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Business Development Bank of Canada employees have the opportunity to benefit from formal and informal coaching.Supplied

Moe Alaeddine began working for Business Development Bank of Canada (BDC) as a summer intern and was hired full-time upon graduation. Five and a half years later, he is a senior commercial account manager.

“Right from the beginning, people engaged me in the work, sharing their projects and inviting me to meetings,” says Alaeddine. “It’s an innovative environment that is less about completing transactions than working to support clients.”

BDC is a Montréal-based financial institution that helps create and develop strong Canadian businesses through financing, advisory services and capital. It focuses on small and medium-sized enterprises. President and CEO Isabelle Hudon joined BDC two years ago, and she continues to talk with employees to learn about the organization.

“When I came, I was so impressed,” says Hudon. “Employees are engaged at all levels of the organization. Everyone is accessible and anyone can ask a question or give an opinion.”

Hudon and her colleagues have since refreshed the employer branding to contribute to employee pride and appeal to future employees. “BDC is not just a bank, but also a development bank, with a commercial and social mandate. We call it, ‘Banking at another level.’”

Taking the pulse of employee engagement through ongoing surveys is a matter of course at BDC. And Hudon has implemented Rendezvous with Isabelle, a give and take of information where she shares quarterly progress reports on financial and, just as important, social key performance indicators.

“Before being employees, people are citizens,” says Hudon. In 2022, BDC created a senior position to strengthen the focus on diversity, as well as to oversee the environmental and social governance of the organization. Since then, BDC has implemented mandatory training programs in accessibility and reconciliation, and it will publish its first sustainability report this year.

Alaeddine belongs to an internal committee called the Ontario Client Diversity Ambassadors, and one of his tasks is to spread helpful information throughout the organization. His engagement within the bank has not gone unnoticed.

He has been invited to join a cohort called Aspiring Leaders, a talent development program to help employees learn management skills. They meet regularly for coaching and to go through case scenarios. The purpose of the program is to open doors to leadership opportunities in future.

An appetite for learning and development comes across clearly in employee surveys. One program BDC offers is a three-month development assignment in a new area. Employees learn about the organization and see how their skills might cross over to another department.

Alaeddine is currently completing one such assignment as a regional field coach working one-on-one with new account managers. It is an opportunity to take what he has learned and share it, going over the project phases and talking about building customer relationships. “I’m learning how to bring new recruits into the organization and make sure everyone is aligned in their approach to the mandate,” he says.

“BDC is great at reaching out to people who show an interest in development,” says Alaeddine. “We’re always learning!”

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Advertising feature produced by Canada’s Top 100 Employers, a division of Mediacorp Canada Inc. The Globe and Mail’s editorial department was not involved.

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