Staff at the Windsong site, Airdrie, AB
Group of Companies
The Borger Team Makes it All Possible Written by John Hardy | Photos by Bookstrucker Photography
he milestone 95th anniversary of the Borger Group of Companies is a testimonial to the power of teamwork and a celebration of remarkable staff. The dynamic, Alberta-based, fourth-generation, family-owned and operated construction company – with its roots dating back to Winnipeg in 1919 – has now grown into a diverse business with a staff of 300 whose hard work, skill, dedication and quality of service continues to not only earn the trust and loyalty of Alberta developers, municipalities and engineers but grows the Borger reputation as a respected leader in Canada’s underground infrastructure, earth moving and transportation industries. “And it’s all because of our team! They not only make the difference, they ARE the difference,” says Bill Borger Jr., the high-energy president of the Borger Group of Companies.
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Bill Borger Jr., president of the Borger Group of Companies
The Calgary-based company’s volume of projects and its broad client base is a reflection of the Borger Group’s emphasis on uncompromised service and efficiency, the solid company focus and production methodology, the reliability of the more than 200 pieces of equipment and, most importantly, the Borger employees not only earning the company’s success but delivering the quickest project turnaround in the industry. Last year was a record for market share in all Borger Group divisions. And 2014 is already a busy year of exciting new projects, expansion working toward a forecast of about 20 per cent growth. “It may seem like just a nice and polite thing to say, but it’s absolutely and unconditionally true,” the president says with genuine pride. “Our Borger team not only makes our success happen, they also make working here rewarding and fun.” The company-employee relationship is a vital aspect of the Borger Group history and current formula for business success. Bill Borger Jr. cites from a long and innova-
tive menu of the company’s staff-focused priorities and without hesitation, he is adamant about the company’s unconditional top priority: safety! “The safety of our staff is paramount. It’s well known that the construction business is a very, very dangerous business. And it’s not just a stereotype. It’s disturbing and tragic that, in the last six years, the Alberta construction industry has had a rising number of fatalities,” he says with concern. All the care and prevention possible doesn’t change the normal and unpredictable risks of working on construction. The physicality of the work. The hazards. The materials. The large equipment. It’s a rough and tough workplace. Although safety has always been a big focus for the family-owned construction company, Bill Borger Jr. admits that, inside the business, creating a culture of safety can sometimes be a challenge. “Daily we have Borger staff going up and down icy ditches and manoeuvring on frozen pipe in the howling, brutal thick
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CONGRATULATIONS TO THE BORGER GROUP OF COMPANIES FOR 95 YEARS OF EXCELLENCE. At Finning, our strength and success comes from the customers we serve and an army of dedicated employees driven to help them succeed every day. We don’t take words like partnership, loyalty and dedication for granted because they’re at the very heart of everything we do. We’ve seen the Borger Group of Companies grow using these same fundamental principles. Technology and faces may change, but basics like hard work, partnership and loyalty never waver. Juan Carlos Villegas President Finning Canada Chief Operating Officer Finning International
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…the superb and innovative Borger team spirit manages to shine and transform the company’s safety record into an exciting (and fun) staff-incentive program.
of frigid winter or dealing with mud and extreme heat while moving mountains of soil and gravel and working under overhead cranes in sweltering summer.” Since the early days of Alberta’s construction industry, when most companies had basic and superficial safety rules and recommendations – like mandatory hard hats, steel-toed boots, work gloves, eventually harnesses and various bits of safety gear – Borger has uncompromisingly prioritized employee safety. “Regardless of on-site situations, details and routine risks of the construction business, it’s very personal for us. We want nothing to do with anybody getting hurt. We want everyone going home safe.” In addition to safety being a key corporate focus, he credits the company’s positive safety record to the hard work, creativity and commitment of the company’s safety team. “Safety is a vital example of what matters most for us and it is one of the key aspects of our corporate culture.” And it’s working! In 2013 the Borger Group won the Canada’s Safest Employers - Silver Medal and also
acquired two sizable construction projects, directly as a result of its safety programs and strong safety record. Morale and the employee relationship factor prominently in the Borger Group’s priority of maximizing employee safety. Since the employee’s performance-based bonus is pegged mostly on production and safety, the individual’s safety record can boost or reduce the actual amount of the bonus. Refreshingly, even on a serious and urgent topic like employee safety, the superb and innovative Borger team spirit manages to shine and transform the company’s safety record into an exciting (and fun) staff-incentive program. Last year, the company set a safety target of 1,500 days with no time-loss accidents (work-related injuries that hinder employees from performing their duties the day after the accident) in each of Borger’s three divisions. Aside from the vital benefit of making for a safer workplace, when the target was achieved last October, the company surprised employees and underscored the safety
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Municipal and Industrial Products From supplying water and wastewater supplies to the turnkey development of multi-utility systems, we work closely with our clients to develop and deliver efficient, cost-effective solutions. CORIX Water Products congratulates Borger Group of Companies on 95 years of success! We look forward to many more years of continued partnership.
Building a World of Sustainable Communities
The best success stories are the ones written right here Congratulations to Borger Group of Companies on 95 years in business. Your hard work and commitment embodies all that makes Western Canada a great place to live, work and play. We look forward to helping you reach even loftier heights to come.
Calgary Main: 606-4 Street SW / P: 403.262.8700 / cwbank.com
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A unique dimension of the Borger Group’s outlook, attitude and corporate culture is genuine sensitivity about what employees think and feel. “It matters a lot. Corporately and personally, we take staff opinions and comments very seriously,” says Bill Borger Jr.
incentive with an element of team-building fun. As a thank you (and congratulations) each employee received two tickets to the Stampeders’ Western CFL final football game, complete with a big Borger Group tailgate party for 700 employees and guests, including face-painters, jugglers and loot bags full of Borger swag proudly labelled “1,500 days.” This year, the company is upping the incentive ante and targeting 2,500 days with no time-loss accidents. No word yet (not even enthusiastic Bill Borger Jr. is hinting) about possible surprises if the ambitious safety target is met. As of May, the total was more than 2,000 days. “The key is not just the fun of throwing a big party as appreciation for staff achieving safety targets. It’s not as if we’re not saving the money in WCB (Workers’ Compensation Board) premiums. It’s much more important than that,” he adds. “The team is making this a safe and a great place to work.” A unique dimension of the Borger Group’s outlook, attitude and corporate culture is genuine sensitivity about what employees think and feel. “It matters a lot. Corporately and personally, we take staff opinions and comments very seriously.” “Two years ago our annual employee survey responses indicated that some workers, particularly the crews in the workplace, didn’t always feel respected at work. Whether it was the pressure of tight timelines or the foreman pushing hard to meet project deadlines,” Bill Borger Jr. recalls. “How could we focus on getting the work done
without compromising respect for the individual?” Last April, as a direct result of survey comments, the Borger Group was the first Canadian construction company to implement a Respect in the Workplace program, to promote a workplace free from harassment and bullying. The respect-sensitivity training consists of a three-hour online course every three years. It is mandatory for all staff, including senior management. The company’s weekly SPC award recognizes the employees who contribute to the company’s safety, production and cost savings and the winner is announced each Monday, along with a safety tip of the week, in a phone call directly from Bill Borger Jr. that is broadcast to all Borger staff. This year, the Borger Group (recently recognized as one of Canada’s Best Managed Companies) harnessed new technology to not only increase its efficiency and quality of service but applied technology to boost its industry-leading employee-relationship approach with the introduction of the employee web portal on the Borger website. The state-of-the art employee tool enables each member of the Borger team to stay up to date with Borger special events, maintain their Borger employee profile, track and calculate their hour bank, track earned bonus calculations, track no time loss and workloads, access newsletters, check internal career postings and also lets employees review the latest innovation in Borger’s exciting and unique team spirit: Borger Bucks.
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It recognizes outstanding individual employee efforts, including SPC awards, longevity, client commendations, outstanding service and more. Borger Bucks get banked in the employee’s individual web portal account and they can spend to buy special perks like hockey, football and concert tickets, travel discounts, gift cards for shopping or dining out and buying popular Borger swag like logo’d golf shirts, golf balls, tote bags, jackets, caps, hoodies and more directly from the Borger online store. In contrast to Bill Borger Jr.’s supercharged private and professional Type A personality and his driven weakness for ‘doing’ and challenges, he is mellowed and gratified when talking about the Borger team. “This is truly a remarkable company,” he says with admiration.“ Seventy per cent of the senior staff has worked in the
field, 93 per cent of management positions are promoted from within and well over 50 per cent of our current staff is part of their own family’s multigenerational commitment to our company. “The most recent employee survey is a reflection of just how the team makes this company such a terrifically great place to work. Despite the sometimes difficult and nasty weather, the rough and gruelling hard work that is construction and other occupational hazards, 93 per cent of our employees responded that stated that it is fun to work at Borger, 97 per cent plan to be working at Borger in 12 months. When asked ‘How likely you are to recommend Borger as a place to work?’ (with 10 being most likely) 85 per cent scored a seven out of 10 or higher!” Bill Borger Jr. smiles and nods. “Our team makes it all possible and they make it all worthwhile.” •
Group of Companies
www.borger.ca | 403. 279.7235
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