Important COVID-19 updates for our customers

North West Company Response to Covid-19

Pillar 3Empowered Employees

At A Glance

Engaged 7,524 Associates in a Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Survey

Prepared and deployed a company-wide Diversity, Equity and Inclusion survey to all 7,524 associates, encouraging each to express their diversity and share their perspectives on systemic racism, discrimination and unconscious biases.

Indigenous Cultural Awareness

Reinforced corporate values with Indigenous Cultural Awareness Program to new and existing associates and managers, at all levels of the organization.

Mental Health & Wellness

Enabled a work-from-home option for office associates and promoted our Employee Assistance Program (EAP) that includes counseling and mental health services for employees and members of their immediate families.

Store Management Training

Continued to support a central Store Management training program in Winnipeg, achieving a 100% participation rate among new hires.

Empowered Employees Overview

Overview

Helping employees connect to their talents and thrive is a key driver of how we invest in our team members. Developing teams where employees feel heard, respected and included is a core value and is also fundamental to creating an inclusive experience. We believe retail can be a springboard for economic opportunities in the communities we serve. By providing quality jobs, training and career paths, we aim to develop great talent and contribute to local employment and workforce development. We employ over 7,524 associates in 181 communities around the globe, offering a variety of career opportunities.

At North West, we value diversity, equity, and inclusion. We invest in our team by giving them opportunities to grow professionally, take care of themselves, their families and each other, and make a difference in their communities. We believe these values are good for business and are simply the right thing to do. Our diverse perspectives help us broaden our approach to addressing challenges. We recognize the importance of increasing representation of employees from diverse backgrounds at every level of our organization. We know that diverse leaders attract and retain diverse teams, so we focus our efforts on hiring, retention, growth and development, including promotion of our employees.

To better understand what inclusion means for our employees, we conducted a global internal survey which led to North West’s new diversity priorities, which include educational initiatives, continually improving our mentorship program, and delivering benefits for all our employees.

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Commitments, Goals, Performance, and Next Steps

COMMITMENT: Cultivate a diverse, inclusive and culturally safe workforce

Goals Action steps taken in 2021
Raise company-wide awareness of and sensitivity to the unique history, culture and relations of Indigenous Peoples in locations where we operate.
  1. Prepared and deployed a company-wide Diversity, Equity and Inclusion survey to all our associates, encouraging each to express their diversity and share their perspectives on systemic racism, discrimination and unconscious biases.
  2. Reinforced corporate values with Indigenous Cultural Awareness Program to new and existing associates and managers, at all levels of the organization.
  3. Delivered Cultural Awareness sessions to employees from our
    Canada and Alaska operations, including Gibraltar House.
Recruit, engage, retain and improve advancement opportunities for Indigenous workers.
  1. As the largest private employer of Indigenous Peoples in Canada (with over 1,800 self-reported Indigenous employees), we are deeply committed to training, employing and retaining Indigenous staff, to hire and train locally in northern and remote communities, and to fill senior positions with local Indigenous employees.
  2. An Indigenous Advisory Committee comprised of 20 store employees was created to ensure that our Truth and Reconciliation efforts are addressing the needs of Indigenous people.

COMMITMENT: Enhance employee effectiveness, welfare, and satisfaction by imparting our Company values of customer service, trust, enterprising ideas, passion for what we do, accountability and personal balance.

Goals Action steps taken in 2021
Reinforce workplace health, safety and ethical practices through policies and practices that set clear expectations across the Company.
  1. Invested in safety measures and established rigorous cleaning routines in all of our facilities, including:
    • Implemented enhanced cleaning procedures and provided hand sanitizer at each check lane.
    • Maintained and replaced plexiglass partitions at check lanes and in high-volume areas throughout our stores.
    • Provided reusable and disposable face masks for employees while encouraging healthy hygiene habits.
    • Required team members and customers to wear masks or face coverings while in our stores.
    • Promoted physical distancing procedures in our stores.
    • Implemented mandatory vaccine policies in our stores.
  2. Continued to employ a Workforce Health & Safety Team to enhance safety throughout the company.
  3. Instituted programs designed to eliminate or reduce hazards at all our locations, including a comprehensive occupational injury and illness prevention program for all team members.
  4. Continued to sponsor training in First Aid, Fire Prevention, Emergency Planning, Violence Prevention, Safe Work Procedures and other key Health & Safety areas for North West management trainees.
Offer programs to accommodate the needs of employees with diverse cultural backgrounds and lifestyles.
  1. Continued to offer flexible work hours to accommodate cultural and lifestyle practices for employees.
  2. Continued to offer sabbatical options for eligible employees with more than five years of service.
Support associates with access to professional, confidential support services and programs.
  1. Enabled a work-from-home option for office associates and promoted our Employee Assistance Program (EAP) that includes counseling and mental health services for employees and members of their immediate families.
Provide training programs to equip associates with the skills they need to improve career prospects and move to jobs with greater responsibility and higher pay.
  1. Continued to support a central Store Management training program in Winnipeg, achieving a 100% participation rate among new hires.