At AIMCo, you can work your way with Work Our Way

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The pandemic took many workplaces by surprise, with management scrambling to take measures and, a few years later, many deciding to reverse changes to the work environment. For the Alberta Investment Management Corporation (AIMCo), things have unfolded differently.

A plan called Work Our Way has instituted a permanent hybrid work model that allows AIMCo employees to alter work hours or work remotely. According to Krista Pell, chief people, culture and engagement officer, it’s about giving employees clear performance expectations and then supporting employees with the autonomy to decide how to meet those expectations.

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“Work Our Way was introduced during the pandemic, but it wasn’t really a response to the pandemic,” says Pell. “Our new CEO had already introduced a hybrid approach at his previous organization and was bringing the same thing to AIMCo. It was a part of his cultural mandate.”

Edmonton-based AIMCo is one of Canada’s largest and most diversified institutional investment managers, with $158 billion in assets under management at the beginning of 2023. A provincial Crown corporation, it invests globally on behalf of 17 pension, endowment, insurance and government funds in Alberta.

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“Our focus is on delivering results for clients — that being Albertans,” says Pell. “We want our employees to feel like they can be their best selves. The Work Our Way model allows people to excel, both from a personal and a professional perspective, where we’re delivering the best for our clients.”

Work Our Way is just part of the initiative. AIMCo also looks to foster a culture of learning and growth by creating programs that employees can use to develop skills and tap into education assistance programs. “We’re committed, not just to organizational learning, but to each employee having the opportunity to develop self,” says Pell.

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Senior business analyst Nina Benvenuto has been with AIMCo for more than five years. In that time, she has moved between teams and departments several times, looking for positions that brought her closer to management and took advantage of her skills with people. Each time, the transition has been seamless, she says.

“I’ve never had a manager try to box me in,” says Benvenuto. “They always talked about where I wanted to be in a year, in two years, in five years. Then they would help me get to that point. That’s been a huge part of my growth and development here at AIMCo — the support of my managers.”

Pell notes that in the past year, AIMCo has developed a career tool kit to chart ways that people can move across disciplines. “It’s a big part of our internal promotion and development,” she says.

At the same time, AIMCo developed three key emerging talent education programs within the fiduciary management, investment management and internal auditing and risk income groups. “They are designed as rotational learning programs, to allow people to learn and potentially move into a different space,” says Pell.

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Benvenuto can see her career goals ahead of her for the next several years. AIMCo has also become an important part of her life outside work. She has been part of the company’s social committee, working to plan and organize company picnics, golf tournaments, movie events and holiday parties. She has also organized AIMCo’s entry in the Edmonton Corporate Challenge for the past five years.

“I’ve made so many friends at AIMCo over the years,” she says. “I love bonding with them over different initiatives, the different social events we organize together. There are so many opportunities where people can get together and create a really great culture.”

This story was produced by Mediacorp in partnership with Postmedia, on behalf of the Alberta Investment Management Corporation.

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