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Vidir Solutions engineers interacting with high school students as part of its learning and development initiatives.Provided

In 2022, Jasmine Nault was hired to a newly created, and critical, role at Manitoba-based Vidir Solutions. As program manager, learning and leadership development, her job is to help the manufacturing company roll out initiatives to improve the skills and career opportunities of all employees while also training the next generation of company leaders.

“One of the core values at Vidir is about ‘raising others up’ by helping them do what they do best,” says Nault. “All of our efforts in skills upgrading, career advancement and leadership development are very much rooted in that value statement.”

Founded in 1986, Vidir is a family-owned manufacturer of automated material-handling solutions based mainly in two small Manitoba communities, Arborg and Teulon. The company sells products and solutions in over 40 countries and has performed over 40,000 installations, many for Fortune 500 companies.

Vidir is also on a significant growth curve: the number of full-time employees has more than doubled in the past three years as global demand for the company’s products and services steadily increased.

Because of that growth, recruiting and retaining talent, as well as raising up leaders from within, are key priorities.

This is done on multiple fronts. Vidir has a robust student intern program and makes a special effort to recruit locally through targeted scholarships.

Once on board, employees can take advantage of a wide range of learning, skills upgrading and professional development programs. This includes everything from a popular apprenticeship program for welders to sponsoring employees who are pursuing their chartered professional accountant certification.

Because Vidir regularly recruits from non-English-speaking countries, the company also offers on-site English-as-a-second language (ESL) classes.

Recently Vidir has put a strong focus on succession planning and leadership development. Within that, there’s been a special emphasis on fostering a respectful workplace and recognizing the importance of mental well-being.

In 2023, the company expanded its traditional safety operations training program for leaders beyond issues of physical safety to encompass psychological safety, emotional well-being and respectful work practices.

“Our respectful workplace training looks at the differences between a positive and a poisonous workplace,” says Nault. “We talk about the impact of incivility in the workplace and issues ranging from bullying to sexual harassment. We want to give leaders the tools to better identify disrespectful or unsafe situations and know how to respond to them.”

In 2024, Vidir will launch another new leadership development program that addresses issues such as communications skills, emotional intelligence and workplace mental health training.

“There is no health without mental health,” says Nault. “So that’s a big focus for us.”

Cristina Vieira, director of human resources, says the learning and leadership development initiatives all have something in common: they give team members the ability to grow and advance within the company, while also making Vidir a stronger and more effective employer of choice.

“If people are able to show up as the best versions of themselves, that leads to greater engagement, improved morale and superior performance,” she says. “It’s also good for the company’s bottom line because we have less turnover and we are not having to spend as much money on recruitment and retention.”

Coaching and mentoring the next generation of leaders is particularly important, she adds.

“The stronger leaders we have, the more competitive we become. We are in the business of manufacturing the software and automation of tomorrow. There’s a lot of opportunity for us, but we need the right mix of talent to fully realize it.”

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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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