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Capital One Canada invests in the personal and professional well-being of its employees.Provided

Permpreet Soomal is proud of how much Capital One Canada invests in the personal and professional well-being of its associates.

“Capital One is stretching the bounds of what we need to do as a good employer,” says Soomal, chief people officer at the financial-services company, which specializes in credit cards. “We’re meeting our associates where their interests and needs are, in order to become a destination for top talent looking for more integration between their work and personal life.”

One of the ways Capital One Canada does this is through its Take Some Time Leave. In addition to more common mandated leaves, such as caregiver leave, this program allows associates to take up to six months of protected leave to pursue opportunities of their choice, such as volunteering, travelling or spending time with family.

Ophelia Au, principal product owner, says she really appreciates Invest in Yourself Days, which occur on the last Friday of every month. No meetings can be held on these days and associates can choose to spend their time in ways they feel will best serve their development and wellness, whether it’s taking a course, catching up on e-mail, or going for a hike.

“Invest in Yourself Days have helped me tremendously. Sometimes I use it as a mental health day and other times I use it to learn new skills I may not have time for otherwise,” Au says. When she recently moved into a new house, Au used the day to complete related errands. “I could devote that time to it and get things in order, so when I was back at work, I could focus on work.”

Soomal says the programs and benefits Capital One provides reflect how work is changing. “There is so much more work-life integration,” she says. “And I think a lot of the benefits we offer are a testament to our commitment to creating systems that don’t force you to choose between work and your personal life.”

Au also values making connections with co-workers and she is a member of the company’s business resource group for Asians and Pacific Islanders. After participating in many events, she has since started organizing many of them, including a Lunar New Year celebration.

“Bringing that part of myself to work and having it recognized and valued was particularly powerful for me,” she says.

Au is proud to work for a company that takes a holistic view of its associates. “If you have family issues or health issues or mental illness, there is support,” she says. “That is really important to me and my fellow associates. We can bring our full selves to work and then focus on helping our customers while being fully present.”

Soomal agrees that when associates feel cared for, they are better able to care for the business and its customers.

“I think a lot of what we stand for regarding our customers translates to what we stand for regarding our associates,” Soomal says. “Our mission is to support our customers and help them be successful. We bring that same level of care and attention to our associates and to bringing out the best in them.”

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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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