CHHMA partner, Payworks Inc. was selected as one of Canada’s Top Small & Medium Employers (2021). Here are some of the reasons why it was selected:

  • Payworks supports ongoing employee development and education through in-house and online training programs, as well as full tuition subsidies for courses at outside academic institutions
  • Payworks helps employees balance their work and personal lives through a number of alternative work options, including flexible hours, shortened work weeks and working-from-home options

Community outreach is part of Payworks’ purpose
Before Nicole Stewart started at Winnipeg-based Payworks Inc. in 2011, she didn’t know much about the payroll services company except that the founder, Barb Gamey, had a great reputation. What really drew Stewart to the then-smallish organization was the opportunity to build a human resources department from scratch.

Nearly 10 years later, opportunity is part of what has kept Stewart, vice-president of human resources, at Payworks. “What Barb built in the first years of the organization was really a culture of engaging people from the start, of trusting that our staff have a skill and allowing them to use it,” says Stewart.

The pandemic offered other opportunities to try new things, and the shift to working remotely has been a big success. It has, however, presented new challenges to employees like business analyst Dee dela Cruz, who co-chairs the company’s annual workplace campaign for the United Way.

Payworks’ commitment to the communities in which its employees live and work was a huge draw to dela Cruz. The company introduced an employee benefit called Pay It Forward Day a few years ago, offering employees two paid days off a year to volunteer for a charitable organization or community initiative they feel passionately about. “Rallying around the community is just part of our purpose,” says Stewart. “It’s part of why our employees come to work every day and it’s part of how we make decisions and how we deal with everything on a day-to-day basis.”

Making sure the annual United Way campaign was as successful as always even though it had to be virtual was particularly challenging. “You want employees’ support but you also want to be sensitive because we don’t know how the pandemic is impacting our colleagues and their families,” dela Cruz says.

So when she put out a call for additional committee members, she was inundated with volunteers – to almost no one’s surprise. In fact, this year’s committee was the largest the company has ever had, and the company raised more money than ever before.

“With all the uncertainty and the need to physically distance, I think this campaign was a way for people to take action, collectively come together, to connect, feel some sense of control, and to show that although we can’t be there in person, we still care – care about each other and our communities,” she adds.

Throughout the pandemic, senior leadership has taken many steps to ensure that employees feel heard and connected – doing everything from increasing mental health benefits by 400%, hosting regular “fireside chats,” and offering virtual yoga as well as a new program that connects employees with experts on stress, debt and other topics.

Still, there’s a real eagerness among the employees to be back together, and that speaks volumes about the culture. “We work hard for sure; we’re there to support our clients absolutely, but it doesn’t mean that it has to be at your desk, head down, no interaction,” says dela Cruz. “It’s easy to come to work when it doesn’t feel like work.”

CHHMA members can benefit with exclusive rates from, Payworks. Click here to learn more.