The Alberta’s Best Workplaces awards were presented last night and NAIT took home one of the top honours, placing first in the Best Overall category for more than 750 employees. Hosted and administered by Alberta Venture magazine, the annual competition recognizes organizations with innovative ways to attract and keep staff.
“At NAIT, people matter. To be recognized as Best Overall is a real testament to our incredible staff. This award reflects the strength of our culture and of our people,” says Dr. Glenn Feltham, president and CEO of NAIT.
The judging panel, made up of HR professionals from around the province, considered a broad range of workplace features – from health and safety programs, to unique staff perks and amenities, to training and development – to ultimately select NAIT as the winner.
"What really stood out for the judges was NAIT’s commitment to the mental health."
“When an organization wins a Best Overall category, you know it has a lot going for it,” says Michael Ganley, editor of Alberta Venture. “But what really stood out for the judges was NAIT’s commitment to the mental health of its staff and students.”
Awareness of mental health issues has increasingly become part the NAIT culture. Programs to offer mental health support to staff and students have been successful because they have been largely driven by staff. In just over two years, almost one-fifth of NAIT’s staff has been trained to recognize the signs and symptoms of mental health issues and to provide support to their colleagues and students.
“We get the ball rolling with initiatives, but our staff breathe life into them,” says Clayton Davis, executive director of HR at NAIT. “Together, everyone here helps to create the kind of place where you can come to work and have the support to be your best,” Davis says.
This is the first time NAIT has won Best Overall Workplace, after being a finalist in the category in 2010. That year, the polytechnic was also recognized for its family-friendly work environment, earning the top spot in the Best Workplace for Working Parents category.
The recent honour is the latest recognition of NAIT’s continued efforts to provide an outstanding workplace. The polytechnic has been named one of Alberta’s Top 70 Employers consecutively for the past five years.