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At Unilever Canada, employees have the flexibility to work from home or collaborate with each other during team get-togethers (Moments that Matter).Provided

Guillaume Beaulieu started working at Unilever Canada as a retail rep 10 years ago, driving from store to store and talking with staff and consumers. Now a senior manager of customer strategy and planning, Beaulieu says that first job gave him everything he needed to build his career at the Toronto-based consumer packaged goods company.

“It was the bottom of the ladder, but it’s the role I learned the most from,” he says. “When you talk to store managers and customers, you get an understanding of what truly matters. And at Unilever, when you perform well you are given bigger, more strategy-oriented projects and roles, which gives you a head start in your career.”

Naniss Gadel-Rab, general manager of Unilever Canada’s Nutrition division, says purpose is key to the company’s culture and each employee’s place in it.

“Our culture is people-centric and purpose-led,” says Gadel-Rab, who has been with Unilever for 23 years. “Our purpose as a company is to make sustainable living commonplace, and we encourage every individual to find their own purpose and bring it to life as part of their Unilever journey.”

The company offers employees a wide range of programs to help them do that, from mentorships to formal training and an online platform called Degreed that offers professional development courses.

“We have access to tons of training materials and information, but the company is clear and simple in its approach,” Beaulieu says. “It’s not a one-size-fits-all for training – it’s up to the employee to find their purpose and work toward achieving it.”

Employees can also take advantage of Unilever’s international presence. “Because it’s a global business, we also have the chance to talk to our peers in similar markets like Australia or the U.K., and share opportunities or the challenges we face in our type of business,” he says.

Gadel-Rab points out that flexibility is another key part of the Unilever culture. Staff have the freedom to work in the office or remotely.

“Even before the pandemic, we started to embrace and build a hybrid approach to our ways of working, and we still do that,” she says. “People can come to the office or work at home, and they can find a better work-life balance that way. It’s good for us as well, because they are more productive.”

To make sure everyone stays connected, Gadel-Rab brings her team members in regularly for get-togethers called Moments that Matter.

“It’s when we want to collaborate or brainstorm,” she explains. “When we need to do things as a team, we all come together in person, but when people want to have the space and room to complete their reports or reflect on a strategy, they can work from home. Everyone has that flexibility.”

Beaulieu says he appreciates the freedom that’s given him. “During the pandemic they realized that people can be high-performing in a hybrid environment, and they’ve applied those learnings to the work model we have today. The company is fine with me operating from home because they know I can deliver results. It’s really about the output and the results, and the way that you deliver them is up to you.”

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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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