Since first taking to the skies over 40 years ago, St. John’s-based PAL has grown into a multifaceted, international aerospace, aviation and technology company employing over 1,400 people around the world. Throughout the company’s history, the ingenuity and innovative spirit of PAL’s employees have been critical to its success.
Appreciating the advantages that come from building a diverse and engaged workforce, PAL has devoted significant effort to encouraging skills development, lifelong learning and career progression within the company. Again recognized as one of Atlantic Canada’s Top Employers in 2020, PAL is following through on its commitment to employees by emphasizing inward and upward mobility throughout the organization.
“One of our great strengths as an employer is the variety of opportunities we are able to offer employees through our global operations,” says Lisa Sparkes, Senior Vice-President of Human Resources at PAL. “We’ve really focused on building capacity and programing to help our employees chart their course for career progression through our various business units. We want to give employees a chance to choose, depending on the experiences or challenges they’ll find most engaging, how they can best contribute to PAL while growing within the company.”
To further encourage engagement, development and retention, PAL is working to make sure that employees throughout the organization stay connected to the company by understanding and building on the value proposition it offers to employees. “We want people to come to work at PAL and to stay with PAL,” says Sparkes. “In exchange for that commitment from our employees, we need to understand what’s unique and attractive about our workplace and we have to be committed to improving ourselves as an employer.”
In that respect, PAL is focused on making sure that employees understand and are inspired by the challenges the company takes on every day, whether that’s conceptualizing, designing and delivering the Force Multiplier—an on-demand contract intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (ISR) platform for both domestic and international special missions; or partnering with Airbus on the Fixed Wing Search and Rescue program supporting C295W aircraft across Canada; or winning best FBO in Canada at its St. John’s location; or winning Bombardier’s on-time performance award for the 6th time.
PAL also emphasizes balancing opportunities with rewards. The company takes a holistic approach to supporting an employee’s career journey with competitive pay, fulsome family benefits, support for retirement, consideration of healthy work-life balance and awesome travel benefits.
Finally, PAL has come to appreciate the importance of the connection between employees and the communities they live in. To foster that connection, PAL sponsors and encourages employee participation in several charitable initiatives including support for Ronald McDonald House charities, Children’s Wish NL and the PAL Kite Festival, an annual event in St. John’s that donates all proceeds to a charity chosen by PAL employees.
“Our workforce is determined to be involved and make a difference outside of the workplace as well,” Sparkes says. “That’s why we engage in extensive community initiatives that focus on giving back. Our people expect it of us and we’re more than happy to provide those opportunities.”
“We’ve spent a lot of time thinking about why people should want to work at PAL companies,” concludes Sparkes. “It’s important to have good answers for why someone should come and work at PAL and why someone should stay at PAL. We think we have a unique and attractive package to offer and while we’re always improving, we’re very proud of what we’ve built so far.” •