Alberta Motor Association Head office: Edmonton CEO: Don Smitten Number of Alberta employees: 2,068 Job Openings: 39

Photograph Cooper & O’Hara

The key to a satisfied and hard-working group of employees is proper integration, and the Alberta Motor Association (AMA) has got that down pat. A central philosophy to how AMA treats its employees and customers, is contained in the acronym TYLF (treat you like family). “We’ve thought about ourselves that way for quite a bit of time, and we’re trying to present that,” says Alexandra Sochowski, communications co-ordinator with AMA. “We want to treat [employees] like they’re practically family to us; it’s woven through the company, internally and externally.” The company has made strides in helping new employees feel welcome by introducing an improved orientation program designed to get them up to speed as quickly as possible and start them out on the right foot. “We recognized the need to streamline our orientation program and have one point of contact. Our orientation co-ordinator reaches out to people as soon as we hire them,” says Sochowski. Employees are given access to an extranet, in which they can start learning about AMA, how it works and its philosophy. The extranet was implemented in anticipation of new employees’ most frequently asked questions, saving everyone time by providing employees answers from the get-go. AMA designates two days of every week as orientation days. Employees, when hired, have their schedules arranged so their first days at work coincide with those days. “We try to get everyone on the same page. We answer a whole bunch of questions on the first day and have an HR rep help them fill out all the paperwork,” says Sochowski. “On their second day, we have an orientation in their specific business area.” The company offers courses that allow staff to become leaders. Managers and supervisors are offered a series of courses that trains them to guide new recruits and build strong teams. Leaders support staff in all sorts of ways, including vocational training in insurance sales and technical aspects of the industry, like battery installation, safe backing and trailering. Managers also have access to funds to help employees receive external certifications relevant to their jobs if they meet the needs of the business.



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