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Some pundits claim it’s no longer possible to spend one’s entire career working for just one employer. That might come as news to Rosa Claeys, not to mention many other long-term employees with one of the IGM Financial Inc. group of companies.
Claeys began working with IG Wealth Management when she returned to Winnipeg and was thrilled to land a job at the head office of one of Winnipeg’s largest employers. That was over 30 years ago.
Of course, a lot has changed since then, including IGM’s approach to hybrid work. Claeys says she’s as happy with her career as she’s ever been.
“I’ve had so many opportunities to try different things, learn from others and grow professionally that the time has just flown by,” she says. “I’ve never wanted to work elsewhere. In fact, I hope to stay here until I retire – and that’s still some years away.”
And the opportunities keep coming. In March 2021, Claeys was promoted to senior manager, financial planning and valuation, leading a three-person team whose responsibilities include making sure assets in the company’s real estate fund are valued correctly.
“You have to stay on top of things and be open to learning,” she says. “IGM gives you the resources you need to do your job, including training and coaching so you can be a good leader.”
IGM is one of Canada’s leading wealth and asset management companies. Its subsidiaries include IG Wealth Management, as well as Mackenzie Investments and Investment Planning Council. The companies operate separately but share certain corporate functions.
Chief human resources officer Cynthia Currie says she receives notifications when employees reach 25 years and subsequent five-year milestones and it’s not unusual for people to reach the 30-year mark. She attributes this to IGM’s culture of inclusivity.
“It’s a highly mutually respectful culture,” she says. “We’re all open to learning from each other. We appreciate everyone’s perspectives, and we’re intentional about getting feedback and input. Our employees tell us they feel heard.”
Currie says that IGM also delivers on another key priority for employees – working for an organization they can be proud of. As well as external accolades for being a leader in responsible and sustainable investment, internal surveys show that 87 per cent of employees are proud of its approach to corporate social responsibility.
This includes its commitment to action on the environment. Employees can see tangible evidence of this whenever they’re in the Winnipeg head office, Currie says. “We actually have bee hives on the roof! We also have other green initiatives such as paper reduction, bike lockers and EcoPass. There’s a big focus on active transportation.”
Claeys says that employees are also highly appreciative of how the organization responded throughout the pandemic. The focus on putting people first continues now that a hybrid model is formally in place, she adds.
“They are listening to us,” Claeys says, referring to all the employee input that went into developing the model. “Elsewhere, people are being forced to return to the office and they’re unhappy. But here, we have the flexibility to define the approach that works for our team.”
That means no blanket statement about how often people should be in the office. Instead, IGM has identified work that is better done in person, such as interviewing and onboarding new team members, networking, and collaborating on complex problem-solving. Claeys says that so far that means her team is together in the office about once a week.
Currie is proud that the flexible, inclusive hybrid model is being so well received. “At IGM, we take what employees want really seriously.”
This article is produced by the Advertising Department of the Winnipeg Free Press, in collaboration with IGM Financial