Our efforts to offer a truly outstanding work environment were recognized once again this past year. Corby was named one of Canada’s 50 Best Workplaces by the Great Place to Work® Institute for the sixth consecutive year and one of Greater Toronto’s Top 100 Employers for the third year in a row. Anonymous ratings from employees play a significant role in the Great Place to Work program, which makes the award all the more special. The survey pointed to five areas where Corby excels: rewards and recognition, physical environment and resources, management competence and integrity, fun and cooperation, and learning and development.
During the year, we began evaluating some of our processes through the lens of our four core behaviours – empathy, creativity, collaboration and boldness. This resulted in a number of improvements, including the following:
- Created a cross-functional forum of director-level employees, which reports to the leadership team and is charged with developing bold and creative responses to tackle specific commercial and organizational challenges and opportunities, like the competitive pressures in Alberta that affect our business or the opening of the new wine retail channel in Ontario.
- Redesigned our business planning process to encourage cross-functional collaboration and a One Corby mindset. To make this work efficiently, we also invested in new planning tools that enable faster and better decision-making.
- Established a Balance and Inclusiveness Committee that spearheads our efforts to harness the power of diverse thinking at all levels of the organization and to create an inclusive and flexible work environment. Developments include the introduction of a flexible work arrangement policy and improved maternity leave benefits.
- Gathered all employees together at our national conference, held in Windsor, Ontario. There, we kicked off the new Purpose and Behaviours and immersed our people in the full Canadian whisky experience at the Hiram Walker & Sons distillery.
Another priority during the year was to continue building our talent. A large number of front-line sales people applied to participate in our Accelerated Talent Pool program, which prepares them for promotion to the next level. Each participant follows an individual development plan, which they must complete in addition to doing their regular job. Four program graduates were promoted in fiscal 2017.
Our iLead talent pool prepares people currently in positions at the manager level or above for promotion. There are about 50 people in the pool with new entrants each year. Participants undergo an in-depth competency assessment, and individually tailored development plans are created by Corby’s executive team. In fiscal 2017, we added a mentoring program that pairs each iLead participant with a past or present Corby executive for career advice.