more qualified people. To achieve this, the company has pursued a variety of markets in different regions and seasons: British Columbia in the summer; northern Saskatchewan and northern Ontario in the winter; and Portugal as an all-season alternative.
Putting an emphasis on teamwork — for example, by providing bonuses for drilling teams rather than individual drillers.
Safety is also a priority for the company, and is maintained through measures such as drug testing, onsite safety audits, work safe training programs, and weekly safety meetings.
With regard to compensation, Hy-Tech is a member of the Canadian Diamond Drilling Association, and uses information collected annually by the Association to set and assess the company's salaries and ensure that they remain competitive.
Hy-Tech is also recognized as a technological innovator in the mining industry, having developed a patented drill design for highly portable lightweight drills. The company has received ISO 14001 certification, and is OHSAS 18001 certified.
Evidence of Impacts
Hy-Tech has received highly positive feedback from employees as a result of its HR practices. With stable employment and benefits that include an overall attention to wellness (with extras such as massages), employees feel extremely well looked after and appreciated. A sample testimonial is as follows:
"I like the stability. You know management is planning 5 to 10 years down the road, so you know you'll be working 12 months a year and there is a long-term future. The money and the benefits are good, and you feel like you're looked after and appreciated."
While Hy-Tech's inclusion among Canada's Best Places to Work is a significant accolade, the company is more interested in retention as a return on its investment in people. Being recognized as a good place to work shows how employees feel about the company, and is an indication that once recruited, they will want to stay.