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Newmarket's largest private-sector employer hopes to goose workplace culture

Would you want to work for a company that offers a compensation package for your pet? How about movie passes, discounts on concert tickets?
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Newmarket’s largest private-sector employer is not resting on its laurels after just being named one of The Achievers 50 Most Engaged Workplaces in North America for the second year in a row. Instead, it is conducting an environmental scan to learn more about what people value in the places in which they work.

Bill Gosling Outsourcing (BGO), a 100,000-square-foot call centre at Yonge Street and Mulock Drive, is home to about 925 agents who make outbound and inbound collections and customer service calls. The Newmarket location serves as the company’s global headquarters, with eight other facilities spread out in the UK, US and the Philippines.

The “not-so-average” call centre features an open concept design, and recent initiatives to boost employee engagement and retention include a move to full casual dress from semi-casual, a free on-site gym, free employee assistance plan, immediate benefits for new hires, regular yoga classes and, oh, a change in the type of music played in the office.

“We’re not Google or Zappos, but we’re open to seeing suggestions and we like to frame our culture based on desire,” BGO communications manager Christine Ong said.

According to Glassdoor.ca, a website where current and former employees can anonymously review companies and their management, BGO rated 3.4 out of 5 stars overall, with 71 per cent of reviewers recommending the company to a friend, and 73 per cent approving the CEO. Its culture and values netted the highest score with 3.5 out of 5, while compensation and benefits came in the lowest at 2.8.

BGO has partnered with employee engagement platform provider, The Achievers, and launched an employee recognition program that has been instrumental in taking the daily workplace pulse and driving company culture, Ong said.

The current outreach survey finds millennial and younger workers in the driver’s seat.

“Especially as demographics change in the job market, we need to change, too,” Ong added.

Here are some of the insights BGO hopes to glean from its survey that will inform such things as compensation and benefit packages in the hopes of attracting the best and the brightest:

  • What do you think is an acceptable hourly rate of pay for a call centre position? $14.50 to $15 an hour; $15.50 to $16; $16.50 to $17 or; $17.50 to $18;
  • If an employer offered a lifestyle compensation package, for example, helped you pay for your bus pass, in addition to your base pay, is this something that would make you interested in working for that company?;
  • If you could choose your own lifestyle package, what would you choose? A daycare package (help with daycare costs); an entertainment package (movie passes, discounts on concert tickets); a pet package (allowance for food, treats, toys, etc) or; create your own.

Newmarket residents, in particular, are encouraged to share their views on what makes a company the best in which to work. Take the survey here

You can find BGO on Instagram and Twitter @bgocareers and Facebook @BillGoslingOutsourcing




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Kim Champion

About the Author: Kim Champion

Kim Champion is a veteran journalist and editor who covers Newmarket and issues that impact York Region.
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