Executive Summary We strive to foster a positive, collaborative culture where our teams feel inspired and valued.
Our People Operations and Culture team today possesses more than 50 years of collective experience in human resource management , with accreditations including Certified Human Resource Professional, Certified Human Resource Leader and Global Professional in Human Resources. They ensure that WE is not only in full compliance with labour laws and industry standards for compensation and benefits, but also strives every day to exceed those standards to provide a rewarding working environment for our incredible team of change-makers.
WE is a 1,000-person strong organization with offices in Canada, the United States and the U.K., as well as staff overseeing our operations in Kenya, Ecuador and India.
Thanks to our incredible team, WE has thrice been recognized as one of Canada's Top Employers for Young People. This annual program highlights organizations that are leaders in attracting and retaining younger employees. In addition, WE has twice been named one of Canada's 10 Most Admired Corporate Cultures. Founded by Waterstone Human Capital, this program recognizes best-in-class Canadian organizations for having cultures that enhance performance and sustain a competitive advantage. In receiving these awards, along with many others, the organization has undergone a variety of culture, HR, financial and management evaluations in a rigorous, independent and non-biased manner. As people managers, we strive for continuous learning and improvement. One of our objectives is to support our teams in their goals for personal and professional development. We gauge our progress by undertaking anonymous third-party Employee Engagement Surveys of WE staff each year. Our most recent survey found that: • 87 percent of WE staff are personally engaged by the work they do; • 98 percent believe they are making a positive change in the world because of their work; • 80 percent of our team members say they see themselves staying with WE for the foreseeable future.
Like many non-profits, we started out as a purely volunteer organization. But in order to grow and scale, just like any other organization or company, a non-profit has to invest in its people and its infrastructure. “The aim was, and is, to create and institute best-in-class people processes,” says our Chief People Officer, Victoria MacDonald. Human resources can be a challenging area for charities and social enterprises because they are inherently under- resourced, often powered by employee dedication and modest budgets. With social impact organizations in particular, there is a need to keep administrative costs low to maximize the amount of funding that goes directly to the mission. This can make it difficult to properly invest in needed operational infrastructure and staff. This is a sector-wide issue and we have committed to continuously improving our own employment experience. We have sought to invest resources in key areas identified by our staff as their top priorities, in addition to working with partners to provide in- kind resources and pro bono services to staff.
A Message from Our Chief People Officer “Since joining WE in 2017, I’ve been focused on continuously building a best-in-class HR team and processes, drawing on more than two decades of experience. I’m proud to say that our People Operations and Culture team possesses more than 50 years of collective experience in human resource management. We ensure that WE is not only in full compliance with labour laws and industry standards for compensation and benefits, but also strives every day to exceed those standards to provide a rewarding working environment for our incredible team of change-makers.
“It’s meaningful that, in their independent review, workplace advocates Singh Lamarche LLP stated that WE’s policies are the ‘gold standard’ in promoting accessibility, transparency and protecting employees from discrimination and harassment. I’m proud to say that our policies provide for employees’ ability to raise concerns about health and safety, or any issue, by reporting to their manager, to another manager, to me directly or anonymously through our secure online WE Connect internal communications platform.”
We are proud to foster diversity in our workforce, and believe diversity is a business priority fundamental to our success. For example, we are incredibly proud to say that 77 percent of our leadership team are women. WE is compliant with the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act (AODA), which serves to “develop, implement and enforce standards for accessibility related to goods, services, facilities, employment, accommodation and buildings.” Our WE Global Learning Center headquarters is a fully accessible facility, and it includes a prayer room in recognition of the many faiths that are practised among our staff. The Center has been recognized with Rick Hansen Foundation Accessibility Certification TM .
Victoria MacDonald, Chief People Officer
You can read the story of our journey as people managers in our full-length HR case study or the summary.
+ Click here to read more from Chief People Officer Victoria MacDonald.
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