What Canada’s Top 100 Workplaces Do Differently
Saying you value your employees means shizzle till you show it concretely. See what leading employers do.
Got what it takes to be a ballin’ workplace? The best employers flex like a Cirque du Soleil contortionist to engage staff.
Take winners of “Canada’s Top 100 Workplaces” 2019 competition. Each contestant’s measured on the same eight criteria (spelled out below, with examples). Learning from what these leaders are doing can prompt your own brainstorms.
Criterion 1: Physical Workplace
Dumpy and poorly designed offices suck. Toyota Motor Manufacturing Canada’s revved about that. Their site in Cambridge, Ontario, has as a fitness facility, employee lounge, quiet room, outdoor walking trails, sports facilities and a community garden.
Nearby in Toronto is Rogers Communications Inc. Their headquarters features quiet zones, interactive spaces and access to the latest tech.
Criterion 2: Work Atmosphere And Social
Happy workplaces are motivating. Ask software developer Innovatia Inc. Based in Saint John, New Brunswick, staff are cheered on to recruit friends via referral bonuses.
Socializing’s the ticket for Diamond Schmitt Architects back east. Namely a summer family picnic, a paid day off to ski and snowshoe, and an annual in-house pie tasting match. What, no pi calculating match?
Criterion 3: Health, Financial And Family Benefits
Wellness. Moolah. Time with family. Three crucial parts of work-life fulfillment. On the fitness front, leading accounting and consulting firm KPMG appointed its first chief mental health officer. A welcome step in reducing burnout.
L’Oréal Canada in Montreal does onsite daycare after parental leaves. Cisco Systems Canada increased mat leave top-up payments. Dads and adoptive parents get theirs too.
Financially, Vancouver City Savings Credit Union contributes to a defined benefit pension plan. Thomson Reuters Canada helps workers become owners through a share purchase program.
Criterion 4: Vacation And Time Off
Hats off to Desjardins Group of Lévis, Quebec. This credit union bumped up starting vacation for all employees to four weeks! Then there’s Verafin Inc., St. John’s. The financial software maker boasts no-limit vacation, reviewed case-by-case.
Criterion 5: Employee Communications
Some workplaces have annual staff gatherings. At Bank of Canada, nearly 1,400 of 1,700 attended. Labatt Brewing Co. connects and updates its people with monthly town-halls, quarterly pub gatherings and the annual National Commercial Conference. Tip o’ the glass to them.
Criterion 6: Performance Management
Salesforce, the relationship management (CRM) folk, gave the heave-ho to formal annual reviews. In their place? An in-house app for monthly two-way feedback between worker and boss.
Recognition-wise, Samsung Electronics Canada uses its online “U r Awesome” platform. Employees can nominate, shout out and even reward their peers.
Criterion 7: Training And Skills Development
Top employers aren’t shy about bulking up their staff’s abilities. Loblaw Cos. Ltd starts ‘em young. Students and new grads get hands-on experience with co-op placements and paid internships.
Mars Inc., purveyors of lip-smacking chocolate bars and snout snorting pet foods, hooks up staff with short-term assignments globally at partner organizations.
Criterion 8: Community Involvement
Millennials especially are moved by improving the world. Top employers are keen to lend a hand. Nature’s Path Foods Inc. is in Richmond, B.C. The food manufacturer aims for a zero-waste target. Check out their employee-managed onsite organic garden when visiting.
Xerox Canada’s Employee Initiated Philanthropy program gives bucks to non-profits where employees regularly volunteer. Other Besties offer paid volunteer days and donation matching.