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Thrive Health was recognized for advancing diversity and inclusion within their team and the technology industry.Provided

Davin Gislason became an enthusiastic “Thriver” when he joined Thrive Health two years ago, immediately attracted by both the size of the company and its purpose. The Vancouver-based health tech company co-ordinates with health care organizations in Canada to make health-care work better – a cause Gislason feels aligns with his own values.

“I’ve always been attracted to small to mid-sized tech companies because they tend to be really fast-paced and collaborative, plus you get a chance to leave your mark,” says Gislason, manager, talent acquisition. “And that’s been true. What I love most about working here is that collaborative spirit and having fun with my colleagues. We take what we do very seriously, but don’t take ourselves so seriously.”

In recruiting, Gislason says he’s always seeking candidates who show a genuine interest in improving health care in Canada, as well as in learning.

“What I often hear from candidates is that they’re looking for a company where they can grow and learn new things,” says Gislason. “That’s the type of person we want. We have $1,000 per year dedicated for each employee for professional development, whether for taking a course, attending a conference or something else. Mentoring is key – along with the informal mentoring that takes place, we have a formal mentoring program that employees can track on our software, so they know what’s next to grow their career.”

Ashley Snape, vice-president, corporate services, says feedback from the company’s frequent employee engagement surveys shows the top things employees want now are career pathing and opportunities to expand their skill sets.

“We’ve created a high-level mapping framework for all Thrivers so they can see what competencies are required in each level – and what skills they need to move up,” says Snape. “We’ve laid out a really clear career path for employees so that it’s transparent, as well as helping people transition to other departments if they develop different interests.”

As a remote-first, hybrid company, Thrive has team members across Canada, both in major centres and remote communities, so having a strong communication strategy matters. The Vancouver head office became fully remote in late 2023 but offers shared office space to employees in major centres for a change of scenery or to get together in groups. The company uses core business hours for virtual meetings and collaboration.

“Being intentional about communication has been key to continuing our strong culture,” says Snape. “Last year, we came together as a whole company twice: for a winter week where we flew everyone to Vancouver, and for a second all-company event in the summer. Although remote work offers flexible hours and scheduling, nothing makes up for that human-to-human contact. Those companywide in-person activities are super important.”

The company also encourages staff to connect online through coffee chats and Slack channels, including events like self-care week with morning stretches to start the day. As a member of the social committee, Gislason helped create a social events library of ideas for fun team events that people can do remotely.

“Wellness is the foundation of the employee experience, contributing to creating a positive work environment,” says Snape. “That includes financial, mental and physical wellness, so we try to offer that in a holistic way.

“We’re not a company where we just have our core values posted on the wall,” she continues. “Our values – be bold, be innovative, be transparent, be inclusive, be humble – are the way we operate day to day, from how we recruit to how develop our people. It’s all surrounding our values.”

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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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