Top Employers in Northern Ontario
THUNDER BAY – Mining – Ontario Mining Association member Blue Heron Environmental has been named one of the Top 5 Best Places to Work in Northern Ontario by Northern Ontario Business magazine. Blue Heron, which is Timmins-based, rose to this status for high achievement in management culture, internship programming, community involvement, staff training and fostering a healthy work-life balance.
“I am honoured to receive this award,” said Linda Byron-Fortin, owner and director of Blue Heron. “It helps to reinforce that I have created a healthy work environment for my staff as we work to achieve our company goals.”
Timmin’s Company Started in 2004
Blue Heron Environmental was launched in Timmins in 2004 to provide resource companies with practical environmental consultation and advice. Ms Byron-Fortin had many years of experience with mining companies working on the environmental side of the business before launching her own company.
Today, her company has 15 employees offering services ranging from field monitoring assistance, spill product supplies, mapping and signage design to training and auditing. There are now satellite Blue Heron offices in Thunder Bay, Ottawa and Calgary.
Other companies joining Blue Heron Environmental on this top five list include Nordmin Engineering, based in Thunder Bay; architecture, engineering and planning consultants J.L. Richards in Sudbury, Timmins and North Bay; MaJIC (Materials Joining Innovation Centre) in Kirkland Lake; and Denison Environmental in Elliot Lake, which is also an OMA member.
There are several top employer type programs and they come in many different shapes and sizes. For example, Canada’s Top 100 Employers for 2014 program published the enterprises included in this list in The Globe and Mail newspaper recently. OMA members Agrium, Cameco, Cementation Canada, Golder Associates, Knight Piesold and Siemens Canada were on this prestigious list.
What is instructive about these best employer competitions is the common characteristics of most of the companies, which have their names appear on these various lists – whether at the national, provincial or regional level. Some of these characteristics include the work atmosphere, benefits, communications, training and skills development and community involvement. A return look at Blue Heron Environmental can help highlight some of those positive corporate characteristics.
Communications and collaboration are important. “This is my management style but I am also trying to retain employees,” said Ms Byron-Fortin. “I want the staff to feel included in decisions that are made and I want them to help me grow the company so I want them to feel some sense of ownership.”
So is encouraging education and professional development. “With their personal goals, we identify training opportunities, things they want to learn how to do, or get certified in, so they can better themselves and at the same time bring more services to Blue Heron,” she added.
There are entire university and college programs, limitless courses on human resource management and psychology offering insights into how to attract, nurture and retain, productive and loyal employees. It is a key to the success of any enterprise. Many companies of different sizes and scopes are building their own cultures and making their own successes in these areas.