The BEN Project : living Cascades’ values together

Employees in the plant

In 2007, we launched BEN, a project designed to share and promote the six core values of Cascades’ corporate culture with all our employees. Six years later, most of the Norampac plants have taken part in the project, and the few remaining ones will complete it over the course of 2013. To date, over 4 000 employees have gained a deeper knowledge of the company’s values, and have been able to create a new dynamic in their teams!

Project outline

The project consists of four stages:

1 – Survey: The first step is to survey the employees at the plant to evaluate their satisfaction in regard to each of the six values, as they are experienced at the plant.

2- BEN workshop: as part of a multidisciplinary team of 12 people, each employee participates in a two-day interactive multimedia training session.

3- BIP: teams are formed to participate in a Kaizen event to find solutions to problems identified in the survey and during the workshop.

4- Post-BEN survey: every two years, employees answer a survey to help us stay abreast of the progress made since the project’s inception.

A project that makes a difference

The key to BEN Project’s success is, without a doubt, employee participation. The plants with the highest success rates are those that have taken advantage of this opportunity to establish effective methods of communication with employees that help identify problem areas and allow for collaborative problem-solving. The comments we have received over the years indicate that the project has had a positive effect on the attitudes of many employees, who are now more open to change. The BEN Project has helped our senior employees adapt the company’s values to their new reality, and has initiated new employees into our unique corporate culture.

The results from the post-BEN survey carried out in the Norampac plants also point to a significant increase in employee satisfaction regarding the manner in which the values are experienced on a daily basis. Now that almost all of the workshops have been completed, our hope is that the project will live on through our employees and their actions. They have access to all kinds of tools to help them make improvements to their work environment. It’s up to them to take the initiatives that will bring about positive change.

Our values – Respect, autonomy, teamwork, communication, initiative, adaptability

Testimony from the Management Team at Norampac – Calgary 

“Here in Calgary, the BEN Project has been a very positive experience. The project gave us an opportunity to communicate in a context where everyone felt comfortable and on equal footing. Managers, supervisors and employees got to know each other better, and we realized that we really aren’t that different. We all have objectives, dreams and families. We all want to be appreciated and we want to have a goal in life. We also realized that we’re all Cascades employees and that we share the same values. The only difference is that we hold different positions within the company but, really, we have a lot in common. We all have a mortgage and kids, and we’re all working in the same direction because we want to make a difference. The BEN Project helped the Norampac – Calgary plant become a better organization,” said direction’s team.

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About the Author
Geneviève Boyer

Geneviève serves as the Communications Coordinator for Norampac, a corporate division of Cascades. She joined the team in 2006, not long after completing her studies at the Université de Montréal with a BA in Communications and Political Sciences. She also boasts a management degree from Montreal's HEC Business School. A dedicated humanitarian, Geneviève enjoys taking on a wide variety of challenges. "Communicating effectively within a corporation is a mission I take very much to heart, and one which covers a lot of different issues – including dealing with the media, day-to-day operations and employee concerns. I appreciate the opportunity I have been given, since the beginning of my career, to work for a company which fosters and encourages creativity. It's very satisfying, for example, to have had a personal influence on projects such as the videos we produce to ensure a safe, healthy work environment."

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