Collection of family-friendly perks boosts Monsanto’s image as an employer

Parental leave top-ups, compassionate leave, flex hours an award-winning approach
By Sarah Dobson
|Canadian HR Reporter|Last Updated: 11/01/2010

While offering an array of family-friendly benefits makes a lot of sense when it comes to attraction, retention and engagement, there’s another reason Monsanto is an award-winner in this area.

“Employees today demand it, it’s almost table stakes,” says Cathy Pickard, Winnipeg-based human resources director at Monsanto, an agricultural biotechnology company. “Employees want to look at what does the company do for them, what’s in it for them and they need to know they’re going to have quality of life and going to be able to have a life outside of work. So, for us, it’s not negotiable — we have to be constantly listening to what the labour market is telling us and trying to be as responsive as possible to that.”

Monsanto reviews its benefits each year and considers workers’ concerns and requests through bi-annual organizational surveys and quarterly “pulse” surveys of different segments of the workforce. That approach has helped Monsanto make the list of Canada’s Top Family-Friendly Employers, compiled annually by Mediacorp Canada.