July 13, 2024

Advancing Corporate Yields

Pioneering Business Success

Saskatchewan Indian Gaming Authority values its staff | saskNOW | Saskatchewan

“There can be no bigger impact for an individual and their families than just having a good stable career,” says Hansen.

More than 65 per cent of employees are First Nation. “When the First Nations created SIGA almost 30 years ago, the main purpose was to create employment opportunity for First Nations people and reinvest in them,” Hansen explains. “We’re doing something right with our company and we’ve got a good strong track record of employee development.”

Desiree Gervais, vice-president of human resources, couldn’t agree more. “SIGA is committed to investing in employees,” she says. “We recognize and reward our employees for their performance and service by helping them build their professional development for success. We invest over $1 million a year in employee training and development.”

Miskâsowin is another guiding principle for SIGA. “This principle seeks to find value in one’s sense of origin and belonging, so that employees feel comfortable in their own skin,” Gervais says. “We want employees to feel comfort- able showing up to work as their true selves.”

First Nations culture is celebrated and encouraged throughout the year at SIGA. “You’ve got to have employees who have a great working environment and are well-supported, and who like being part of the company,” says Hansen. “When you achieve that, they respond and pay it forward with great service.”

That ties in with being an employer of choice, says Gervais. “The definition of employer of choice is we’re a company where people really want to work,” she says. “We have an annual employee engagement survey, and the results indicate that we have an engaged workforce, and we are our industry benchmark.”

Naturally, SIGA is dedicated to reconciliation. “Our commitment to the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s calls to action is something we promote,” says Gervais. “The last Friday of every month all employees are encouraged to wear an orange shirt to recognize Every Child Matters and orange shirt day.”

That effort involves the community as well, she adds. “Awareness of our employees and our patrons is really important in that reconciliation. A lot of our community investments and our business partnerships outside of employment extend to the communities in which we operate. We are definitely a top First Nation employer in the province.”

A successful gaming community is vital to SIGA, says Hansen. “Our community is our customers. They are very important. The casino gaming industry, hospitality and service are such an important foundation to the customers and their experience.”

SIGA offers a competitive rewards package. “We also have personal days to attend personal or cultural events,” says Gervais. “As well, each employee has core training and then has the option to apply for additional non-core training of $6,000 a year.”

She is passionate about the value of SIGA and its employees. “I like to refer to the company as the North Star for First Nation corporate enterprises, the guiding light as the top employer.”

**This article was submitted to paNOW”s commercial content division.