Business Management | In Times of Crisis: Employees, a War Chest

The last two years have been particularly turbulent for business. Still, some did well: no less than 11 of them earned their first place on Deloitte’s Best Managed Companies list. What are the secrets of success in these difficult times?

Posted at 8 am.

Martine Letarte

Martine Letarte
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“The companies that stand out at the moment, regardless of their sector of activity, are those that manage to put talent and corporate culture at the forefront in order to attract people and keep them. ” says Brigitte Vachon, Provincial Leader of Canada’s Best Managed Companies program at Deloitte.

Norbec, a manufacturer of cold storage rooms and architectural panels, which has been fortunate enough to do business in a business sector in great demand since the beginning of the pandemic, has limited production capacity, in particular due to a lack of staff.

“We were able to hire and keep our employees because we were always close to them and we were able to create with our managers an environment where there is respect, collaboration and fun at work despite the challenges to be faced”, said Jan Remembrance, President and CEO of Norbec, which has 300 employees.

Give and receive

In the eyes of Émilie Pelletier, Certified Human Resources Consultant (CRHA) and Human Resources Marketing and Communications Strategist at HRM Groupe, it was clear to employers that talent is their greatest asset. “It’s thanks to the expertise of its workers that a company can stand out,” she says. But they are also its most volatile element. The company is obliged to question the experience it offers its employees. Because, today, it has to be give and take. »

To find your “corporate promise,” she says you need to listen to your employees to fully understand their expectations and needs. “You need to ensure that your corporate promise is mobilizing and also consistent with day-to-day practices,” he adds.

Thus, if we say that the company focuses on the well-being of its employees, it should facilitate the practice of physical activities. If training is essential, time should be freed up for employees to train.

Senior management must support the corporate promise and the management team must be trained accordingly to be able to bring it to life every day.

Émilie Pelletier, Certified Human Resources Advisor (CRHA) and Human Resources Marketing and Communication Strategist at HRM Groupe

invest in technology

Companies on Deloitte’s annual list have also invested in technology.


Brigitte Vachon, Provincial Leader of Canada’s Best Managed Companies program at Deloitte

“It is essential and, in addition, the government has implemented several initiatives to encourage them to do so”, says Brigitte Vachon. Investing in automation and robotization reduces many small tasks. Technologies therefore allow people to achieve more by focusing on more meaningful tasks in the development of the organization. »

Norbec has already invested heavily in technology and other projects are underway to combat the labor shortage. “We started these investments before the pandemic,” says Jan Remembrance. We need more and more efficient equipment and tools so that we can do more with fewer people. »

Its employees also have major challenges to face when supply was and continues to be problematic, especially with inflation, which is very high. “We were able to find suppliers all over the world,” she explains. I am thinking, for example, of steel, which has been badly affected by the crisis. Before, we used only Canadian steel, but we managed to diversify even though it was very difficult to find the right type of steel to be able to manufacture our products. »

“Companies that were able to demonstrate adaptability, that quickly understood what was happening and were able to react quickly managed to stand out”, observes Brigitte Vachon. And this is a lesson to be learned also for the challenges that we will face in the coming years. »

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