Governance and Strategies
We value employee empowerment and believe enabling this value has contributed significantly to Toromont’s success. Our culture is shaped by full alignment to our Values, business model, core strategies and management principles and fosters employee authority with accountability.
We operate with comprehensive human resources strategies and practices to empower our employees, attract and retain the industry’s best people and ensure the sustainability and competitiveness of our workforce.
The Human Resources and Health and Safety Committee of the Board oversees short- and long-term incentive plans and is responsible for executive officer appointments and overseeing succession planning and leadership development.
In turn, our corporate executives provide guidance and support to our business units to ensure that workforce development and succession programs are in place and functioning with programs that focus on business needs and the improvement of employee knowledge, skills, productivity and effectiveness.
Every year, employees are encouraged to set personal goals for performance and skills development aligned to business-plan objectives. This ensures the knowledge gained is relevant to the organization and to their personal advancement with the company.
2020 Training and Development Actions and Outcomes
COVID-19 did not stop employees from developing critical skills and building business knowledge. In many cases, the pandemic created opportunities for additional learning as employees were encouraged to use Toromont’s comprehensive online training curriculum while working from home.
As part of mobilizing for the pandemic, Toromont created an online Remote Work Enablement Resource Centre. This online learning café features information portals geared to the needs of employees and supervisors working at home. Resources were made available on topics including fostering connected virtual teamwork and best practices in virtual meetings. Tips on working remotely as well as strategies for managing through stressful pandemic challenges added further relevance.
Not counting use of the Resource Centre, employees completed 51,000 hours of training in 2020. This was down from 2019 when we recruited a large number of technicians and because of the suspension of in-person training due to COVID-19. Nonetheless, it was an impressive showing by a workforce dedicated to continuous learning.
CIMCO continued to support on-the-job service technician development through coaching and in the U.S. found advantage in its apprenticeship program launched in 2019. The program is based on best practices used in Canada and assists in recruitment, skill set development, technician advancement and the enhancement of industry professionalism. Separately, a central engineering library has been created at CIMCO with over 2,000 resources. This library is used for onboarding, training and competency assessments.
Employee wellness supports the development of a high-performing workforce and was of particular importance in 2020 as we coped with the pandemic. Toromont promotes wellness through training and awareness programs and our leaders are coached to recognize and support employee well-being. In 2020, Toromont added virtual wellness workshops to its programming in partnership with recognized industry leaders in wellness and fitness. Under the watchful eyes of fitness and health experts, employees and their families participated in online yoga, healthy cooking classes and mental health seminars.
2020 Recruitment & Retention Actions and Outcomes
Toromont’s focus in 2020 was to sustain, protect and engage its workforce in the face of the business impacts and the health risks posed by COVID-19. Through our focused efforts, we minimized work disruptions for our employees by encouraging training opportunities, promoting work from home and leveraging various government programs including Work Sharing and other government support. To aid in the cause, Toromont’s Board of Directors and senior leadership voluntarily reduced their compensation.
These efforts, along with the loyalty and commitment of employees, allowed Toromont to protect and support its workforce over the past year. Total employment at year end was over 6,000, a decline from 2019 as we manoeuvred through COVID-19-related impacts with targeted workforce adjustments. Nearing the end of 2020, we increased our focus to selectively recruit in areas where we anticipate resources will be needed to meet longer term demand and support our growth objectives. In particular, technician recruitment efforts remain a priority.
Toromont gains competitive advantage from long-tenured employees. The average tenure of our senior leadership team is 18 years and over 45% of that team has been with the company for over 20 years. Across the entire workforce, average tenure is over 10 years.
Recognizing the limited supply of skilled workers and the need to encourage young people to enter skilled trades, we continued to create student apprenticeships in 2020 and maintained our connections with over 40 vocational schools, colleges and post-secondary institutions across Canada, which continue to produce well-qualified graduates and future Toromont employees.
Annually, Toromont’s Management Development Program brings new talent to our business. Although hiring levels moderated due to the pandemic, the focus on hiring leaders of the future through this program continued throughout 2020. One of the incentives and rewards of working at Toromont is our Employee Share Purchase Plan (“ESPP”) where we offer financial and administrative support to employees to become Toromont shareholders. Approximately 39% of eligible employees were enrolled in the ESPP at the end of 2020.