With 50 years in Beauce, Raymond Chabot Grant Thornton has regularly been at the heart of the region’s entrepreneurial activity. If our partners and professionals play an important role in terms of the firm’s influence and business development, then our administrative team plays a crucial role in ensuring that activities are properly carried out, thereby contributing directly to our organization’s efficiency and success. They’re often at the frontlines with our clients, and are the eyes and ears of an organization. “Raymond Chabot Grant Thornton is proud that it can count on quality employees who prioritize the success of the firm and its clients. During this year of celebration, we’d like to highlight the exemplary work of our administrative staff. They play an essential role in the firm’s growth,” states Rémi Fortin, Partner in Charge of the Beauce offices. He continues, “It’s important to thank all of our staff who, day after day, are present and spread their good cheer to the workplace and clients.”
Below is an exchange between two long-standing administrative assistants who share the various facets of their day-to-day life, as well as memories and anecdotes that have marked their path at Raymond Chabot Grant Thornton to date.
Making Primary Contact
“As an administrative assistant in the assurance sector for 30 years now, I can assure you that satisfaction is among the top objectives at the Saint-Joseph offices,” states Annie Lessard who, from the get-go, emphasizes Raymond Chabot Grant Thornton’s customer-service focus. Customer satisfaction is at the core of the firm’s culture and the basis for all of its relationships. “We can show clients that our relationship is more than just business through our happy smiles and other friendly gestures during their visits, special events and invitations to various activities. These ties make all the difference,” adds France Poulin, administrative assistant at the Saint-Georges office for the past 25 years. The dynamics between Raymond Chabot Grant Thornton’s clients and its staff reveal a mutual respect and relationship of trust. “Clients are happy, they joke with us and ask us how we’re doing. To offer them exceptional service, the partners ensure that their needs are promptly met. And before moving on to the serious side of things, they ask how the client is doing and establish a climate of trust.”
At the Centre of the Action
As part of their work, Annie and France are often at the centre of the action. The firm likes clients to participate in the various events it organizes— events, unveiling of new offices. France remembers when the Saint-Georges offices were inaugurated in 2011. Over 200 people attended the cocktail event along with the Raymond Chabot Grant Thornton team. Annie remembers a brunch organized in June as part of the firm’s 50th anniversary festivities in Beauce that was a resounding success, attracting over 220 clients and business partners.
Annie also emphasizes the importance that the firm places on the community, “Our office is very proud of our social commitment objective.” Illustrating this commitment, the Beauce staff brought together 300-plus employees from the Québec City–Chaudière-Appalaches, Mauricie and Nicolet regions as part of Community Day on September 23, 2016 to lend a hand to Louise Brissette, founder of Les Enfants d’amour, by working on her property in Saint-Anselme.
A Feeling of Camaraderie
As Raymond Chabot Grant Thornton has been in the Beauce region for five decades, memories and amusing anecdotes abound. The administrative assistant position includes a variety of responsibilities, including managing the alarm system which can lead to some mishaps. As France remembers, “One day, I changed the alarm system codes but I gave the wrong code to one person. So when she showed up at the office, the alarm went off. She called me and I could hear the alarm beeping loudly in the background!” Annie also recalls some comical situations, “I remember a story involving our colleague Yves Gilbert. One Friday, he stepped out and we took control of his computer remotely. When he came back and wanted to open a program, we moved the mouse by a few centimetres. The following Friday, we did the same thing, but this time using the computer mic. He said that he wanted to change computers because his computer was talking to him and he had problems with it every Friday!”
A feeling of camaraderie within a team often leads to colleagues playing innocent tricks on one another. Annie laughs, remembering some April Fools’ pranks, “Our phones and mouses were stuck into place with tape. Our pens were gone, computers were unplugged, the heater was cranked to the max.”
A Different Kind of Team
These strong ties between clients and partners, customer-focus and desire to make a difference in the community are but a few of Raymond Chabot Grant Thornton’s values shared by its employees. Annie explains, “A strong relationship and team spirit have developed over the years between staff and this makes our team different.” Each office organizes team-building activities. “In Saint-Georges, every month we organize a lunch for people celebrating birthdays and we hold a happy hour event before the vacation period and when someone passes a major exam. What’s different and unique about our organization is the feeling of belonging, the collaboration between team members and the support from partners,” adds France.
The dedication of Raymond Chabot Grant Thornton staff to clients is closely linked to the relationships developed over the years. As France puts it quite simply, “Their business is at the heart of what we do.” Working in Beauce rather than a large city means it’s easier to establish long-term relationships. She continues, “We have more contact with clients, since there are more opportunities to see them outside of the office. They become more than just business contacts.”
Raymond Chabot Grant Thornton is a constantly growing and evolving firm. Of course, the work of administrative staff has changed over the years. For example, work and communication tools have changed in tandem with business practices. Annie states, “During my years within the firm, we’ve had to adapt to the technology that replaced correcting typewriters and 14-column spreadsheets.” It’s clear that Beauce staff are always up to meeting new challenges. She concludes, “Don’t forget that the people of Beauce are known for their dynamic, bold and ambitious spirit. We need to contend with the new generation!”