First American Cultivates Excellence, Fosters Inclusion and Gives Back

by Jan/Feb 2024


First American Equipment Finance, an RBC/City National Company, demonstrates the transformative power of a purpose-driven company culture. With almost three decades of experience, the company has maintained a commitment to its clients, colleagues and communities, striving to be the best company to work with and for.

Investing in the Most Valuable Asset: People
First American’s people-focused culture involves initiatives that support employee well-being, satisfaction and development. From a $20,000/year MBA financial support program to providing fresh fruit on Tuesdays, subsidized safe rides home and unlimited sick time off, the company helps ensure its employees feel valued and supported in both their personal and professional lives. Other benefits include a free onsite gym, standing desks, a fully paid parental leave policy and subsidies towards licensed daycare costs.

The company’s Women in Business employee resource group is an example of First American’s commitment to creating an environment where everyone feels respected, included and heard. This group addresses gender diversity and concentrates on professional and personal growth, allyship, community engagement and the unique challenges faced by women in sales. By fostering such groups and regularly hosting events, all colleagues can contribute to strengthening diversity, equity and inclusion across the organization.

Company Values Guide Success
The company’s core values — be positive, earn relationships, strive for excellence and take action (B.E.S.T.) — are not just buzzwords, but guiding principles woven into the fabric of First American’s culture. The company promotes these colleague-created values through its peer-nominated ‘BESTie’ awards, recognizing and celebrating individuals who exemplify these principles.

From office design to communication forums, the company prioritizes a culture of openness and connectedness. Monthly all-hands meetings, plus annual kickoff and mid-year meetings ensure clear goal alignment and foster camaraderie between colleagues. A flat organizational structure ensures that every colleague, regardless of title, has direct access to peers and leadership. “Creating a winning culture starts with transparency and open communication across the organization,” CEO Alan Sikora said. “This approach builds trust, promotes collaboration and inspires each colleague to take ownership in driving the success of the business. The result is a group of genuine professionals who are engaged, passionate and innovative.”

A Commitment to Learning and Development
First American encourages a culture of continuous learning. The available mentor programs and learning management system, FA University, provide resources for personal and professional development. Colleagues are empowered to explore short-term assignments in different departments, broadening their skills and perspectives. The company’s commitment to learning not only enhances individual growth but also contributes to the organization’s overall innovation and adaptability.

First American actively seeks and values employee feedback, deploying a loyalty-specific survey twice per year. This feedback loop, including questions about future employment intentions and improvement suggestions, is crucial for maintaining a positive workplace and retaining top talent.

A Culture That Gives Back
Integral to First American’s culture is its commitment to corporate social responsibility. The Corporate Citizenship Team, a colleague-led initiative, serves as a platform to give back to the community. The company’s ‘captain your cause’ mindset empowers employees to champion causes they care about, supported by 16 hours of paid volunteer time off each year. •

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