Afexa puts employees up on podium

Cold-FX maker launches first formal recognition program to coincide with sponsorship of 2010 Winter Games and HR push to be more strategic
By Sarah Dobson
|Canadian HR Reporter|Last Updated: 10/05/2009

When the company behind Cold-FX signed on as the official supplier in the category of cold and flu remedies for the 2010 Winter Games in Vancouver, it had more than just athletes in mind. Afexa Life Sciences realized its involvement in the historic event — which includes sponsorship of six athletes and supplies for seven Canadian sports centres along with athletes, coaches, volunteers and staff —was also a great opportunity to recognize the accomplishments of employees, too.

Despite being a company that saw its revenues leap from $1.5 million in 2003 to $42 million in 2006, the “Go for Gold” initiative is the first formal recognition plan at Afexa. So as part of a 24-month push by the company to make HR more strategic in all the different functional areas — compensation, benefits, training and development, recruitment — the Edmonton-based organization decided to launch a major recognition program based on the competitive spirit of the Olympic games.

“It’s part of a bigger plan to develop other programs,” says Debra Wilson, senior director of HR and administration at Afexa. “You don’t need a lot of big-ticket items on a monthly basis to motivate people — it’s generally about the event itself.”