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Labatt Breweries of Canada provides safe drinking water to communities in need through its Disaster Relief Program.Provided

After only two and a half years with Labatt Breweries of Canada, David Wang has already received a significant promotion. He recently moved from a position at a single facility to become warehouse manager overseeing the entire western region.

“We have a program here to support and reward people who go above and beyond in their work,” says Wang. “I feel recognized, heard and challenged to do more.”

In addition to recognizing and rewarding employees, Labatt offers various networking opportunities aimed at fostering connections and growth. Wang interacts one-on-one with the director above his senior manager through a program called Skip Level. He also meets up with someone new from his regional logistics team every couple of weeks through a program he calls “Beer with Peers.” He even found support for a charity event he organized on his own time when he introduced it at a company town hall meeting.

That kind of connection ties into one of Labatt’s 10 Principles: a commitment to building an inclusive environment through inclusion and collaboration. These 10 principles shape how the Labatt team interacts, makes decisions and how they do business.

“I really believe that people are our biggest strength,” says Beatriz Grubesic, vice-president, people. “Our goal is to energize our people to find moments that matter. We call it, ‘Dreaming big to create a future with more cheers.’”

Another initiative to encourage moments of connection at work is The Michelob Ultra Fund, which provides sponsorships for Labatt employees to team up and join a local recreational sports league. This past summer, colleagues competed in volleyball tournaments, baseball leagues, bowling leagues and even hockey. All employees – from the breweries team to sales and administration – can take part.

This renewed focus on collaboration starts with leaders bringing together interdepartmental teams to solve problems and allow employees to see a bigger picture. One example of this happened when forest fires raged in many areas across Canada this past summer. Labatt sprang into action to provide safe drinking water to communities in need. Another one of Labatt’s 10 Principles is its commitment to supporting the communities they serve.

Since 2012, the brewery in London, Ont., has periodically paused beer production to can drinking water for use in the company’s ‘Canadian Disaster Relief Program.’ Wang was tasked with getting the water out to partners who could reach residents and responders in need. This year, 120,000 cans of water were donated.

The water reached several sites, including Food Banks Alberta, where it was packaged with other supplies and sent to isolated communities.

Wang was tasked with sending cans to local community centres housing people who had been evacuated from their homes in Edmonton and Kamloops, B.C. He even managed the transport of water to Halifax. Nearly a million cans of water have been donated since the program began.

“Employees really get behind this initiative to support Canadian communities,” says Grubesic. “From government affairs teams working to pinpoint the areas of greatest need, to employees who work on the supply chain, to the logistics team, to the communications team – all have an opportunity to be involved.”

When Grubesic visited Halifax last summer, she met an employee whose community had benefited from the relief program. “He told me, ‘You don’t know how much this means.’ It gives us such a lift to hear the impact of our program.”

“I am really proud and excited by the charitable programs Labatt makes it possible to do,” says Wang. “They create a caring work environment.”

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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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