Important COVID-19 updates for our customers

North West Company Response to Covid-19

Pillar 3Empowered Employees

At A Glance


associates across Northern Canada, Western Canada, rural Alaska, the South Pacific islands and the Caribbean.


associates in Northern Canada, one of the largest Indigenous employers in Canada (over 1,600 self-reported Indigenous employees).


square foot centralized Northern/NorthMart Store Management training program launched in Winnipeg.


percent of associates have access to support programs including counselling and mental health services for them and their immediate families.

Empowered Employees Overview


As a company that operates in smaller developing communities, attracting and retaining the talent needed to provide our essential services is critical. We meet that challenge by providing our employees with the best work experience and opportunities available in the area, and by investing in their success.

Recognizing that solutions can emerge from any level of the organization, we strive to create a culture in which great ideas are acknowledged, shared and encouraged. Our management approach is geared to making job effectiveness and satisfaction as high as possible.

Ongoing professional training and flexible work hours are staples of our approach to attracting and retaining employees, as is accommodating the diverse cultural and lifestyle practices of our employees.

We provide robust and evolving policies and governance practices for workplace health and safety and for Diversity and Inclusion – two of our top priorities as a company. As a large employer in most communities we serve and the largest private sector employer of Indigenous Peoples in Canada, we strive to ensure opportunities for all so we can better serve the communities where were operate.

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Commitments, Goals, Performance, and Next Steps

COMMITMENT: Provide significant social benefit by soliciting opinions from and seeking opportunities to collaborate with community leaders, groups, and individuals.

2019/20 Goals Action Steps Metric

Offer programs to accommodate the needs of employees with diverse cultural backgrounds and lifestyles.

  1. Continued to offer flexible work hours to employees to accommodate cultural and lifestyle practices.
  2. Continued to offer sabbatical options to employees once they complete five years of service to the Company.
  1. Targets Diversity and Opportunity

Support associates with access to professional, confidential support services and programs.

  1. Continued to offer access to the Employee Assistance Program (EAP), which includes counseling and mental health services for employees and members of their immediate families. 
  1. Crisis Management Systems

Reinforce workplace health, safety and ethical practices through policies and practices that set clear expectations across the Company.

  1. Continued to employ a Workforce Health & Safety Team to enhance safety throughout the company.
  2. Continued to offer programs designed to eliminate or reduce hazards at all of our locations, including a comprehensive and continuous occupational injury and illness prevention program for all team members.
  3. Continued to offer training in First Aid, Fire Emergency Planning, Violence Prevention, Safe Work Procedures, and other Health & Safety areas for management trainees.
  1. Employees Health & Safety Team / Health & Safety Policy
  2. Policy Employee Health & Safety
  3. Health & Safety Training

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. Launched a central Store Management training program in Winnipeg, achieving a 100 percent participation rate among new hires.
  1. Policy Career Development / Training and Development Policy

Raise company wide awareness about and sensitivity to the unique history, culture, and relations of Indigenous peoples in locations where we operate.

  1. Launched a Corporate Indigenous Cultural Awareness Program, which offers onboarding and ongoing training to associates and managers throughout the company.
  2.  Delivered Cultural Awareness session to Gibraltar House Corporate Office.

  1. Management Training

Recruit, engage, retain, and improve advancement opportunities for Indigenous workers.

  1.  As the largest private employer of Indigenous peoples in Canada, 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.

  1. Internal Promotion