May 11, 2021
A Lifetime Passion for Human Resources: Meet Martin Durocher, VP of HR at Sleeman Breweries
Martin Durocher is the Vice President of Human Resources at Sleeman Breweries. Located in Guelph, Canada, Martin began his career journey with Sleeman Breweries nearly eight years ago.
Can you tell us a little about your career story? How did you get to where you are today?
I have spent my entire career working in Human Resources. Prior to working at Sleeman Breweries, I had many exciting experiences with former employers in the Federal Government and Financial Services sector, which allowed me to learn all aspects of HR — including recruitment, training and development, organizational development, and employee relations.
These opportunities allowed me to take on roles of greater scope and responsibility. I was able to take all this experience to Sleeman Breweries when I first joined the team as HR Manager for Ontario/Atlantic.
Why did you join Sleeman Breweries?
The answer is an obvious one for me. I joined Sleeman Breweries because it’s a great industry to be part of. I was also excited by the prospect of the projects I’d have the opportunity to work on.When I first joined the team, there were some gaps in the pre-existing HR policies, systems, and programs, and the idea of being part of the team that would address these gaps was a challenge I was looking forward to.
Can you tell us about what your team works on?
The HR team at Sleeman Breweries is first and foremost a partner to the business. We provide support and develop policies, programs, and initiatives in a number of areas including:
- Employee and labour relations
- Corporate communications
- Talent management
- Diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI)
- Organizational development
- Data and analytics
- Disability management
- And more!
Why do you think it’s exciting to be part of your team?
Over the last several years, we have laid the foundation for our HR systems, policies, and programs. Along the way we introduced a number of best-in-class programs around talent management, and have developed employee development content and tools.
Now that our foundation is solid, we are at a point where we can increase our focus on our DEI and wellness programs. There are a number of areas where we can continue to work strategically and add value to the organization and to our employees.
How would you describe the culture at Sleeman Breweries?
Our culture is collaborative and collegial. When I first joined Sleeman Breweries, I would reach out to leaders in various departments to ask for their time so that I could learn more about their area of expertise, understand what was working well, and where there were challenges. Each one of them made time for me and were proud to speak about their roles and how they contributed to our success.
We have a lot of passionate people in our organization who are not afraid to roll up their sleeves, regardless of their title, to make sure we all succeed together.
Why should people want to join the Sleeman team and who do you think succeeds here?
First, Sleeman Breweries provides unique and competitive employment terms, including programs to support employee development. It may not be the obvious answer, but it’s an important one in order to attract the best talent.
Beyond this, our size plays an important part in our success as it allows our employees to have the opportunity to work on a variety of projects. We’re also fortunate to have supportive ownership who is willing to make significant contributions to ensure we remain a leader in a very competitive industry.
Lastly, at the end of the day, we make beer!
Thanks for sharing your journey with us, Martin!