It’s getting to be a habit. For the fourth year running, the University of the Fraser Valley has been named one of BC’s Top Employers.
UFV was selected because, among other reasons and criteria met, the university:
- encourages lifelong learning with tuition subsidies for courses related to an employees’ current role, subsidies for professional accreditation and a variety of in-house and online training programs
- supports its new mothers with maternity and parental leave top-up payments as well as providing new fathers, and adoptive parents, with generous parental leave top-ups
- helps employees plan for the longer term with retirement planning assistance, generous contributions to a defined benefit pension plan, and phased-in retirement work options.
Employers are evaluated using eight criteria: physical workplace; work atmosphere and social; health, financial, and family benefits; vacation and time off; employee communications; performance management; training and skills development; and community involvement. Employers are compared to other organizations in their field. A total of 81 employers were selected for the 2018 BC’s Top Employers competition.
Two new UFV employees agree with the BC’s Top Employers designation.
Diljot Kaur is a relatively new UFV sessional instructor, teaching psychology and business coursers on a part-time basis. She was also contracted to do some research for the South Asian Studies Institute at UFV. Kaur is new to Canada, having emigrated from India in 2017. She also taught business courses at UFV’s campus in Chandigarh, India.
As a sessional instructor, she teaches at several other public and private post-secondaries, and says that UFV stands out.
“UFV is the best workplace I have experienced in both India and Canada,” she says. “It’s very a very friendly and comfortable atmosphere here, and the culture is very congenial and welcoming. I have served on committees and got to know colleagues from several departments and people really seem to like it here.”
She also appreciates the support for teaching at UFV.
“We are given the independence to design our own outlines and exams. But we also receive support from our peers and administrators. We receive valuable feedback from our students near the semester’s end. Receiving feedback on the learning environment helps me to adjust my approach to teaching to match their learning styles.”
She likes the focus on helping faculty develop, such as workshops offered by the Teaching and Learning Centre.
And she very much appreciated the thorough orientation that UFV presents for new employees each August.
“It really familiarized me with the campus and I think they should offer refreshers for employees every year! UFV is a wonderful place. It has given me a lot of opportunities and I look forward to more in the future.”
Melissa Naman started at UFV as a student in the Applied Business Technology program, graduating in 2017 and joining the university as an auxiliary employee, and then as the full-time assistant for the Faculty of Access and Continuing Education.
“There are many reasons I love working for UFV including the incredible people, generous benefits, and opportunities for growth,” she notes. “When I started at UFV as a student, what stood out to me were the incredible instructors and staff members. Everyone I came across were always very friendly and ready to answer any questions that I had, and my instructors were so encouraging. Since being hired at UFV, I have noticed the same positivity and support from my colleagues and from the university as a whole. UFV has offered many networking opportunities and events that have helped me to connect with other employees from different departments and to build a strong sense of community.”
Naman also values the benefits that come with the job.
“Upon being hired in a permanent position, I was blown away by the diverse and generous benefits that are offered, including health and dental and travel insurance.”
She is also a fan of the in-house and external professional development opportunities offered.
“One of the things that I value most in a job is the ability to learn and grow. Since being hired, I have attended a conference for administrative professionals, software workshops, and optional training sessions, all of which have enabled me to grow and expand in my current position. UFV also has a generous professional development program and incentives to continue your education journey and move up within the institution.
“I came to UFV as a student in a six-month program and now, two years later, I have applied to the Bachelor of General Studies to work towards earning a degree — something I never thought I would do! It’s amazing how many paths are available to me here. I feel like I can take my career in any direction I want. Thanks to UFV, I am working full-time in a position that is fulfilling, challenging, and diverse. I couldn’t be happier.”
The BC’s Top Employers competition is run by Mediacorp Canada, which manages the well-known Canada’s Top 100 Employers project and the Eluta.ca job search engine, now used by over 5.4 million Canadians annually. In addition, Mediacorp hosts the nation’s largest annual conference for senior-level HR professionals. Founded in 1992, Mediacorp is Canada’s largest publisher of quality employment-related periodicals. BC’s Top Employers for 2018 are listed here.