One of the innovations this year has been a decrease in the minimum buy-in necessary to become a part of the company share plan. “We’ve changed the thresholds so people would be more eligible and assisted more staff with financing to buy the shares,” says COO Bruce Rabik. “Well over 80 members of our staff have bought shares.”
A number of Rogers’ tried-and-true perks are still in place, including the Dream Program, the annual Christmas party and the bring-your-dog-to-work-program. The Dream Program involves four winners every year: two chosen at random, one voted for by staff and one voted for by management, to be given $10,000, after tax, to live their dream.
“Every year our staff registers their dream and it’s something that is non-work-specific; it can be anything. A lot of those are trips for people who couldn’t afford or justify going on a big trip otherwise,” says Rabik. “One of our employees just bought a specialized scooter for their spouse with mobility issues, and someone else used it to pay for dental work that went beyond what our benefit plan covers.”
The company continues to host a yearly Christmas party: an all-expenses-paid, two-night excursion to Kananaskis Lodge. The event, to which all staff, their families and dogs from across the province are invited, is “an awfully popular thing that has been rock-solid consistent over the years,” says Rabik.
The bring-your-dog-to-work-program continues to have a meaningful impact on staff, even going so far as to help with retention. Over the years the program has been in place, he has found it instrumental in reducing stress and helping employees bond, making the company’s offices more sociable and fun places to be.
“Our employees came up with rules and etiquette for what you can and can’t do with your dog. That was seven years ago,” says Rabik. “There have been some staff members who say they can’t work anywhere else because they can have their dogs here.”
Rogers has also showed its non-commissioned staff some love by implementing a new bonus plan. Switching from a performance-based plan has ensured that everyone gets a piece of the pie when the company does well. “We allocate bonuses to everyone as a percentage of their salary,” says Rabik. “We took a look at the issues with a performance-based system. We made the Daniel Pink book Drive required reading for our staff and had a discussion. Based on an understanding of human motivation from that, we decided we were wasting our time trying to link bonuses to performance.”
The folks at Rogers aren’t afraid to party either. The Roscars – a portmanteau of Oscars and Rogers – are a central component of employee recognition. They have recently been hyped up to a whole new level. Management nominates four staff members a month for a Roscar, an award that celebrates employee achievements that exemplify one or more of Rogers’ four core values: “winning it, owning it, respecting it, and having fun.” Award winners get recognition on the company website, and a trophy to commemorate their success – small rewards that are a great deal of fun.
Packers Plus, Calgary Packers Plus offers an extensive benefits plan to those working 30 hours or more a week, and performance bonuses, at monthly, quarterly and yearly intervals. The “Do It Once, Do It Right Awards” also serve to incentivize going above and beyond.