Nearly a year ago, our world changed. Few of us knew much, if anything, about the COVID-19 virus that would soon transform our social interactions, our economy and our lives. But we soon got a crash course in epidemiology and terms such as ‘social distancing’ as the federal and provincial governments acted quickly to lockdown our communities and introduce sweeping health and safety measures. Through it all, Wincon Security guards and supervisors were on the coronavirus pandemic frontlines.

Our employees responded with professionalism, hard work and a dedication to excellence that was beyond exceptional—it was a true embodiment of our focus on providing the very best customer service experience our industry has to offer. To a person, our team exemplified our ‘Built on Service. Driven by Culture’ company mantra. My gratitude goes out to all of our employees for their ongoing support and efforts to continue improving our client experience. But in the midst of a tumultuous year, the work of two of our staff truly stood out.

I’m pleased to introduce our 2020 employees of the year: Supervisor Darrell Chen and security guard Robert Bruce.

You may notice a change from previous years when we acknowledged only one employee. This year we decided that it was important to ensure that a member of our leadership team also got the nod for their outstanding work.

In Darrell’s case, his management of a seven-person security team throughout the pandemic at GE’s Markham facility was nothing short of remarkable. Not that we’d expect anything different. Over his four-year career with Wincon, Darrell’s communication skills, leadership and problem-solving abilities have set the standard for others to follow. COVID may have put Darrell to the test, but he stepped up and responded to every challenge.

Wincon Darrell Chen 1

“Over the past year, we had to find different ways to provide safety and security,” he says. “We had to train additional guards, work with the EHS and occupational safety committees at GE, reinforce masking policies and work to develop methods to efficiently screen employees and delivery people every day. Our team is always great at communication and has a positive attitude, so by being proactive and planning for different workplace situations, we were able to make a tough situation as seamless as possible for our client.”

By keeping up the spirits of his team and showing appreciation for their work, Darrell reminded us all that it’s possible to turn a challenging situation into one for growth and development.

Wincon Robert Bruce 1

Our 2020 Guard of the Year Robert Bruce showed the same willingness to step up and adapt, but in a very different setting over the past year. As a guard at some of Etobicoke’s larger condominium towers, Robert had a front row seat as the move to remote work took centre stage during the early days of the COVID-19 lockdown. Suddenly, thousands of residents were working—and both caring for and teaching their children—from home. Access to everything from building amenities to the neighbourhood grocery store were instantly restricted.

Even as tensions ran high, Robert met residents with his trademark smile and pleasant demeanour, and was able to make their day a little bit brighter simply by doing his job well. Efficiency was key.

“At a certain point we had to start screening people for COVID-19 when they entered the building, but due to the volume of residents coming in and out—not to mention parcel or food delivery people and visitors—we needed to process people as quickly as we could,” Robert recalls. “Adjusting to that was a challenge.”

Wincon Robert Bruce 2

That meant going to extraordinary lengths such as conducting temperature checks and even calling residents to pick up food deliveries in the lobby as part of the condo’s coronavirus protocols. Through it all, Robert’s ability to anticipate both the condo property manager and residents’ needs, and to address potential issues before they arose, proved the difference.

On behalf of the entire leadership team here at Wincon, I’d like to congratulate Darrell and Robert for this achievement and thank them for their exemplary work. And while I’ve said it before, it’s worth reiterating that our entire team has gone above and beyond throughout the COVID-19 crisis. If I had to choose a word to sum up my feelings about our performance as a company, it would be: proud.

Proud that we’ve confronted one of the most difficult challenges of our generation and managed to succeed. Proud that we’ve actually improved our service offering in the face of some very big obstacles. And proud that our clients and industry partners were able to rely on us to meet their needs, no matter the circumstances.

As we progress further into 2021, I only have one more thing to add: Let’s keep up the great work together!

Winston Stewart, President and CEO

Wincon Security

When we adopted our new company motto last year, we wanted to highlight the value we place not only on providing the very best service to our customers, but also the workplace experience that we offer to our employees.

In that sense, Built on service. Driven by culture is far more than a tagline. It’s a philosophy that guides all of our decisions here at Wincon Security. By hiring the very best people and building an inclusive and diverse workforce that’s encouraged to innovate and raise their voices when things are going right—and in those rare instances when they may be going wrong—we’ve managed to build a positive and highly engaged workplace culture. It’s one that we work hard each day to protect and improve.

But every company has its challenges, and we’re not immune to ours, either. As we’ve grown, not all of our hires have been the right fit. Some haven’t lived up to the core values that we simply refuse to compromise as an organization. That’s why we’ve had to make tough decisions at times, parting ways with individuals who didn’t always live up to those standards, or who failed to treat our employees with the respect and appreciation they deserve.

We’re prepared to take steps to ensure that our staff feel comfortable and safe on the job, all so they can achieve their full workplace potential in a dynamic, fun and supportive environment.

On that note, we’re pleased to announce the launch of the Wincon Whistleblower Program. The initiative is intended to provide employees with an outlet to express concerns or report specific incidents of harassment, abuse or mistreatment while on the job. Staff can email us using the address [email protected] to voice their concerns.

Our message to employees is best summed up with a play on an old adage: if you see (or experience) something you shouldn’t, say something. We’re about ensuring fairness, ethical and moral behaviour in our work environment, and if any lines have been crossed, we want to know. Emails to the account will be handled anonymously, so staff needn’t feel intimidated to come forward. It’s important to note that we’re committed to addressing employee concerns in a timely way. Allegations will be investigated and matters will be escalated through the appropriate channels, as necessary. To ensure transparency and accountability, the findings of any workplace investigation will be reported to all parties involved in the matter.

Because the vast majority of our employees work at client sites most of the time, the Whistleblower Program is designed to provide an outlet to highlight negative or unwelcome interactions they may have with any of the stakeholders they encounter during the course of their work day—including clients, colleagues, third-party contractors or other suppliers.

If, for any reason, staff don’t want to approach their supervisor with serious issues, the Whistleblower Program is their outlet to voice concerns. It’s not intended to be used as a tool to raise questions or concerns about day-to-day operational issues such as scheduling. Those matters should still be discussed and addressed with the employee’s direct supervisor.

Importantly, we believe our whistleblower initiative will not only set the conditions to create an even safer workplace environment here at Wincon, but we also believe it will enhance our service offering and create a far better experience for our customers. The happier, more engaged and satisfied our employees can be in their work, the better they’ll perform. I think we can all agree that this exciting new program also enhances our business by ensuring that our values are not only upheld, but that they continue to be aligned with those of our clients.

Because nothing is more important to us as a company than protecting people, property and assets, while also defending our company culture. It’s a responsibility that we take seriously and actively embrace.

Winston Stewart

President and CEO