11 kick-ass reasons why Kicking Horse Coffee is Canada’s best place to work
In addition to top-notch healthcare plans, a generous vacation allowance and ongoing education and training, here are 11 reasons why global research firm Great Place to Work® recently named this Canadian coffee roaster the top workplace in the nation:
1. THE COFFEE FLOWS FREELY
Mmmmm hmmmm. That’s the sound of good coffee. Mission critical to Canada’s #1 Fairtrade and organic coffee roaster? Ensuring staff are always well-caffeinated. Everyone who works at Kicking Horse Coffee receives a free pound of fresh beans each week, and more during the holidays to share with friends and family. Staff also have access to a self-serve coffee bar that barista dreams are made of and are invited to fill their reusable cups at the company’s on-site Kicking Horse Café.
2. LEAN, CLEAN, GREEN-COMMUTING MACHINES
Staff who walk, ride their bikes or carpool to work are paid $2-$3 extra daily (self-propelled commuting = more cheddar). Green commuters report their cardio-fueled, earth-friendly transit days and park their bikes at the facility’s secure bike storage. Showers and lockers are provided. This year, everyone who commuted green was entered into a draw to win a brand-spankin’ new bike. Ride on!
3. FUN DAYS
Twice each year, Kicking Horse Coffee stops production, so staff can spend time together. The entire crew goes on fully-paid fun day adventures in Canada’s Rocky Mountains, a backcountry playground near the company’s headquarters in Invermere, BC. Past excursions include paddling down the Columbia River, helicopter hiking in the Bugaboo Mountains, axe throwing competitions, and creating meals with local chefs. Paid to have fun? Yes, please.
4. PAUSE FOR POWDER
If the nearby ski resort receives a hefty overnight snowfall, everything at Kicking Horse Coffee shuts down. Staff spend the day skiing, riding and enjoying the fluffy white stuff. There are always friends on a powder day!
5. SUPPORT FOR NEW PARENTS
The coffee roaster makes sure that any new mothers or fathers – biological or adoptive – who take parental leave enjoy their full salary while they care for their new bundles of joy. The transition back to work is eased with daycare support and a generous chore allowance so new parents can hire a helping hand to mow the lawn, clean the house or cook meals.
6. HUMPDAY LUNCHES
Wednesdays are never a drag; staff are served a free, hot and healthy lunch every week (sometimes there are cupcakes, because, well, cake.) During the busiest months of the year, lunch is provided more frequently so staff have less to worry about. At the launch of a recent big project, a smoothie bar as well as lunch and dinner were provided, and a masseuse was on-hand to relieve tense muscles.
7. BIRTHDAYS ARE A BIG DEAL
All full-time staff are gifted an additional paid day off for their birthdays. On their special day, staff receive a $100 gift certificate to a local vendor of their choice, as well as a card full of well-wishes from the entire team. Plus, there’s usually homemade cake.
8. KICK-ASS SWAG
All new employees take home a welcome package chock-full of Kicking Horse Coffee swag including shirts, water bottles, travel coffee mugs, notebooks, hats and more. Everyone is gifted fresh swag twice a year.
9. STAYING HEALTHY
Active living is top of the list for the Kicking Horse Coffee crew. Everyone receives an annual recreation allowance to help purchase season passes, gym memberships, new bikes, shoes or anything else that promotes physical or mental well-being. Daily group stretch breaks and equipment like standing desks are everyday practices.
10. DISCONNECTING IS VALUED
Meetings are cellphone-free zones and sending emails outside of regular working hours is a no-go. Being contacted on your vacation? Forget it. Staff actively practice the philosophy that time off is time off, and amazingly, everyone sticks to it.
11. WAKE UP & KICK ASS
That’s the spirit of the company. Kicking Horse Coffee wakes up the world with good coffee. That’s the kind of work worth making fun. And that, kicks ass!