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a Introduction: About this year’s competition


Methodology: How the winners were selected


The full list: Canada’s Top 100 Employers (2015)


C O - P U B L I S H E D B Y:

p Employees at the Bank of Canada, one of this year’s winners


What’s the chance that your employee’s medical diagnosis is Wrong?

a. 9% B. 16% c. 27% Answer: C. 27%*

the answer may surprise you, but the complexity and challenges of our healthcare system can lead to greater instances of misdiagnosis and ineffective treatment plans. Best Doctors can help organizations, employees and their physicians make the right call when it matters most. Starting with a phone call, we can conduct an in-depth review of a member’s medical case, by a specialist in that condition. With the top 5% of practising physicians reviewing medical cases, your employees get to tap into the best medical minds in the world, so that they can make informed healthcare decisions that impact productivity, absenteeism and morale. To find out more about how Best Doctors can help your employees today, call 1-877-419-2378 or email *Source: Best Doctors Canada 2013 data.






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Karen Le,


Editorial Team:

Richard Yerema,


Kristina Leung,


Advertising Sales:

Gottfried Wirth,


Kristen Chow,


Erika Lang,


Mary Harris,


Amy Wong,


Stephanie Smith,


Penny Deveaux,


Sponsor Content Writers:


Michael Benedict Brian Bergman Ann Brocklehurst Jane Doucet Sheldon Gordon D’Arcy Jenish John Schofield Barbara Wickens

© 2014 Mediacorp Canada Inc. and The Globe and Mail. All rights reserved. CANADA’S TOP 100 EMPLOYERS is a registered trade mark of Mediacorp Canada Inc.

p Employees at TELUS Corporation, one of this year’s winners



his year marks the 15th anniversary of the Canada’s Top 100 Employers competition and we are delighted to present our 2015 winners. What began as a small editorial project has become an annual catalogue of best practices, followed nationally by employers and job-seekers in equal measure. For employers, our annual competition has become a reliable way to benchmark their programs and policies against what the best employers offer. At its essence, our Canada's Top 100 Employers project aims to raise the bar for employers by shining a light on the most innovative workplace practices and progressive HR policies. Our editors don’t look for costly initiatives, but thoughtful and cost-effective approaches that other employers can emulate. For job-seekers, the goal of our editorial project has always been to help working Canadians understand the language of workplace practices and HR policies. Being familiar with what the best employers offer in terms of, for example, vacation allowance or paid maternity leave, helps job-seekers make better decisions when it comes to choosing an employer. As job-seekers become increasingly aware of good workplace policies, more employers adopt these practices – and the bar gets higher for employers to land a spot on the Canada's Top 100 Employers list. This year's list was by far the most competitive our editorial team has judged. The HR programs and policies offered by our 2015 winners are strong across the board – so much so that our editors now identify new norms and thresholds across the eight key areas our competition measures. What starts as an innovative drop in the water that one employer begins, quickly becomes a ripple.

This year, we are fortunate to be able to announce our 2015 winners in this beautiful new magazine co-published with The Globe and Mail. It’s a significant undertaking for our small editorial organization to publish a magazine read by more than a million people in a single day. We are grateful for the interest that so many have shown in our project – of course, we are not immune from improvement and we welcome your feedback and suggestions. We encourage you to visit us online to learn more about why each of the employers in this magazine was selected. Each year, our editorial team writes more than 400,000 words explaining why the winning employers were chosen. We publish these reasons to provide transparency in the selection of winners and encourage other employers to emulate their best-practices. Our complete 2015 editorial “Reasons for Selection” were released today at

Call for Applications To have your organization considered for next year’s Canada’s Top 100 Employers competition, please contact our editors:



ach of the 100 winners of Canada’s Top 100 Employers (2015) has a story to tell. It’s about how these industry leaders have made their companies exceptional places to work with some of the best HR practices and most innovative initiatives, all valued by their employees. In fact, many initiatives come from the employees themselves, empowering them in the workplace. That translates into a more engaged work force and higher company morale, in addition to being a great tool for attracting and retaining this country’s top talent.

Canada’s Top 100 Employers is a national competition now entering its 16th year. Any employer with its head office or principal place of business in Canada may apply regardless of size, or whether private or public sector. While there are many reasons why these companies were judged to be the best in their field by Mediacorp Canada’s selection team, we’ve published just one from each organization to illustrate the variety of benefits and ways that companies can make working conditions better. Transparency about the reasons for selection means the competition

q Actor Benedict Cumberbatch at the Toronto International Film Festival in September

shines a light on progressive employers while allowing other organizations to discover, and hopefully emulate, what they are doing. As Mediacorp’s editorial team has observed, there is often a ripple effect where employers appear to learn from one another, creating new norms over time and, in some cases, raising expectations, such as for parental leave top-ups and three-week vacation starts. There are always new ways to improve, whether through small or large changes, on how something can be done. – Diane Jermyn MARK BLINCH/REUTERS

5 CAMPBELL COMPANY OF CANADA, Toronto. Food preparation and packaging; 719 employees. Offers generous tuition subsidies for job-related courses, subsidies for professional accreditation and mentoring opportunities. CANADIAN NATIONAL RAILWAY COMPANY / CN, Montreal. Railroads; 16,582 employees. Head office amenities include a quiet room for meditation or religious observance, fitness facility and a cafeteria featuring healthy and special diet menus.

CANADA’S TOP 100 EMPLOYERS (2015) p Participants rev up for the start of the CIBC Run for the Cure in Toronto in support of the Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation

3M CANADA COMPANY, London, Ont. Technology manufacturing; 1,831 employees. Manages an academic scholarship program for children of employees who are pursuing postsecondary education in Canada.


BORIGINAL PEOPLES TELEVISION NETWORK INC. / APTN, Winnipeg. Television broadcasting; 140 employees. Supports ongoing employee development through subsidies for tuition and professional accreditation, career planning, formal mentoring and in-house training programs. ACCENTURE INC., Toronto. Management consulting; 3,623 employees. Manages an enlightened “Inventor Award Program” that offers financial awards to those who create patentable assets. AGRICULTURE FINANCIAL SERVICES CORP. / AFSC, Lacombe Alta. Credit intermediation; 503 employees. Actively seeks experienced adjusters for their knowledge, with the average age for adjusters being 53 years.

AGRIUM INC., Calgary. Nitrogenous fertilizer manufacturing; 3,774 employees. Lets everyone share in the company’s success with profit sharing available to all employees. AIR CANADA, Montreal. Air transportation; 22,794 employees. Employees can be nominated by their peers for an annual Art of Excellence Award; winners receive an all-expenses-paid trip to a ceremony in a resort location. ALBERTA-PACIFIC FOREST INDUSTRIES INC., Edmonton. Pulp mills; 446 employees. Offers new employees up to four weeks of paid vacation, with the option to take the fourth week as time off or additional income. ARCELORMITTAL DOFASCO INC., Hamilton. Iron and steel mills; 10,100 employees. Directs community support through a Corporate Community Investment Fund as well as an Employee Donations Fund, investing nearly $35-million over the past decade.


ANK OF CANADA, Ottawa. Banking; 1,454 employees. Encourages employees to keep fit with free memberships to an onsite fitness facility. BASF CANADA INC., Mississauga. Chemical manufacturing; 670 employees. Established a diversity and inclusion council and is


currently introducing a company-wide diversity strategy and a diversity awareness program. BAYER CANADA, Toronto. Pharmaceutical manufacturing; 1,348 employees. Head office features an outdoor multi-purpose court that can be configured for basketball, tennis and volleyball, a golf putting green and driving range. BC PUBLIC SERVICE, Victoria. Provincial government; 24,901 employees. New parents have the option to extend parental leave into an unpaid leave of absence. BDC / BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT BANK OF CANADA, Montreal. Financing; 1,920 employees. Supports employees’ long-range goals with generous contributions to a defined-benefit pension plan.


AMECO CORP., Saskatoon. Uranium mining; 2,985 employees. Encourages employees’ work-life balance with alternative work arrangements including flexible hours, telecommuting and shortened and compressed work week options. CAMH / CENTRE FOR ADDICTION AND MENTAL HEALTH, Toronto. Hospitals; 2,276 employees. Provides exceptional maternity and parental leave topup payments to employees who are new mothers with up to to 87 per cent of salary for 52 weeks.

CANADIAN SECURITY INTELLIGENCE SERVICE, Ottawa. National security; 3,299 employees. Established the Intergenerational Working Group on the attraction and retention of employees to better understand expectations and needs across all generations in the workplace. CANADIAN TIRE CORPORATION LTD., Toronto. Hardware stores; 85,000 employees. Created “HotiDEAS,” a forum for IT employees to share best practices. CAPE BRETON DISTRICT HEALTH AUTHORITY / CBDHA, Sydney, N.S. Hospitals; 2,357 employees. Offers young talent opportunities to gain on-thejob experience through paid internships, co-op programs and summer student positions. CARSWELL, A DIVISION OF THOMSON REUTERS CANADA LTD., Toronto. Book publishers: 897 employees. Offers compassionate leave top-up payments to employees who are called upon to care for a loved one, up to 95 per cent of salary for eight weeks. CERIDIAN HCM, Winnipeg. Payroll services; 1,507 employees. Established “Ceridian Cares,” a newly registered charity to assist individuals and families in communities where it operates across Canada. CHILDREN’S AID SOCIETY OF TORONTO, THE, Toronto. Child and youth services; 758 employees. Employees can take advantage of up to 11 paid personal days off with the option to carry forward up to four days year-over-year. CIBC, Toronto. Banking; 35,122 employees. Manages a collaborative mentoring program to facilitate sixmonth mentoring relations between diverse employees at the bank.

What skills should I be adding to my resume?

How can I keep my best people from leaving?

I need to hire a senior accountant. How much should I offer?

YOU ASK. WE ANSWER. EVEN CANADA’S TOP 100 EMPLOYERS HAVE QUESTIONS. For insight into financial salaries, trends and hiring from the industry’s leading staffing firm, visit the Robert Half Salary Centre: 1.800.803.8367 © 2014 Robert Half Canada Inc. 0914-9014g

Should I hire a consultant? A temp? A permanent employee?

7 2015 W IN N E R S ( C O N T. ) COLLEGE OF PHYSICIANS AND SURGEONS OF BRITISH COLUMBIA, Vancouver. Professional organizations; 105 employees. Recently extended parental leave top-up payments to new fathers, up to 75 per cent for 52 weeks. CORUS ENTERTAINMENT INC., Toronto. Multimedia production and broadcasting; 1,595 employees. Head office features a daylight harvesting lighting system, green rooftop sections, an interior five-storey bio-wall of plant life, a rainwater harvesting system and a three-storey gravity-powered slide for fun and quick exits at the end of the day.


ALHOUSIE UNIVERSITY, Halifax. Universities; 3,622 employees. Retired employees can stay active through the Association of Dalhousie Retirees and Pensioners, which organizes social events and represents retiree interests on the university’s pension and benefits committees. DEELEY HARLEY-DAVIDSON CANADA, Richmond, B.C. Motorcycle dealers; 143 employees. Helps employees save for the future with matching RRSP contributions ranging from 5 per cent to 15 per cent of salary, depending on the position.


DELOITTE LLP, Toronto. Accounting; 8,563 employees. Employees can apply for extended work terms at Deloitte offices worldwide or shorter work-exchange opportunities at offices in Australia, New Zealand, India and South America.

LLISDON CORP., Mississauga. Building construction; 1,505 employees. Provides a range of financial benefits, including profit sharing and a share purchase plan available to all employees. ENBRIDGE INC., Calgary. Natural gas distribution; 5,770 employees. Established an Aboriginal Employment Committee to help attract and retain aboriginal employees.

DEPARTMENT OF FINANCE CANADA, Ottawa. Federal government; 791 employees. Offers a pre-retirement transition leave option for employees within two years of retirement.

ENERFLEX LTD., Calgary. Industrial machinery and equipment merchant wholesalers; 1,300 employees. Recognizes top performers and those completing special projects with tickets to NHL hockey games at the Saddledome.

DESJARDINS GROUP / MOUVEMENT DES CAISSES DESJARDINS, Montreal. Credit unions; 37,994 employees. Hosts an annual “Women on the Move” awards to celebrate International Women’s Day and recognize its leading female employees.

ERICSSON CANADA INC., Montreal. Telecommunications equipment manufacturing; 3,126 employees. New parents can take advantage of an onsite daycare facility when they return to work.

DIALOG, Edmonton. Architectural services; 573 employees. Celebrates long-serving employees every five years with uniquely tailored gifts made from materials featured in their past projects.

ERM CONSULTANTS CANADA LTD., Vancouver. Environmental consulting services; 195 employees. Operates an employee-led Green Ideas Committee and supports numerous events, including “Bike-to-Work Week” and “Commuter Challenge.”

DIGITAL EXTREMES LTD., London, Ont. Software publishers; 178 employees. Head office features a full-sized commercial kitchen and dining room, with two full-time chefs who prepare healthy (and free) meals daily for employees.


ENERAL ELECTRIC CANADA / GE, Mississauga. Motor and generator manufacturing; 7,447 employees. Offers paid time off for employees to volunteer in their communities.

q Courtyard at the new Intergenerational Wellness Centre at CAMH’s Queen Street site in Toronto


GENERAL MOTORS OF CANADA LTD., Oshawa, Ont. Motor vehicle manufacturing; 9,632 employees. Lets employees take home company vehicles for a period of time, giving employees a chance to enjoy the products they build. GEORGE BROWN COLLEGE, Toronto. Colleges; 1,341 employees. Most employees start with four weeks of paid vacation, moving to a maximum of six weeks for long-serving employees. GREAT LITTLE BOX COMPANY LTD., THE, Richmond, B.C. Box manufacturing; 199 employees. Privately-held employer opens its books to employees each month and offers a profit-sharing option. GREAT-WEST LIFE ASSURANCE COMPANY, THE, Winnipeg. Insurance carriers; 10,012 employees.

Manages rotational programs for students completing their actuarial or accounting designation.


P ADVANCED SOLUTIONS INC., Victoria. Computer systems design services; 445 employees. Employees can easily access more than 100 acres of walking and running trails, as well outdoor sports fields and a community garden.


NNOVATIA INC., Saint John. Computer programming; 421 employees. Added more than 80 jobs in Canada last year. ISM CANADA, Regina. Computer programming; 873 employees. Employees can take advantage of monthly “coffee break massages” and receive a tension relieving massage at their desks. IVANHOÉ CAMBRIDGE INC., Montreal. Property management; 1,301 employees. Offers ample underground bicycle parking, hosts an annual bike tune-up clinic and features four electric car charging stations.


IEWIT ENERGY CANADA CORP., Calgary. Engineering services; 385 employees. Offers an in-vitro fertilization (IVF) subsidy to employees requiring treatments, to a maximum of $15,000. KPMG LLP, Toronto. Accounting; 6,020 employees. Maintains a Working Parents Network to bring together parents with young children to share their ideas, experiences and resources.


’ORÉAL CANADA INC., Montreal. Cosmetics manufacturing; 1,200 employees. Maintains a flexible health benefits plan that allows employees to customize levels of coverage to suit their personal needs. LABATT BREWERIES OF CANADA, Toronto. Breweries; 3,000 employees. Head office amenities include The Pub, a 20,000-squarefoot hall with a pool table, table hockey, dart boards, multiple televisions and fireplace. LOBLAW COMPANIES LTD., Brampton, Ont. Supermarkets; 28,211 employees. Head office features “touch-down” work stations for visiting employees. LUNDBECK CANADA INC., Montreal. Research and development; 203 employees. Along with Bell


Canada, Lundbeck sponsored Canadian Olympian, Clara Hughes, in her “Clara’s Big Ride” campaign to raise awareness and encourage open dialogue about mental health issues.


ANITOBA HYDRO, Winnipeg. Hydroelectric power generation; 6,133 employees. Hosts monthly lunches with the CEO where employees in attendance are drawn randomly and encouraged to ask questions. MARS CANADA INC., Bolton, Ont. Food manufacturing; 484 employees. Employees manage an inhouse Environmental Sustainability Team that helps manage in-house recycling efforts, cafeteria composting and volunteer initiatives.

MCCARTHY TÉTRAULT LLP, Toronto. Law firm; 1,450 employees. Designated May as its annual “Mentoring Month,” with speed mentoring sessions for students, mentor meetings for new associates and an awards celebration. MEDTRONIC OF CANADA LTD., Brampton, Ont. Electromedical apparatus manufacturing; 402 employees. Their new LEED certified head office features a non-toxic VOC-free interior, photo-cell daylight harvesting system and a reflective “white” roof to help reduce air-conditioning needs. MERCK CANADA INC., Kirkland, Que. Pharmaceutical manufacturing; 1,316 employees. Offers signing bonuses for some employees, yearend bonuses and a share purchase plan available to all employees. MONSANTO CANADA INC., Winnipeg. Research and development, 399 employees. Offers more personal time off with three weeks of starting vacation, additional personal paid days off as well as paid time off during the holiday season. MOSAIC COMPANY, THE, Regina. Nitrogenous fertilizer manufacturing; 2,397 employees. Head office employees provided design feedback on their new head office that features a rooftop patio with views of the surrounding city and prairie landscape.


ATIONAL ENERGY BOARD, Calgary. Federal government; 392 employees. Maintains the “iConnect” social media application on

its corporate intranet to encourage employees to connect with each other and senior management. NATURE’S PATH FOODS INC., Richmond, B.C. Breakfast cereal manufacturing; 163 employees. Offers an employee-maintained onsite organic garden for a little therapeutic gardening to unwind during a busy day. NEXEN ENERGY ULC, Calgary. Oil and gas extraction; 2,129 employees. Created the EGG Exchange program, which offers engineers and geoscientists an opportunity to self-nominate for a role change or “swaps” among interested employees. NOVO NORDISK CANADA INC., Mississauga. Pharmaceutical preparation manufacturing; 280 employees. Manages a Global Graduate Program to provide MBA students with an opportunity to study and work at various global locations.


2015 W IN N E R S ( C O N T. )

NUANCE COMMUNICATIONS CANADA INC., Montreal. Software publishers; 752 employees. Encourages employees to stay healthy with an annual wellness account, as well as a $500 health spending account for additional coverages.


NTARIO PUBLIC SERVICE/ OPS, Toronto. Provincial government; 61,672 employees. Manages a sponsored employee program: a unique volunteer opportunity for high potential employees to be seconded for a 15-week period to work for United Way (with regular pay). OPENTEXT CORP., Waterloo, Ont. Computer programming; 1,306 employees. Encourages employees to leave the car at home with sheltered bicycle parking and shower facilities. OTTAWA, CITY OF, Ottawa. Municipal government; 12,130 employees. Launched a workplace wellness and productivity network to provide employees with access to resources on physical, mental and emotional health and well-being.

p Corus Entertainment’s new Toronto headquarters offers a variety of outdoor spaces for employees and is the site of a free summer concert series

leaders development program to help students and new grads transition to the workplace. PNI DIGITAL MEDIA INC., Vancouver. Digital printing; 135 employees. Activities include a summer barbecue, monthly socials on the last Friday of every month, movie nights, poker contests and onsite massage visits once a year.


CL CONSTRUCTORS INC., Edmonton. Building construction; 2,976 employees. Helps cultivate high potential employees through formal mentoring and leadership training.

PROCTER & GAMBLE INC., Toronto. Consumer product manufacturing; 2,120 employees. Head office offers “digital workspaces” without assigned desks and open concept collaborative workspaces with all the latest technology to ensure offsite employees remain in touch.

PEPSICO CANADA, Mississauga. Soft drink manufacturing; 4,255 employees. Manages a new graduate program and emerging

PROVINCIAL HEALTH SERVICES AUTHORITY / PHSA, Vancouver. Hospitals; 9,723 employees. Offers inhouse apprenticeship opportunities,

a variety of in-house and online training programs, and subsidies for professional accreditation.


BC, Toronto. Banking; 51,423 employees. Created the “Get Fit @ Home” program, an online fitness and wellness program to help employees achieve their physical activity goals outside of the workplace. ROGERS COMMUNICATIONS INC., Toronto. Cable and subscription programming; 24,721 employees. Established the Rogers Youth Fund to help young Canadians overcome barriers to education.


AP CANADA INC., Toronto. Computer programming; 2,311 employees. Created the 18-month Leadership Excellence Acceleration Program (LEAP) to support the professional advancement of female employees.

9 2015 W IN N E R S ( C O N T. ) SASKATCHEWAN GOVERNMENT INSURANCE/ SGI, Regina. Insurance carriers; 1,831 employees. Offers paid internship, co-op and summer student opportunities for students and new grads. SASKTEL, Regina.Telecommunications; 3,196 employees. Every spring employees from across the province get together for a friendly but competitive hockey tournament – and bragging rights for the year. SHELL CANADA LTD., Calgary. Oil and gas extraction; 9,130 employees. Offers a share purchase plan, year-end bonuses, discounted financial services through the Shell Credit Union and discounts on gasoline purchases at the pump. SIEMENS CANADA LTD., Oakville, Ont. Engineering services; 4,582 employees. Operates an employee suggestion program that encourages employees to share their feedback. SIMON FRASER UNIVERSITY, Burnaby, B.C. Universities; 2,774 employees. Engages students and staff as sustainability ambassadors, responsible for educating their peers and the broader campus community on sustainability issues and initiatives. SOLVERA SOLUTIONS, Regina. Computer programming; 179 employees. Offers an annual health club subsidy up to $500, as well as coverage for health and fitness testing at accredited institutions. STRYKER CANADA LP, Hamilton. Medical equipment and supplies wholesalers; 219 employees. Provides parental top-up to new fathers and adoptive parents, as well as the option to extend their leave into an unpaid leave of absence. SUNCOR ENERGY INC., Calgary. Oil and gas extraction; 13,323 employees. Encourages active community service through the SunCares Employee Program, which provides employees with opportunities to apply for grants on behalf of the organizations they are involved in. SUNNYBROOK HEALTH SCIENCES CENTRE, Toronto. Hospitals; 5,270 employees. Partnered with Career Edge to offer a one-year training program to provide work experience

to new Canadian job-seekers.


D BANK GROUP, Toronto. Banking; 44,068 employees. Offers corporate membership rates with Kids & Company to help parents in need of emergency childcare services. TECHNIP CANADA LTD., St. John’s. Engineering services; 172 employees. Offers employees a world of career possibilities in Canada’s busy oil producing regions as well as being part of a company with operations in 49 countries. TELUS CORP., Vancouver. Telecommunications; 24,532 employees. Encourages employees to work from home through a formal Work Styles program, designed to help employees easily adopt flexible work arrangements where possible. TORONTO INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL / TIFF, Toronto. Motion pictures; 187 employees. Works with Bloorview Kids Rehabilitation Hospital’s “Youth@Work” program offering work/volunteer placements for teens living with disabilities. TOYOTA MOTOR MANUFACTURING CANADA INC., Cambridge, Ont. Automobile manufacturing; 8,513 employees. Offers a flexible health benefits plan that extends into retirement years, with no age limit. TRICAN WELL SERVICE LTD., Calgary. Support for oil and gas operations; 2,395 employees. Rents offsite gyms and ice rinks on a weekly basis for employee use.


NION GAS LTD., Chatham, Ont. Natural gas distribution; 2,148 employees. Developed a five-year business case to support growing work force diversity, outlining strategies and initiatives that include outreach, recruitment, training and employee resources. UNIVERSITY OF TORONTO, Toronto. Universities; 9,019 employees. Supports retiring academic personnel through an Academic Retiree Centre that helps retirees continue their research and professional activities.


ANCOUVER CITY SAVINGS CREDIT UNION, Vancouver. Credit unions; 2,025 employees. Provides employees with a

bonus week of paid vacation on their 10th anniversary, and in each increment of five years thereafter. VANCOUVER, CITY OF, Vancouver. Municipal government; 6,947 employees. Created a formal mentorship program for new Canadians, in partnership with the Immigrant Employment Council of British Columbia and local service provider agencies. VERAFIN INC., St. John’s. Computer programming; 176 employees. Provides an open concept environment office featuring small fitness stations throughout, including yoga mats, weights, exercise balls, chin-up bars and skipping ropes.


ESTERN UNIVERSITY, London, Ont. Universities; 4,763 employees. Offers employees tuition support for courses at Western from $4,000 to unlimited per year, depending on their employee group.

WORLD VISION CANADA, Mississauga. Social advocacy; 464 employees. Manages an internal secondment policy allowing employees to try a new role within the organization for up to six months while holding their original position. WORLEYPARSONS CANADA SERVICES LTD., Calgary. Engineering services; 7,392 employees. Offers retirement planning assistance, phased-in work options and matching RRSP contributions, to 9 per cent of salary.


UKON, GOVERNMENT OF, Whitehorse. Territorial government; 4,454 employees. Interested employees can plan for additional paid time away through a self-funded leave of absence program, up to one year in duration. Compiled by Diane Jermyn. Special to The Globe and Mail.



hile the selection process to choose the winners of Canada’s Top 100 Employers has evolved to include new questions in response to changes in the workplace – such as working from home and commuter workstations – the underlying methodology has not significantly changed since the project began in 2000. The competition remains a catalogue of best practices, which Richard Yerema, managing editor for Canada’s Top 100 Employers, considers to be a great strength. “A review of a particular employer in 2005 can easily be compared to a review in 2015,” Mr. Yerema says. “It’s because of this that we can see the evolution of the workplace in action and truly is one of the most engaging aspects of the project.” In choosing the finalists, Mediacorp’s editors consider how each employer compared with others in its industry and region. The extensive evaluation process includes a detailed review of the employer’s operations and human resource practices. Competition focuses on eight key areas: 1) physical workplace; 2) work and social atmosphere; 3) health, financial and family benefits; 4) vacation and time off; 5) employee communications focused on how employers capture employee feedback; 6) performance management; 7) training and skills development; and 8) community involvement. This year’s list includes large and small employers from a range of industries, offering varying benefits and working conditions. A distinguished academic advisory board drawn from universities across Canada oversees the selection criteria. Each panel member has either written or edited a major human resources textbook in Canada. – Diane Jermyn

YOURCAREER CAREER STARTS STARTS HERE YOUR HERE At Agriculture Financial Services Corporation (AFSC), everything we do is focused on providing value to our clients.

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We recognize that the key to our success is our people; it’s the people that make the difference. As a progressive and rapidly growing organization, we continue to develop and nurture our reputation as a great place to work and are

and rapidly growing organization, we continue to develop and nurture our reputation as a great place to work and are always looking for skilled individuals to join our team in one of our 55 offices located throughout Alberta. If you’re a

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To the rescue when disaster strikes

hen floodwaters drowned High River last June, employees from Alberta’s Agriculture Financial Services Corporation (AFSC) rushed to the scene to help. Actually, some were already in High River, abandoning their flooded downstairs offices for a higher floor where they were eventually rescued in the bucket of a front-end loader. They had waited too long, helping agricultural clients fill out their annual land reports and ensuring they left safely before the waters reached their door.

“We recruit individuals who are passionate about our clients and want to support the communities they serve,” says Donna Bryden, AFSC Vice President Human Resources and Culture. “High River really touched them. Employees volunteered their time, loaded up trucks with shovels and helped people dig out their basements.

“We recruit individuals who are passionate about our clients and want to support the communities they serve” – Donna Bryden, Vice President HR & Culture

“Several had never been to High River before. But they understood that disaster can hit any community and the importance of helping it rebuild. They saw the emotional and physical damage and shared their tears.” AFSC is a provincial Crown corporation whose 55 offices assist mostly farmers and businesses in the agricultural sector through low-interest loans, crop insurance and farm income disaster assistance. Its innovative $1.8 billion Livestock Price Insurance Program is so successful that it has expanded to help cattle and hog

producers beyond Alberta’s borders to the three other western provinces.

Clearly, AFSC attracts caring people who value client and community service, creating a workplace that provides more than just an exceptional benefit package. Heather Karst, an account manager at AFSC’s new Rocky Mountain House office, is a recent hire from one of the big banks. “They took me because I grew up in farm country and know the difference between a steer and heifer,” Karst says. Perhaps. But her 10 years of agricultural loan experience no doubt contributed to her being among the just 71 people hired last year from 2,209 applicants. Karst says she left the bank because advancement there would take her further away from the rural life she loves. “I’m a lot closer to the farmer here than in a bank office,” she says.

Karst, whose job includes evaluating loan applications, also appreciates that AFSC, as a Crown corporation, is more concerned about strengthening rural communities than in profitability. “It’s always relationship driven,” she explains. “It’s about what’s best for the client.” Another aspect of the AFSC culture that appeals to Karst is that management asks for—and listens to—employee input. “I feel empowered when I’m asked for my take on things,” she says.






full-time staff in Canada

job openings in past year

years, longestserving employee

job applications last year

Seeking employee feedback is an ongoing commitment. Focus groups last year led to the establishment of four criteria for good management. In future, all managers will be evaluated on how well they provide leadership, deliver clear expectations, enable employee success and provide timely recognition.

account that allows employees to top off coverage for drugs, eyeglasses, massages and the like. There is also financial assistance for ongoing learning along with academic scholarships of up to $1,500 annually for employees’ children—and grandchildren.

Among AFSC’s distinctive tangible benefits is an annual $950 spending

But for Bryden, it’s the caring atmosphere across the organization

that makes working at AFSC special. “If you are running in a triathlon or looking after an elderly parent, managers do their best to be flexible and provide the necessary time off, ” she says. “And when disaster strikes, personal or community, our employees are the sorts of people who will be among the first to help.”



High-tech agriculture is not just for farmers

icture the hard-working, sun-bronzed farmer in her fields. Making the rounds on a tractor. Eying the crops close up. Checking the soil. Entering the data on her iPad. That’s the reality of agriculture today. “A lot of folks think technology is all concentrated in Silicon Valley,” says Mike Webb, senior vice president of human resources at Agrium Inc. “Agrium is applying technology to our business — satellite imagery, GPS, sophisticated technology-enabled sets of data. Young folks are so excited by it.” Training farmers in the latest technology is part of the company’s value proposition and something that sets Agrium’s retail operations apart from those of its competitors.

“[Working in agriculture] yields a lot in terms of job satisfaction – No pun intended.” – Mike Webb, Senior Vice-President, HR

Calgary-based Agrium is a major retail supplier of agricultural products and services. It is also a leading global wholesale producer and marketer of the three major agricultural nutrients (nitrogen, phosphate and potash), with wholesale fertilizer facilities located across Western Canada. All those pick-up trucks parked at Agrium retail outlets throughout North and South America and Australia aren’t necessarily there to buy seed or crop inputs. Their owners may be inside talking to crop consultants about Agrium’s Echelon program, which provides

growers with solutions for precision soil sampling, yield data analysis, weather monitoring and aerial imagery analysis among other things. While the technology to boost agricultural yields and reduce costs has been around for some time now, it’s becoming more and more mainstream, says Webb.

In Canada, Agrium’s retail business has expanded from some 60 locations to more than 200 after the acquisition of Viterra’s Canadian and Australian retail assets, completed last year. “We like all parts of our business,” says Kevin Helash, managing director of retail for Canada, who oversaw the integration. “But the opportunities for growth have been a little better in retail recently.” Helash, who is speaking via Bluetooth as he drives through rural Alberta, says it is a great time to be in agriculture. Agrium customers are doing well as the demand for their products remains strong. And with the world’s population growing, along with expansion of a global middle class, the future looks bright. For Agrium employees, the small town and rural lifestyle is completely compatible with a career on the technological cutting edge. And, for those who are interested, there is also the opportunity to work abroad.






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In his 24 years with Agrium, Helash has lived and worked in California, Colorado, Alberta and Argentina. “I’ve travelled most of the world,” he says, noting that Agrium is unique in the flexibility and career choices it provides to employees.

spent many years in the financial services industry in super urban Hong Kong before joining Agrium to head up human resources.

Although Helash has a university background in agriculture, many Agrium employees come from other fields. Webb, for example,

He notes that the company’s new chief financial officer was recruited from Brookfield Asset Management. Agrium is looking for the best and

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brightest on university campuses and not limiting itself to agriculture grads. For Webb, working in agriculture and helping grow food makes him feel as if he’s delivering something of value to society. “It yields a lot in terms of job satisfaction,” he says. “No pun intended.”

Mouths to feed Employees Countries Continents Business Units Global Company

Help Feed the World Today Visit and YouTube/Agrium/recruitment to learn more.



The high fliers of Air Canada impress the world

hortly before his 40th birthday, Air Canada flight attendant Hugo Phaneuf and his partner had a sudden thought: let’s go to Paris to celebrate. So they hopped on a plane to France, and Phaneuf, a dedicated long-distance runner, competed in the Paris Marathon. “It was absolutely amazing,” he says.

The prospect of staff travelling privileges has long been a key attraction in the airline industry, but Air Canada, with its global network and worldclass operation, can deliver that perk better than most. “I have been to places I would never have dreamed of seeing when I was young,” says Phaneuf, a service director who is in charge of the cabin crews on his flights. In return, employees like him excel: Phaneuf and an Air Canada teammate recently won an international gold award for inflight service. Commitment to professionalism and customer care is a hallmark of the Air Canada environment, and the airline goes to great lengths to make staff feel a part of it.

“We are also a best-inclass employer in terms of compensation and benefits, and we take staff recognition very seriously.” –Arielle Meloul-Wechsler, VP HR

“Our employees take tremendous pride in working for Air Canada,” says Arielle Meloul-Wechsler, Vice-President, Human Resources, pointing to its leadership role in the Canadian travel industry as well as its long string of international airline awards. “We are also a best-in-class employer in terms of compensation and benefits, and we take staff recognition very seriously. Our 8x1-625.pdf 1 culture 2014-10-01 is very much about collaboration

and teamwork, which again makes it a very pleasant place to work.”

Keeping employees in the loop through internal communications is a key priority. There is a daily newsletter for the latest info, a weekly newsletter from the chief operating officer on the state of operations, and a monthly magazine, Horizons, designed to keep its 26,800 employees across the globe in touch. There is also a Yammer social networking site where immediate flight issues and other topics can be discussed. And employees can offer their ideas at the company’s Creative Juices page. Last year, the airline launched the Air Canada Gift Card after staff suggested it. Capt. Chris Pulley, a senior pilot and trainer who has been with Air Canada since the 1970s, says that thanks to modern techniques, “the airline does a much better job of communicating with employees now.” But he also sees a consistency in Air Canada’s approach to information, rooted in its professionalism and its dedication to safety and intensive training. “We have a fleet standard,” he says. “It allows everyone to know what everybody else is going to do in any situation, even if they’ve never met before.” Travel rarely seems far from anything Air Canada does. The Air Canada Foundation’s Hospital Transportation Program assists pediatric hospitals across Canada in getting children and a parent to centres offering medical treatments unavailable in their own community. The Foundation is also the main sponsor of the employee-led initiative “Dreams Take Flight”, in which staff volunteers fly children with special needs to Disney World or 11:55 AM Disneyland for a long, exciting day.






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And for the 50 employees each year who win the Award of Excellence – after being nominated by their colleagues – there is a luxury trip to a Caribbean resort in the company of the CEO. At home, meanwhile, the airline’s Volunteer Involvement Program supports staff in fundraising activities for charities they volunteer with in their own community.

For longtime staff like Pulley and Phaneuf, who have seen Air Canada go through many changes, today’s company feels very strong, one that employees can depend on. ”I think Air Canada has become a model that other airlines are watching,” says Phaneuf. “We’re going to be there for a long time.”





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We want to thank our employees for their many contributions that helped make Air Canada one of Canada’s Top 100 Employers for the second year in a row.

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The real strength of steelmaker ArcelorMittal

or many companies, the emphasis on employee health and wellness is a relatively new one. But not so for ArcelorMittal Dofasco in Hamilton, where the steelmaker has long been known for its iconic motto “Our product is steel. Our strength is people.” Part of this dedication to employees is reflected in company recreation programs started almost a century ago with leagues and programs like bowling, hockey and bridge.

Fast forward to 2014. ArcelorMittal Dofasco is celebrating the end of another successful Personal Best program. Its third annual wellness and fitness initiative helped 314 employees race their way to better health through increased activity levels, healthy eating and specific fitness goals. The program began and ended with biometric screenings that measured body fat, blood pressure, glucose levels and cholesterol. During the five-month challenge, coaches tailored flexible programs for each

“We strive to continuously improve our robust and comprehensive healthy workplace strategy” –Rob Parker, VP Corporate Administration & Human Resources

participant, which included free training sessions in the three on-site gyms and at the company’s own recreation centre, a detailed exercise manual and nutrition tips. At the end of the challenge, participants reviewed results with a personal fitness coach and discussed tips to continue their wellness journey. Joining the Personal Best program for the third year was Giovanni

Cisternino, a millwright, who has lost a whopping 107 lbs. “I was determined to compete in the 30 K Around the Bay Road Race,” he says. “It took a lot of willpower and encouragement, especially with the cold winter we had, but I finished the race in a ‘personal best’ of 2 hours and 41 minutes.”

Impressive results such as this inspire Personal Best participants to come back for more and other employees to sign up. The daily fitness classes, healthy eating seminars and smoking cessation programs keep people motivated and drive employees to be the healthiest they can be. Wellness is deeply integrated into the ArcelorMittal Dofasco work experience. “We strive to continuously improve our robust and comprehensive healthy workplace strategy, emphasizing wellness of mind and body, at home and work,” says Rob Parker, vice president of corporate administration and human resources. “This makes good business sense as we are able to continue on our pursuit of being a world class organization first and foremost through our strong, and healthy, people.” In recognition of its achievements, ArcelorMittal won a Gold Level in the Healthy Workplace Category in this year’s Canada Awards for Excellence. On-the-job safety is another aspect of the healthy workplace strategy. Cisternino explains that there are regular safety meetings and communications. “There’s an open door policy. Zero accidents is one of our big goals. If there’s an accident at a sister or brother plant across the globe, we’ll discuss how to prevent that type of accident.”




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Cisternino, who came to ArcelorMittal 10 years ago from Mohawk College’s automation program, started out in the apprenticeship program before getting hired on full time and working his way up to a level four millwright with the hot mill maintenance team. He’s a coiler specialist, who repairs and installs new machines and he aspires



pounds lost by job applications employees last year last year to a coaching position. (Over the next five years, the company expects to hire some 1,500 new employees including skilled tradespeople like Cisternino and engineers.) “It’s always very challenging. That’s what I enjoy,” says Cisternino about his job. “You finish up with one thing and there’s always something new.”



Central bank offers high value to employees

n its efforts to recruit top economists and financial professionals, the Bank of Canada competes against not just the high salaries of Bay Street and Wall Street, but also against the attractions of academia. Its success against such stiff competition is a testament to the opportunities and meaningful and varied work it can offer everyone from new graduates to mid-career professionals. The role of Canada’s central bank is “to promote the economic and financial welfare of Canada.” It guides monetary policy; promotes safe, sound and efficient financial systems both in Canada and internationally, conducting financial market transactions in support of these objectives; manages public debt programs and foreign exchange reserves; and designs, issues and distributes the country’s bank notes.

“We needed an award for employees living our values – doing incredible innovative things” – Alexis Corbett, Chief of HR

As an employer, the Bank of Canada looks to foster innovation, collaboration and the best possible work environment. As part of this commitment, it devotes three percent of its budget to learning and development compared to one percent at most other employers. Alexis Corbett, chief of human resources, explains that Bank economists, who typically have MAs and PhDs, are encouraged to continue research related to the work of the Bank. They can publish their research work in top journals and the Bank finances attendance

at conferences to present papers.

“We want them to stay abreast of the latest and greatest research and contribute to it,” says Corbett, adding that the Bank often brings in outside advisors and experts to share their knowledge with employees.

Another major attraction of working for an institution like the Bank, she says, is the variety of roles available both internally and through secondments to other central banks and global institutions including the International Monetary Fund and the Bank of International Settlements. Economists and other specialists from the Bank regularly participate in international meetings and conferences, and collaborate with their peers around the world. And while central bankers are known more for discretion than showmanship, the Bank is not afraid of a little glitz. When it unveiled its latest high tech five dollar bank note, Commander Chris Hadfield beamed in to the ceremony live from the international space station to discuss the new money’s space theme. His presence was a surprise that had been kept just as secret as the latest interest rate shifts. Like the five dollar bank note itself, Hadfield’s appearance was designed to give Canadians a sense of pride in their country’s achievements in outer space. As a manager in the Bank’s communications department, Julie Girard was thrilled to help plan and execute the event. “It was a really good day,” she says. And to make it even better, fellow employees later nominated Girard for the Bank’s Award of Excellence for Collaboration for her work on the project. The Bank of Canada Award of Excellence is an innovation at the






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Bank, introduced in 2013, after employees suggested in their annual satisfaction survey that it was time for some new forms of recognition. While the Bank of Canada traditionally recognized employees for milestones like 10 and 25 years of service, staff felt something more was needed to reflect the new reality, says Corbett.

“A lot more mid-career hiring goes on these days,” she explains. “We needed an award for employees living our values – doing incredible innovative things. We saw it as a great opportunity to refresh and redesign our recognition program. The new Award of Excellence celebrates overall Bank achievement.”




At BASF, even chemistry has chemistry

hemistry, says Carles Navarro, can be sexy. As president of Mississauga, Ontario-based BASF Canada, part of the world’s largest chemical company, Navarro takes seriously the firm’s global effort to showcase the modern wonders of its science. That message is aimed at both the public at large—and potential recruits. “We do our best to make chemistry a little bit more attractive, even sexy, for people,” says Navarro. “We are aware that chemistry may not be an applicant’s first choice because they really don’t know what chemistry can achieve. Once with BASF, I think everyone gets excited about the possibilities of our products, our technologies and our solutions. “

“We do our best to make chemistry a little bit more attractive, even sexy, for people” – Carles Navarro, President

Most of the 670 employees at the company’s 13 sites from Alberta to Quebec work in business-to-business customer-facing positions—with almost half in sales and marketing roles—so the onboarding and training that BASF provides helps spread the word. “Our purpose is to create chemistry for a sustainable future,” says Navarro, “and this is something that resonates deeply with our team members. We really see ourselves working with customers to solve the problems that mankind has to face, now and in the future, and we are trying to have an impact.” The company pursues this theme externally through programs like BASF Kids’ Lab, which brings the hands-on fun of working with

chemistry to Grade 4-6 students across Canada in partnership with the children’s conservation organization Earth Rangers. That worldwide program originated in 1997 at BASF global headquarters in Ludwigshafen, Germany, and offers an insight into the advantages a global company with 117,000 total employees can bring. For one thing, beyond an excellent compensation and benefits package, there are opportunities to work around the world if an employee’s career path warrants it, notes Navarro, who came to BASF Canada from his native Spain. These days, he says, the international working language of the company is English rather than German. And staff can take advantage of an unusual perk called the BASF Global Family Program, an international exchange in which their child can stay with the family of a BASF employee in another country and vice-versa. While in Barcelona, Navarro’s son stayed for two weeks with a family in Ohio. As with the Kids’ Lab, BASF is very strong on educating the next generation, and offers post-secondary scholarships of up to $2,000 to employees’ children. It also encourages employees’ own development, as product regulations specialist Andrew Biksa well knows. Currently working in compliance, he has been taking university courses in sales and marketing with 100 per cent reimbursement from BASF. “BASF really has its act together,” says Biksa. “They are constantly changing in the right direction, with support for employees’ career development, very competitive compensation and good vacations. And what’s interesting is that I’ve felt a better sense of community and communications at this large company than






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I have at a company a tenth of the size. It’s quite a feat to do that.” For the past two years, Biksa has also led BASF Canada’s team in a North American division program called Simply Dare!, designed to reward the best ideas put forward by employees. The Canadians have already earned some $25,000, picking up three

first-prize Pioneer Awards last year, and Biksa and a teammate shared $4,000 for a second-place-winning idea designed to bring employees closer across departments. “This is by far the best company I’ve worked for,” says Biksa, 31. “I just think they have the whole package.” For many employees, that’s sexy, too.



Supporting Canadian entrepreneurs a big draw for BDC employees

he Business Development Bank of Canada (BDC) is the only Canadian bank dedicated exclusively to entrepreneurs. Its focus on assisting Canadian small and medium-sized businesses is one of the biggest attractions for many potential employees of the Montrealbased Crown corporation.

“Employees often tell us that our mandate of helping entrepreneurs is the number one reason they joined BDC,” says Mary Karamanos, senior vice-president, human resources. “This is validated through integration interviews we conduct within the first three months of their hiring.” BDC has a workforce of 1,920 employees based in just over 100 business and entrepreneurship centres across the country. The Bank offers loans, consulting services, growth and business transition capital, securitization, and venture capital to 30,000 small and medium-sized companies.

“Employees often tell us that our mandate of helping entrepreneurs is the number one reason they joined BDC” – Mary Karamanos, Senior VP, Human Resources

Przemak Cerazy, a business graduate of Simon Fraser University in Vancouver, joined BDC’s Fraser Valley business centre in September 2013, and the draw for him was the focus on small to mediumsized firms. “It really resonated with me,” says Cerazy. “My family

has owned a small construction company for 20 years, so one could say I have been engaged with small business from an early age.”

Cerazy quickly found several things he liked about the culture at BDC. “All new employees are paired up with a coach, and we meet regularly to discuss the business at hand and key learnings,” he says. Mentoring is more informal than formal, but Cerazy has found that this approach works as well as a formal program. “Everybody acts like a mentor,” he says. “No matter who you talk to, they all take an interest in making sure you succeed.” BDC generally hires people who have experience either in financial services or in a small business setting, and new recruits very often have a business degree or a financial designation. “And the institution offers employees opportunities to develop and move around,” says Karamanos. Employees can broaden their skills by moving from finance to consulting to growth and transition capital, or they can work in different parts of the country, where client challenges and needs can vary greatly. “We create a rich learning experience by providing our people with an opportunity to experience the challenges and opportunities small and medium-sized businesses face across the country,” Karamanos says. BDC recently created a transitional leadership program to groom future managers and leaders. Candidates are given opportunities to manage on an interim basis if someone is away for an extended period. The company

Entrepreneurs need




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also assesses the competencies of those seeking to move into management and offers them supplementary training to ensure that they are well prepared when they do take a managerial position. Career development and employee engagement are important parts of the culture at BDC. “This commitment

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is engrained in the day-to-day practices at BDC,” says Karamanos. “We encourage our leaders to create an engaging workforce environment by listening to people and understanding what really motivates them. It’s important to know what an employee’s aspirations are and to have a good-quality career development discussion annually.”

BDC needs you Visit

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Mission possible: CAMH transforming lives

t the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH), their mission is to help transform the lives of people affected by mental health and addiction issues.

Kim Bellissimo, Vice President of Human Resources at CAMH, was just one day into the job when she learned firsthand what the mission means to the Toronto hospital’s own employees. That day two years ago, she stood at the back of a roomful of other new hires as they introduced themselves. One described growing up with alcoholic parents, another talked about a schizophrenic mother while someone else recounted bouts of depression.

“A CAMH promise is that anyone who touches the organization – for whatever reason and in whatever way – will become an advocate for mental health” –Dr. Catherine Zahn, President & CEO

As an experienced HR professional, Bellissimo has seen organizations in many sectors make strides in diversifying their workforces. But given that that progress seldom extends to those with mental illness, she was impressed by how her new colleagues felt welcomed – and respected. “That conversation would not have taken place without CAMH’s strong culture of inclusivity,” Bellissimo says. With more than 500 in-patient beds and 30,000 patients, CAMH is Canada’s largest mental health and addiction teaching hospital. It is also one of the world’s leading research centres in its field. As well, CAMH champions education, policy develop-

ment and health promotion to create a broader community where those with the lived experience of mental illness and addiction are fully included. “A CAMH promise is that anyone who touches the organization – for whatever reason and in whatever way – will become an advocate for mental health,” says Dr. Catherine Zahn, CAMH’s President and CEO (pictured).

The commitment to social change is reflected in a remodelling of the built environment. Formed in 1998 when four organizations merged, CAMH is headquartered where a succession of mental health facilities has stood, isolated literally and metaphorically, since 1850. Today, CAMH is in the midst of a bold, multi-phase redevelopment to create a hospital where being part of the community is part of the treatment. Modern buildings and a pedestrian-friendly streetscape with parks and shops are being integrated into a vibrant Toronto neighbourhood. The 27-acre site – along with CAMH’s other facilities in Ontario – is designated tobacco-free throughout. The technology infrastructure is also being updated with the introduction of I-CARE, a new system to document and standardize patient health information. The largest such simultaneous or “big bang” implementation in Canada, I-CARE facilitates more effective collaboration among all professionals involved in a patient’s care, from physicians to social workers. The stronger team atmosphere benefits both patients and staff. A nurse, for instance, can return after several days off, log in and be right back in the loop. CAMH conducts regular surveys to ensure its 3,000 employees enjoy a competitive pay and benefits package.




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It also offers opportunities for development and advancement. But for many, it’s the shared sense of doing important and consequential work that sets CAMH apart. As Bellissimo puts it, “I’m getting the chance every day to be part of meaningful change.” In return, employees can be assured their efforts are appreciated. “I

Transformative careers with one of Canada’s Top 100 Employers. Join Canada’s leading hospital for mental health and help transform the lives of people living with mental illness and addiction. Visit our website and transform your career.



weeks, starting job applications vacation allowance last year consider it a privilege and an honour to work for the staff at CAMH,” says Zahn. “They are the experts and they’re deeply dedicated to our purpose, and to the people we serve. As an organization, we’ll continue to strive for a workplace that’s filled with optimism, opportunity and a oneness of purpose.”


CN Campus: a commitment to the future of railroading


anadian National Railway Company (CN) has just inaugurated a state-of-the-art training facility in Winnipeg, Manitoba to welcome, integrate and teach the new generation of railroaders, as well as to provide continuous improvement training to experienced employees. The 100,000-squarefoot facility hosts more than 350 CN student employees from across Canada every week, with hands-on training for all key railway jobs. The company’s president and CEO, Claude Mongeau, describes the centre’s opening as “a cornerstone in CN’s workforce renewal” – a worthy investment as the railroad plans to add more than 3,000 new employees this year alone.

“[The opening of the CN Campus in Winnipeg is] a cornerstone in CN’s workforce renewal” –Claude Mongeau, President & CEO

Addressing both the needs brought on by a shifting demographic landscape and a continuously growing business, CN Campus includes enhanced railroader training curricula, customized and jobspecific websites for new recruits, an expanded onboarding program and online learning tools to ensure all employees get off to a great start. The Winnipeg facility centralizes CN’s paid training programs for freight train conductors, car mechanics, track supervisors, signals maintainers and others, providing consistency of instruction, instilling its safety culture in new

employees and offering them an environment where they can learn with and from fellow railroaders from across Canada. Trainees have access to innovative learning tools such as Smart Boards and iPads, as well as indoor and outdoor learning laboratories that include locomotive simulators and dispatcher stations. “The ability to have classroom training and two minutes later go practice what you’ve learned in a real environment where you can throw a switch or inspect a rail car is a huge leap forward in learning the railroad,” says Mongeau. While most of CN’s new recruits are younger, the company is also looking for experienced outsiders who can bring their skills and wisdom, earned by working in related fields, to the railroad. Philip St. Jean, who’s starting his second career, was a general contractor before joining CN and spent three weeks training at the centre for his new track maintainer job earlier this year.


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“Nothing beats on-the-ground education,” says St. Jean, one of CN Campus’ first alumni and whose first work assignment is in Edson, Alberta. “I wanted to do something that would give me some opportunities for advancement and choices.” And there are many opportunities now for career advancement. Along with training new recruits, CN is also committed to the ongoing development of its more experienced railroaders too. First line supervisors attend the Future Leaders program to create a solid foundation for them in their new roles, while the LEAD program is helping elevate CN’s leadership culture to new



of employees are invested in training facilities last year shareholders heights by coaching management at all levels on how to foster and sustain positive, collaborative relationships with their teams. St. Jean is looking forward to being with CN for several years to come. “I’m doing this to provide my wife and me with a good life down the road,” he says. “I’m training on the boom truck. I’m really enjoying this, and another nice thing is I’m training with my son Josh, who joined CN a year ago. He’s a boom truck operator too.” CN officially opened a second training facility last month for United States employees in the Chicago suburb of Homewood, Ill.

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At Canadian Tire, community support is in the DNA


hen neighbours gathered in Toronto’s High Park to rebuild an award-winning children’s wooden playground destroyed by arson, Canadian Tire Corporation’s Sarah Van Lange was among the hundreds of volunteers, spending most of her weekend on site. “I didn’t live in the area, but I wanted to help out,” says Van Lange. “It’s what we do at Canadian Tire when disaster strikes.” The company—which includes a financial services division, a petroleum unit, CT REIT and a retail segment made up of Canadian Tire, FGL Sports and Mark’s—donated $50,000 to the rebuild, twice as much as any other corporate donor.

“Providing a sense of community, both external and internal, is essential to attracting new and dynamic employees” –Doug Nathanson, SVP & Chief Corporate Strategy & HR Officer

“Community building is in our DNA,” explains Doug Nathanson, Canadian Tire Corporation’s Senior Vice President and Chief Corporate Strategy & Human Resources Officer. “Providing a sense of community, both external and internal, is essential to attracting new and dynamic employees.” Clearly, the company’s 85,000 personnel have bought into the concept. Energized by Canadian Tire’s recent emphasis on staff engagement, employees are donating both time and money

in record numbers to back company-supported community ventures. While Canadian Tire and hockey have been synonymous for decades, the company also strengthened its connection to sport and country last year when it became a Canadian Olympic and Paralympic Team partner.

There are other corporatesupported community initiatives such as the national Active at School campaign that advocates for children receiving at least one hour of physical activity per day. The company even has its own registered charity, Jumpstart, which has removed the financial barriers for some 800,000 kids, allowing them to participate in organized sports and other physical activities. Employee contributions, after being matched by the company, raised $1.3 million for Jumpstart last year, a 50-per-cent increase from 2012. Says Nathanson: “Charity and sports are part of life in Canada, and our people rally behind these connections.” They also rally around the new “Life in Canada Depends on Us” employee engagement campaign. “We want our employees to connect everything they do at work with our customers and the community,” Nathanson says. “Every transaction impacts someone’s life and when people realize that, it gives their work more purpose and meaning. Our employees get that.” Among the many employee tangible benefits: a discount on purchases across the company’s retail banners and post-secondary scholarships offered to children of employees. Meanwhile, HotiDEAS is a new program that encourages and rewards employee innovation.


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“We’re listening better now than before,” Nathanson says, adding that some employee suggestions, like clip-on Christmas lights, have made it on to store shelves. But for Van Lange, it’s about working for an “amazing company that cares about my professional development.” A senior communications manager at FGL Sports (Sport Chek, Atmosphere, Sports Experts and others) and Mark’s, Van Lange is in Calgary on a secondment from her Toronto head office job. “They are helping build my career by sending me here with new responsibilities.”



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In her job, Van Lange gets involved, both formally and personally, with the company’s outreach programs. “At Canadian Tire, corporate social responsibility is not an afterthought,” she says. “It’s front and centre of what we do and who we are.” There’s another thing. “I’m proud to work for such an iconic retail brand that has successfully adapted to the times,” says Van Lange. “When I was growing up, we would fight over who would first read the weekly Canadian Tire flyer. Every time I go into a store now, it makes me feel nostalgic. It reminds me of the good times I had as a child.”

Canadian Tire Corporation is proud to be one of Canada’s Top 100 Employers.



Innovation and engagement matter at Carswell

ustomers come first at Carswell, whether they’re legal, tax and accounting, or business professionals. As the market leader, Carswell provides legal and regulatory information solutions that customers can count on. A division of Thomson Reuters, Carswell is headquartered in Toronto, and has been serving the Canadian market since 1864. This is a very special year as Carswell celebrates its 150th anniversary; employees are proud of Carswell’s history and rich heritage in Canada.

“Our employees are engaged – and believe in what we’re doing” –Don Van Meer, President & CEO

“Our employees are engaged – and believe in what we’re doing,” says Don Van Meer, President & CEO. “We recognize the important roles and responsibilities our customers have in their respective professions. We are proud to be trusted for the decisions that matter most, empowering our customers to act with confidence in an increasingly complex world.” Customer service is at the heart of everything Carswell does, says Suzanne White, a customer service accounts specialist for the company’s largest accounts. “You can’t just sell something and then rest on your laurels. The after-service and the retention are so important. I feel valued because of what I do with our customers.” A key element of this culture is a commitment to developing innovative new products that are unique in the Canadian market. As a global company, Carswell leverages skills and expertise from other parts of the world to deliver leading edge solutions to their customers.

This year, for example, Carswell will launch two important new digital products – Westlaw Next Canada and Practical Law Canada. Both products will further enhance the company’s ability to deliver solutions that, from a customer perspective, “work the way they think.” say Van Meer. The company holds celebratory events to recognize the team members behind its product launches. “Employees have a great sense of pride and ownership in what we are able to accomplish together” he says. The company emphasizes mutual accountability, whatever the level in the organization. “We’re asking people to walk the talk,” says Van Meer. “It begins with the leadership team but all employees lead by example throughout the organization. It’s how we should interact with each other, and ultimately how we should interact with our customers.” For over 20 years, Carswell has conducted a bi-annual survey of employees which affirms what the company is doing right and reveals where improvements are needed. “We’ve built credibility by sharing the results and, most importantly, listening to the surveys and together taking action on how to make improvements,” says Van Meer. For employees identified as having leadership potential and for a select group of nominated managers each year, Carswell runs a Leadership Intern program and Leadership Challenge program, both focused on developing leadership skills. Each cohort works together for 1 to 2 years, depending on the program, in cross-functional teams, learning from leaders in the business and from each other. At the conclusion, each team presents the results of their experiences to Carswell’s senior leadership team. Participants






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form strong relationships with employees in other segments of the business, which proves invaluable to them throughout their careers.

Army’s annual Give Joy toy drive. “They’re close to my heart,” says White. “Years ago, they helped out my family. I’m paying it forward.”

Carswell is also a community-minded employer. It supports charities both by donations and by giving each employee two volunteer days annually to contribute. One of the most highly supported activities is the Salvation

Carswell’s other designated charities are the Canadian Cancer Society, the CNIB, the Canadian Red Cross’ Scarborough Homeless Drop-In Centre and 10,000 Trees for the Rouge.


The challenges and rewards of aiding children in crisis


hat could be more fulfilling than the opportunity to protect children and youth from abuse and neglect and help improve their lives? That is the fundamental mandate of the people who work at the Children’s Aid Society of Toronto. And it probably goes a long way to explaining why staff there tend to stay a long time, often for their full careers.

“The work can be very challenging, but it is also very rewarding,” says Chief Human Resources Officer Laurie Hewson. “Our staff know that they’re really making a difference.”

“The work can be very challenging, but it is also very rewarding” –Laurie Hewson, Chief HR Officer

The bulk of the roughly 750 people working at CAS Toronto are child protection workers. Key duties include investigating allegations of abuse and neglect, working to strengthen families so they are able to safely parent their children, making plans of care for children, and finding foster and adoptive parents. There are also roles in such areas as administration, finance, IT, legal, child and youth work, communications and human resources. As North America’s largest boardgoverned child welfare agency, CAS Toronto can offer a highly attractive compensation package. Benefits at the provincially funded agency include competitive salaries, a defined benefits pension under the Ontario Municipal Employees Retirement System (OMERS),

parental and compassionate leave top-ups, plenty of training and professional development—and a vacation allowance that starts at four weeks and rises to six.

Four weeks to start outpaces most organizations in Canada, and Hewson agrees that the reason is the high stress that the job can bring. But she notes that the time provides staff with the opportunity to refresh themselves to better serve clients. CAS Toronto has a team environment, Hewson says. “It’s very caring. People who come to work here care about children, their colleagues and the community. We promote a learning culture, we actively encourage collaboration with community partners, and we embrace the values of diversity and inclusion.” Regular events are held to show appreciation and recognition to staff for good work. The agency also encourages internal promotion and continuing education. Child Welfare Supervisor Lisa Tomlinson knows this well. She first joined CAS Toronto in 1983 for a four-year stint working in group homes. She returned in 1999 armed with a bachelor’s degree in social work, and became a supervisor in 2004. Now Tomlinson is working on her master’s degree in social work in the administration stream— with help from CAS Toronto. “They have been very accommodating in terms of taking time off for courses, and part of my tuition is reimbursed,” she says. The agency also encourages staff to apply for supervisory positions, which are not really about paperpushing. As an intake supervisor in the domestic violence area, Tomlinson oversees six staff and their cases, reaches out to community partners, and conducts a regular






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group for fathers who have been violent against women and children. Tomlinson notes that getting feedback from community partners is an important part of CAS work. “I think our agency is really good at hearing community input and trying to make changes that deliver a better service. I think that’s what

PROUD TO BE NAMED ONE OF CANADA’ S TOP 100 EMPLOYERS Because children depend on all of us

keeps me here, too – that creativity.” Tomlinson hopes to stay at CAS Toronto for the rest of her working life. Why? “It’s always interesting. There are always challenges and complexities, never the same thing every day. I can’t see myself doing anything else.”



rust, teamwork and accountability. Those are the values that define the corporate culture at financial services leader CIBC. The bank’s emphasis is on engaging employees and fostering an inclusive workplace where all can excel. “We create an environment where everyone brings their best to the job on a day-to-day basis,” says Sandy Sharman, Executive Vice-President, Human Resources. CIBC’s Annual Employee Survey queries the bank’s 43,000 employees on their experience at work. This year’s Employee Commitment Index score, which measures the strength of the relationship between CIBC and its employees, reached 84 points, up nine since the survey was introduced annually in 2007.

“We create an environment where everyone brings their best to the job” –Sandy Sharman, Executive VP HR

“There’s a strong correlation between our employees having a great workplace experience and the satisfaction that clients will experience when they do business with us,” says Sharman. “The bank’s new CEO, Victor Dodig, has asked that we put our clients at the centre of all that we do.”

Employee recognition key to an inclusive workplace at CIBC


formally through the Achievers program every quarter. Each year, Annual Achievers from across the bank are invited, with their guest, to an annual conference of 275 CIBC top performers in Mexico or Hawaii. This year, the bank inaugurated its Amazing Employees program, recognizing 13 outstanding performers. Joe Oswald, a branch manager in Leamington, Ont. and a third-generation CIBC employee, was picked as one of the top three. “I feel quite honoured and humbled to be a recipient,” he says.

CIBC is strongly committed to performance recognition. Managers set objectives for their staff at the start of each fiscal year, then at year end, evaluate and rate them on how they’ve performed compared to their peer group. Bonuses are determined accordingly. But employee recognition doesn’t stop there.

Meanwhile, CIBC’s Diversity and Inclusion Awards salute staff who make outstanding contributions in promoting diversity and inclusion both inside and outside the workplace. CIBC has a National Diversity & Inclusion Advisory Council, with representation from the bank’s various business units. The bank also has eight affinity networks representing over 4,970 employees, including Aboriginal, Asian, Black, Hispanic, LGBT, women and individuals with disabilities.

Individuals and teams earn ‘on-thespot’ recognition online and more

CIBC is also a generous benefactor, making charitable donations last

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year to 1,870 organizations in 430 communities. “As a corporate citizen, it’s our responsibility to be very visible in the community, to give back in whatever way we can, whether it’s donating our dollars or our time,” says Oswald, who has been the treasurer of a local children’s soccer club and sits on the board of Leamington District Memorial Hospital. The bank is in its 18th year as title sponsor of the annual Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation CIBC Run for the Cure. This year, a record number of CIBC employees, friends and families – including Oswald – “put on the pink”. The more than 15,000 Team CIBC participants raised almost $3 million, bringing the bank’s total to nearly $39 million since 1997. CIBC employees have also given generously to the United Way – over $80-million since 1943.

On CIBC Miracle Day, employees in the Wholesale Banking group and Wood Gundy donate their fees and commissions to support children’s charities; they have raised nearly $74-million for charities across Canada since the initiative began in 1984. While CIBC employees support their communities, CIBC looks after its employees – with a comprehensive set of benefits with flexibility to tailor the program to fit individual needs. In addition to vacation and holiday time, the bank provides staff up to three days off to address personal issues, such as caring for a sick family member – and maternity top-up benefits (to 100% of salary for six weeks) for extended leaves. It also helps employees prepare for the future with retirement planning and a defined benefit pension plan.

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The Desjardins promise: it’s a career, not just a job

t first Robert Hsu, did not believe it could be true. He was considering a job offer from the insurance division at Desjardins Group, North America’s largest financial co-operative and one of Canada’s largest financial institutions. “They were telling me how the company was client focused and all about its peoplefirst philosophy,” Hsu says. “I was skeptical. I had heard it all before.”

Hsu, who had previously consulted for all of Canada’s leading insurers, took three weeks before saying yes to the casualty claims specialist position. He recalls: “I talked to people who worked here, I talked to people in the industry. They all said, ‘It’s true. The company really cares.’ ” Three years later, Hsu says things have turned out even better than promised. “At Desjardins,” he adds, “they don’t give you a job – they provide you with a career.”

“Every year, 10% of our employees are promoted or get the chance to move to a new position” –Stéphane Pelletier, VP Talent Acquisition & Management

As a co-operative, the Desjardins Group is owned by its customers, including employees. It manages $212 billion in assets. With 40,000 people, it is the largest private employer in Quebec, but the company has recently extended its reach across Canada through insurance and other acquisitions. Now, it has 7,600 employees in Ontario and the West. As a co-operative, Desjardins is profitable but not bottom-line driven. “Here, it’s really about the people, not quarterly results,” says Hsu, whose office is in Mississauga, Ont.

“We’re here for our members and our customers. There’s no pressure for unsustainable growth.” He cites his position as an example of the company’s focus on staff development. “I have a mostly mentorship role,” he explains, “while competitors typically combine mentorship and direct supervision in one position.” Furthermore, Hsu says that his manager can watch him as he coaches an employee. “And at the same time,” he adds, “her manager was observing how she was observing and coaching me. That shows how much effort they put into professional development.” As a co-operative, Desjardins has deep roots in the community, reflecting its small-town origins more than a century ago. Indeed, when hiring, it seeks people with a social conscience. “We want employees who care about society and the places where they live,” says Stéphane Pelletier, the company’s vice-president of talent acquisition and talent management. “We look for achievers and people who want to grow, but not at the







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expense of our social values.” For example, within hours of the horrific Lac-Mégantic train disaster, Desjardins as a company donated $100,000 for victim relief. Desjardins employees then raised another $400,000. Desjardins offers an extremely generous benefits package including a rare defined pension plan and full medical benefits for retirees, but Pelletier says the company’s employee surveys show that neither is a major factor in attracting people nor do they account for its 95-percent annual retention rate. “It’s more about our amazing growth, culture and opportunities,” he says. “Every year, 10 per cent of our employees are promoted or get the chance to move to a new position.”

Among financial institutions, Desjardins is also the most committed to the advancement of women. They make up about 30 per cent of its executive ranks. “But it’s not just about the numbers,” says Pelletier. “It’s about culture change.” In its unique Women on the Move program employees annually nominate inspirational women in three categories who are making a positive impact on the company and/ or community. The winners sit down for a private lunch with Monique F. Leroux, Chair of the Board, President and Chief Executive Officer. “She wants to hear what’s on their minds,” says Pelletier. “And she takes notes.” He adds, “I’ve never seen that before—a CEO taking notes of what an employee says.”



Enerflex, where values empower employees

hen faced with tough decisions, employees at Enerflex Ltd. are encouraged to use their judgment and “Do the Right Thing.” That is just one of the core values guiding this global leader in supplying products, services and integrated solutions to oil and natural gas companies working from northern Canada to the Middle East and beyond. “We encourage our people to make autonomous decisions, based on our core values,” says Bradley Beebe, the Calgary-based president of the company’s Canadian operations. “It makes them feel empowered. It also means we don’t have to get bogged down in corporate policies and procedures.

“We encourage our people to make autonomous decisions, based on our core values” – Bradley Beebe, President, Canada

“And if they understand and are guided by these core values, they will almost never make a mistake. But if they do make an error, we will stand behind them because they acted in good faith based on our beliefs.” Another company principle is “Everyone Home. Every Night.” This focuses on safety, not hours of work. “No matter where home is that night, we want our people to get there safely, for themselves and their families,” says Ryan Hesketh, an Enerflex engineering manager who supervises projects around the world. Such dedication to safety has paid off, winning the company several leading safety awards and the loyalty of its employees. Another way Enerflex is committed to its people is through professional


and career development. Internal training programs and financial support for outside education are designed to ensure employees remain current, advance in their chosen trade and feed their desire to grow. “To be successful, we need to develop all facets of our employees,” says Beebe. “We know our people are going to work for 30 years. The question is how do we get them to work for us for 30 years.” The opportunity for growth is what attracted Hesketh when he graduated with a mechanical engineering degree from the University of Calgary about a dozen years ago. “Enerflex doesn’t just supply equipment and services across Canada,” Ryan says. “It has a global footprint with a local presence in 16 other countries.” “I have been to France, Australia, all over the United States and across Canada. I’ve been exposed to different people, different cultures and different companies. Every situation is unique, which has been highly stimulating and provided opportunities





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that I could have never imagined.” While Enerflex is fundamentally an engineering, fabrication and service company, growth and advancement opportunities abound in other areas, including IT, project management, accounting and human resources. Community involvement is another way of building employee satisfaction and pride. When the floodwaters struck southern Alberta last year, Enerflex employees received paid time off not only to bail out their own homes, but also to lend a hand to neighbours. In non-disaster times, employees are encouraged to choose volunteer or charitable work—and partnerships—that make sense in their 26 Canadian locations.

Excelling with Energy. Flourishing with Opportunity.

In more tangible ways, Enerflex offers competitive financial rewards, including year-end bonuses based on profitability. Employees receive 10 flex days per year in addition to their vacation time. “And we encourage them to use those flex days to watch their kids participate in activities, volunteer during office hours or look after a family member, if needed,” says Beebe. For his part, Hesketh describes the appeal of working at Enerflex, “If you are a tactile learner, this is a great place to be,” he says. “There is a bunch of us that like to get our hands dirty and work with large pieces of equipment that make lots of noise – it never fails to get the blood pumping.”



Experience the world at Ericsson

ricsson Canada’s leadership in technology and services has been a driving force behind the expansion and improvement of global connectivity. Some 40 per cent of global mobile traffic runs across networks that Ericsson supplies. And more than one billion subscribers around the world rely daily on networks the company manages. In Canada, Ericsson has sites in Vancouver, Toronto, Ottawa and Montreal.

“Because Ericsson is a global company, you get to travel and interact with different cultures, which are very good experiences,” says Luc Fiset, an Ottawa-based wireless program director whose work has taken him to China, Sweden, Spain and Germany. As a large diversified international company, there are many opportunities to move into different positions. “You can change jobs over the course of your career without ever having to change companies,” says Fiset.

“When you feel like a company is making a difference, you feel a sense of pride” – Louise Leonhardt, Director of Human Resources

Another company characteristic that impresses Fiset is a commitment to community service and various charities. For example, he bikes 70 kilometres each May as part of the CN Cycle for CHEO event, which Ericsson co-sponsors and employees support, to help raise money for the Children’s Hospital of Eastern Ontario’s childhood cancer programs. Then there’s Ericsson Response, an employee volunteer initiative that works in partnership with

humanitarian aid agencies to set up telecommunications systems when there’s a natural disaster in countries such as Haiti and the Philippines. The company also has a charity-donation program with 100 per cent company matching of up to $1,000 a year per employee. “The ability for Ericsson to give back to the community is very important to me,” says Fiset. Maintaining a decent work-life balance is also important to employees. “There are flexible-hour policies and the technology for employees to work anywhere,” says Louise Leonhardt, the director of human resources. The Montreal site has on-site daycare that only costs $7 a day and a free gym and an exercise room, while the other sites offer discounted memberships to nearby fitness facilities. There are walking-treadmill work-






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stations at the Toronto site, and all of the sites have showers and lockers. Students and young professionals are also valued at Ericsson. This year to date, the company had placed 173 co-op students among the four sites. “Our co-op program allows us to identify the talented ones and offer them jobs,” says Leonhardt. “We understand that telecommunications is moving forward quickly, and we need to bring in that generation who have grown up with changing technology.” All of Ericsson’s employees work

hard but enjoy what they do, partly because they know they’re contributing to a company that’s a global leader in its field. They also recognize that Ericsson is an honest and diverse company with strong core values that does what it says, and that professionalism, respect and perseverance are built into its corporate-culture DNA. “We have low employee turnover,” says Leonhardt. “When you feel like a company is making a difference, you feel a sense of pride and you want to work hard and stay with that company.”

engineering the future Our employees are the most valuable asset we have, and the diversity they represent is one of our greatest strengths. Their ideas, their abilities and their unique point of view make a tremendous contribution to the strength of their teams and the whole company. Ericsson is proud to be a TOP 100 employer. Ericsson is a trade-mark of Telefonaktiebolaget LM Ericsson, Ericsson Canada Inc. is a licensed user.



The GE way: prioritizing professional development

n many ways, Tania Guindi is like a throwback to another era. Fresh out of university with a finance degree, she was selected for a coveted spot in a highly competitive management program at GE Canada. Fifteen years later, she’s still thrilled to be with the company and looking forward to seeing where her career with GE takes her next.

Guindi’s first assignment was at GE Lighting, where she spent a year, before she moved on to to complete the second and final year of her training at her chosen business, GE Capital Real Estate. During that time, she and the other trainees took courses and actively participated in a mentorship program. When the two years were up, Guindi opted to stay on at GE Capital, where she’s since remained. “It’s completely different,” says Guindi, whose official title is Senior Sales Manager, GE Capital Vendor Finance. “I never thought I’d be someone who finances equipment for a living. I never envisioned this and I love it. There’s a lot of variety and a lot of learning.” Guindi sees herself as a “solution provider,” who has helped arrange financing for clients of GE Capital’s transport and construction, franchising, office imaging and healthcare divisions.

“We can really give people the opportunity to experience the different businesses in different roles” – Sonia Boyle, VP Human Resources

In her years at GE, she’s worked in both Toronto and Montreal, and appreciated the company’s flexibility when she requested a change in location. “I would love to spend my whole career here,” she says. That’s music to the ears of Sonia Boyle, vice president human


resources, who believes that the professional development opportunities offered by GE are one of the things that sets it apart from competitors. “We can really give people the opportunity to experience the different businesses in different roles,” she said. “It gives a breadth of experience that makes us unique.” While Guindi has chosen to stay at GE Capital, all the while working closely with GE sister businesses, other employees opt to work at the different businesses themselves. One GE professional development program even has top tier graduates rotate through three or four businesses over a two year period. They can move from GE Oil & Gas to Capital, to Lighting to Healthcare, getting an overview of the company and figuring out where they would best fit in.





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These development programs are all highly competitive and the mentoring continues for many years after. Guindi has turned to her mentors on several occasions. Early on, they helped her figure out what division of GE Capital would be the best fit for her, and years later, they discussed the various roles she could take on when she made the move to sales. While Guindi still benefits from mentorship, she’s also become a mentor herself to a young woman starting out in sales at GE Capital. “We talk

about business, being a woman in this industry, and how to be successful generating revenue,” she said. Finally, Boyle stressed that the professional development opportunities at GE extend well beyond those chosen for select programs. The company is known for its executive learning centres, provides tuition reimbursements, and offers so-called “bubble assignments’ and secondments for employees looking for new experiences. “It’s a very unique value proposition,” said Boyle.

Explore a career with GE. Imagination at work.


@ge_canada |



egan Dixon began her career at General Motors of Canada Ltd. in 1999 as a vehicle assembly quality engineer and she started on the floor of a manufacturing plant in Oshawa, Ont. She assessed the design and functionality of seating systems and other interior components and recommended ways to improve them. Since then, Dixon has held a variety of positions, most recently managing a team of 17 other engineers involved in preliminary design of exterior parts. “I have thoroughly enjoyed working for GM,” says the mother of two teenaged daughters. “I continually see the opportunity to grow and take on new challenges and the company has given me the flexibility to balance a really busy home life with a very demanding and fulfilling career.”

“we have a wide variety of functions and positions available, across the country and internationally” – Joe Piechocki, General Director, Human Resources

GM currently operates two vehicle assembly plants in Canada – one in Oshawa and a second Ingersoll, Ont. – as well as an engine and transmission assembly facility in St. Catharines and those manufacturing operations tend to shape public perceptions of the company. “When I came to Oshawa, people always asked me, ‘How is it at the plant?’” says Joe Piechocki, general director, human resources for GM Canada. “The fact is we have a wide variety of functions and positions available, across the country and internationally.”

Opportunities abound at GM The Canadian company is a subsidiary of Detroit-based General Motors Company, but operates as a standalone entity with a full range of departments, including engineering, information technology, legal, finance and accounting, human resources, public affairs and sales, service and marketing.

Piechocki notes that GM recruits from universities and other educational institutions across the country for both entry and mid-level positions in all these departments. The company prides itself on its open, interactive work environment, encourages the exchange of information and ideas, and provides employees with career planning opportunities. “There are good discussions between employees and their managers around what kind of experience people have, what their education background is, what their interests are and where they see themselves being in three years or five years or ten,” he says. “They have an honest dialogue about how attainable their goals are and what kind of training and experience they need to get there.”




A number of professional development programs are available through the company’s careers website, some full-time jobs posted of which involve classroom instrucstaff in Canada last year tion while others can be completed independently. The company has also “We also have a robust leadership launched a program called Jump Start program if we identify talent that which provides opportunities for new we think capable of bigger things employees with five years’ service or and broader assignments,” says less. The employee group promotes Piechocki. “We do cross-functhe engagement and development of tional moves as well. It creates new hires and facilitates networka great amount of opportunity ing and professional development B:8” in an international company.” opportunities to help them at the beginning of their GM careers. T:8” GM sponsors an employee-led



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Women’s Council to promote mentorship and professional development among female colleagues. “I had the opportunity early on to work with the council,” recalls Dixon. “It gave me exposure to a number of accomplished women who could serve as mentors and suggest where I could go in the company. It was great.”






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At George Brown College, employees make a difference every day

t The Good Food Market every Thursday at George Brown College’s St. James campus in downtown Toronto, the tables are packed with fresh, farm-picked produce – apples, lettuce, cucumbers and tomatoes – all on sale to cash-strapped students for pennies apiece. Launched in 2013 through the efforts of George Brown professor Ashley Booth and FoodShare Toronto, a non-profit organization, the market vividly symbolizes how faculty and staff are united by a common concern for students and a desire to help them harvest healthy futures.

“over and above [fair pay and good benefits, employees] have the opportunity to make a difference every day” – Nancy Hood, Vice-President, HR & Organizational Development

“We’re like a family and we sometimes have our rows, but there’s no question we give people meaningful work,” says Nancy Hood, George Brown’s Vice-President, Human Resources & Organizational Development. “They are paid fairly, they have good benefits, but over and above that, they have the opportunity to make a difference every day.” The 47-year-old downtown college employs 1,327 full-time faculty and staff at three sites, including its brand new Waterfront campus. More than 25,000 students are enrolled in its 142 full-time programs, and thousands more attend part time. “The success of our students and our college” adds Hood, “is a result of the exceptional

work by our faculty and staff.”

An employee survey conducted every two years consistently shows an enviable engagement rate of about 80 per cent. When asked what they love most about working at George Brown, says Hood, the two most common answers are the students and the diversity of the college community. Almost 60 per cent of the workforce, for example, is female, and 87 per cent of the executive team are women. George Brown’s vast array of partnerships with industry, professional and non-profit groups also helps enrich the working and learning environment. “Those partnerships,” she notes, “are vital to the health of our institution.” And because the college is like a “small city,” says Hood, employees have the opportunity to do different things. George Brown also supports professional development with generous tuition subsidies and a variety of in-house and online training programs. Family members of employees may also take advantage of the college’s tuition subsidy program. The college’s generous benefits package also includes a definedbenefit pension plan, exceptional maternity and parental leave top-up payments (to 93 per cent of salary), and an initial three weeks of vacation time for new staff members. The college is responsive to the needs of faculty and staff, and there is continuous communication aimed at improving programs and facilities, says Pietro Ferrari, a professor in the School of Architectural Studies and a recipient of George Brown’s 2014 Excellence in Teaching and Learning Award. “Whatever it is we need, we






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have it at our disposal,” he adds. “I’ve never come across an episode where my enthusiasm has been dampened.” Since becoming a full-time faculty member in 2010 after a 25-year career in the architectural industry, Ferrari says he’s been struck by the college’s level of support for

employees. “The culture that exists here,” he says, “has really allowed me to pursue so many avenues, and now I have the possibility to give that back to the students. I’ve always felt,” he adds, “that the opportunities that are presented to you, if you have the initiative, are endless.”

WHERE YOU WORK MAKES A DIFFERENCE George Brown College plays an integral role providing students and graduates with the skills they need to build and grow our city. This is only possible thanks to our dedicated and committed staff and faculty. GBC_14073_Top Employer ad_8x1.625_R2.indd 1

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Insuring staff have a great place to work

eople today want more from their employers than just a pay cheque, says Cathy Weaver, Vice-President of Human Resources at Great-West Life. “They are looking for an attractive and motivating place to work, with opportunities for professional development and advancement.” Weaver says they also look for places that align with their personal values and where they feel they can make a difference. “When they join our organization, we believe employees will make a difference in terms of helping Canadians plan their futures,” says Weaver. In fact, she explains, Great-West’s business purpose is to improve the financial, physical and mental well-being of Canadians.

“We offer more from an employment perspective than what many people might think” – Cathy Weaver, VP HR

“Our success really depends on our people,” says Weaver. “We offer more from an employment perspective than what many people might think.” “We hire people with a variety of backgrounds and that includes administrators, researchers, marketing and communications people, nurses and doctors, among others. We certainly also have lots of accountants, actuaries and investment professionals, but as our company evolves in the marketplace, so do the skills that we need to help make us successful.” Great-West’s employees benefit not just from competitive compensation and benefits, but also from other opportunities designed to improve their overall well-being. Weaver says there

is a strong link between the health and wellness of employees, and the achievement of business objectives.

The organization’s three head office locations – Winnipeg, London (London Life) and Toronto (Canada Life) – feature cafeterias offering healthy meals, and popular on-site fitness centres. Lunch and Learns discussing topics from diabetes to “Dealing with Teenagers” often draw a crowd.

Great-West is also committed to supporting employees who want to become involved in their communities in whatever capacity most interests them. Sometimes this can be done in teams, with a group of employees given time off to work for organizations like Habitat for Humanity, for example. Or the initiative can be completely individual. Weaver says a corporate contribution was made to the Children’s Health Foundation in London where she sat on the board until recently. “And it’s not just me in my position,” she emphasizes. “Any employee who volunteers with a charity could be eligible to have the company make a financial contribution.”


Great-West’s support for one social issue – mental health at work – flows naturally from its business. About 10 years ago, its group benefits division began to notice that mental health was having a major effect on workforces across the country. “Employers of all kinds were experiencing a significant impact, be it with absenteeism, ‘presentee-ism’ or disability claims related to mental health issues,” says Mike Schwartz, Senior Vice-President of Group Benefits. “We recognized it was an important issue on which we could make a significant impact.”

resources to help increase awareness of mental health on the job. And since its creation, the Centre has come to play a leading role in the national discussion about mental health and employers, says Schwartz.

From that insight, the Great-West Life Centre for Mental Health in the Workplace was created in 2007. It offers online surveys, tools and

More recently, Great-West Life helped fund development of a national standard on mental health in the workplace and was one of

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Careers are growing here We’re committed to helping talented and engaged professionals grow their careers with us. Discover your opportunity at



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the first organizations in the country to commit to work towards the standard in its own workplace. Be it creating mental health resources, providing grants to charities, or helping Canadian families plan their financial futures, Schwartz says the company’s philosophy is that “the right thing to do from a human standpoint is also good for business.”



Work hard, have fun and feel valued at Kiewit

iewit Energy Canada is a subsidiary of Omaha, Nebraska-based Kiewit Corporation, an employee-owned company. It provides a wide range of engineering, procurement and construction services to the oil, gas, and energy industries.

Kiewit’s Canadian contracts have included projects at CNRL Horizon and MEG Energy. Current projects include those at IOL Kearl Lake and Kiewit’s module yard in Edmonton. “We hire problem-solving go-getters who get things done and also like to have fun,” says Erica Storteboom, the Calgary-based district human resources/labour relations manager. Area manager Alex Saltarelli, a 21-year employee, points to the popularity of the annual Exile Island event, which raised over $20,000 for the Children’s Wish Foundation of Canada. “Community-service events are good for team building and boost morale,” he says.

“We invest a lot into training... you can spend your entire career at Kiewit in different roles” – Erica Storteboom, District HR/Labour Relations Manager

Fun could also come in the form of a breast-cancer fundraising event in which all site workers donned pink shirts for a day. “We don’t limit ourselves to just one or two corporate charities,” says Storteboom, who joined Kiewit in 2005. “If an idea hits home and the employees develop an engagement plan, we do it.” When it comes to recruitment, Kiewit has always given opportunities to young people who have a desire to learn and work hard. “We hire a lot of new graduates, mostly in electri-

cal, mechanical, civil and integrated engineering but also in human resources, business and construction management,” says Storteboom. Saltarelli began his Kiewit career at 24, when he was hired as a summer intern during his third year of an engineering degree at the University of Alberta. He wanted to work in construction, so he was put to work as a field engineer for concrete overlays on bridge decks.

“As an intern, you’re given hands-on responsibility right away, but with checks and balances so nobody gets hurt,” says Saltarelli, whom Kiewit hired full-time after graduation. As a new employee, he received valuable informal mentoring and has become a mentor himself. “From your supervisor to the executive vice-president, people take the time to visit job sites, ask how you’re doing and provide feedback,” he says. “It’s part of our culture.” At Kiewit, nothing is more important than safety. Ensuring that employees and those working on job sites are able to go home to their families at the end of each shift is critical. “Employees are treated like family, and that extends beyond ensuring their safety to making sure they’re challenged and enjoying their jobs,” says Saltarelli. Employees get broad-based experience in their first five years, so they may one day become a project manager overseeing anywhere from $500 million to $1 billion worth of work. “We invest a lot into training, then provide advancement opportunities so if you want to, you can spend your entire career at Kiewit in different roles,” says Storteboom. Kiewit takes training very seriously. That’s why Kiewit Energy Canada Corp. constantly has employees training at Kiewit University, a yearround training facility in Omaha.






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Kiewit University teaches employees the technical and the leadership skills required for their current role, with an eye toward future roles. Kiewit University’s broad range of training topics includes leadership, first-time supervisor, field engineering, business, HR and Kiewit culture. The company invests heavily in its employees’ professional growth and development, which is evident

through the amount of time, effort and money it spends on training. Hard work and attention to detail don’t go unrecognized. Kiewit shows its appreciation for employee contributions in myriad ways, including an annual Banff ski trip for workers and their families (last year, more than 300 people attended). “We want to make sure our employees know that we value them,” says Storteboom.

A name you can trust Kiewit is one of North America’s largest and most respected construction and engineering organizations. Kiewit Energy Canada Corp. specializes in large, complex, integrated industrial, mechanical and electrical projects and has been active in the Canadian Oil Sands since 2005. Our projects involve construction of oil sands processing facilities, refinery expansions, gas plant expansions, co-generation facilities, major mine developments, spool fabrication facilities and SAGD facilities. Kiewit Energy Canada Corp. 10333 Southport Road SW, Suite 200 Calgary, AB | 403-693-8701




Share & Care: L’Oréal Canada reinforces its commitment to employees

mployees like Lyne Sarrazin know that L’Oréal Canada’s commitment to employees goes more than skin deep. The customer service representative, who was born deaf, has worked at L’Oréal Canada’s Montreal distribution centre for the past 31 years. Over that time, the Montreal-based beauty products firm has taken a number of steps to help her integrate more easily into the work environment, including hiring a trainer to teach sign language to 15 of her colleagues. Earlier this year, L’Oréal Canada’s efforts were recognized by its parent company, Paris-based L’Oréal Group, with a 2014 Disability Initiative Trophy. “It shows me,” says Sarrazin, “that they care about me and my success at L’Oréal Canada.” That spirit of inclusion and concern is embodied in a comprehensive benefits plan launched globally by the L’Oréal Group in 2013, opening what it calls “a new chapter in its social history.” Known as Share & Care, the initiative is aimed at ensuring that the more than 77,000 employees in 130 countries who work for the world’s largest cosmetics company will enjoy the same high level of benefits by the end of 2014. The benefits are organized under four pillars: Protect, Care, Balance, and Enjoy – and L’Oréal Group will cover all cost increases.

“We’ve chosen to focus on our employees by providing the best work environment possible.” – Philippe Cava, HR Director, Social Benefits & Payroll

“We want to be the leaders in the market for beauty,” says Philippe Cava, L’Oréal Canada’s HR Direc-

tor, Social Benefits & Payroll. “But we want to ensure that we are also the leaders in our employee benefits program while achieving this goal.”

For Catherine Bédard, L’Oréal Canada’s VP of HR, the overall aim of the Share & Care program is clear: “To contribute to the professional and personal fulfillment of every employee as a means of ensuring their success and that of L’Oréal Canada.” In most cases, says Cava, L’Oréal Canada’s benefits already meet or exceed the company-wide standards specified by L’Oréal Group, and will require little adjustment. Under Share & Care’s Balance category, for example, L’Oréal Group’s plan calls for maternity leave top-ups to 100 per cent of salary for 14 weeks, after one year of employment. L’Oréal Canada already offers the same maternity leave top-up for 17 weeks to employees who have worked for the company for two years. It will now reduce the eligibility requirement to one year. To help employees achieve more work-life balance, L’Oréal Canada also offers an on-site day-care facility at its Montreal distribution centre, along with a variety of alternative work arrangements, including flexible hours, telecommuting, compressed work weeks and early Friday closings in the winter and summer. Share & Care also encourages L’Oréal’s global subsidiaries to be innovative in improving benefits and to share those best practices across the company. At L’Oréal Canada, these include a flexible health-benefits plan that allows employees to customize levels of coverage to suit their personal needs. The company also supports ongoing skill development through a variety of in-house and online training programs, subsidies for




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tuition and professional accreditation, and opportunities for international training in Paris and New York. L’Oréal Canada also offers creative employee recognition programs, including VIP trips to companysponsored events and tickets to the company’s box seats at the Bell Centre in Montreal. To help employees enjoy fulfilling lives after their careers, it provides retirement

23,504 63.3% job applications received last year

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planning assistance and defined benefit and contribution pension plans. Cava believes the Share & Care initiative will help the company attract and retain top talent and give it a competitive edge. “Many companies today are looking for ways to reduce their costs,” he says. “But at L’Oréal Canada, we’ve chosen to focus on our employees by providing the best work environment possible.”

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The career path to a better world at Labatt

abatt Breweries of Canada has been a leader in employee relations since it was founded, 20 years before Canada became a country.

Today Labatt people across Canada are united in pursuit of a big and inclusive dream that reflects their dedication and commitment, taking it beyond the brewery and office to the wider community. The foundation for the dream is a set of principles that means everyone at Labatt can be confident their colleagues are working toward the same goals. One of the principles states: “We must select people who, with the right development, challenges and encouragement, can be better than ourselves.” That means that in addition to brewing the best beer for almost 170 years, Labatt is proud to offer a wide range of education, training and development opportunities to its employees.

“We provide our people with the opportunity to develop at their own pace”

and online courses. Tuition subsidies are available for job-related courses and professional accreditation. A Labatt team member who has benefitted is environment and safety manager Shane Williston, who joined the company in 2008. Over the years, he has taken management courses in communication, presentation and Six Sigma, which have allowed him to expand the scope of his role. “One of the best things about Labatt is the endless opportunities to learn and grow,” he says. “We’re part of a global family, and that opens up so many possibilities for personal development.”

In fact, the company’s reputation as a top employer and an exemplary corporate citizen is clearly borne out by the fact that last year, 10,000 Canadians submitted applications for 600 jobs. That same year, Labatt paid more than $230 million in wages and salaries to its 3,000 full-time employees at six breweries, four Beer Institutes, 15 sales offices, Toronto head office, and 23 warehouses and distribution centres.

“We provide our people with the opportunity to develop at their own pace,” says Charlie Angelakos, the vice-president of corporate affairs. “We see some young people progressing through our organization very quickly and really benefiting from our professional-development programs.”

Labatt’s appeal to new graduates and skilled workers goes beyond above-average income levels. Williston is also excited and motivated by Labatt’s commitment to community service. One of his favourite activities is the annual Thames River Clean Up in London, Ont., when employees and their families and friends tidy sections of the local watershed. “Labatt employees have many options when it comes to realizing the satisfaction of community involvement,” he says.

Those programs include on-the-job training and mentoring, executive management programs, Six Sigma training and thousands of in-house

At work, team spirit is just as strong as community spirit. Employees regularly brainstorm ideas to improve business practices. “We challenge

– Charlie Angelakos, Vice-President of Corporate Affairs


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each others’ ideas before coming to a consensus on a solution,” says Williston. “Then we provide one another with expertise, resources and assistance to implement the idea.” “At Labatt, we share the common dream of being the best beer company, bringing people together for a better world,” says Angela-



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kos. “Our dream galvanizes everybody and is the energy behind our high-performance culture.” The most compelling aspect of this commitment is that everyone at Labatt, from bottom to top, is invested in making the company a sought-after career destination and the world a better place.

CHARACTER. IT’S WHO WE ARE AND IN ALL WE DO. The Best Beer Company Bringing People Together For a Better World

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Proud member of the Anheuser-Busch InBev family

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Pharma company acting to curb stigma of mental illness in workplace

t Lundbeck Canada Inc., managers and staff view themselves as part of a very human company. “We’re very personalized and know each employee by name,” says Catherine Baril, Senior Director, Human Resources and Administration. “We’re known in the marketplace as a caring company,” she adds. “We’re empathetic towards our patients, and also our employees. Although we have a high-performance culture, we focus on our employees’ work satisfaction and work/life balance.” Lundbeck Canada is a subsidiary of H. Lundbeck A/S, a Danish-based multinational pharmaceutical company that develops innovative drugs for the treatment of brain disorders. It also has an oncology division in Canada. The Canadian affiliate was established in 1995, with headquarters in Montréal.

“Although we have a high-performance culture, we focus on our employees’ work satisfaction” – Catherine Baril, Sr. Director, HR & Administration

Lundbeck is making the connection between the pharmaceutical products it develops to restore mental health and the importance of promoting the mental health of its employees. “We don’t want to just sell drugs,” says Baril. At the end of October, Lundbeck launched a mental health campaign to curb the stigma of mental illness in the workplace. It plans to implement the national standards set by the Mental Health Commission of Canada for the psychological health

of employees. “Many companies have standards for the physical health and safety of their employees, but Lundbeck is unusual in adopting standards for their psychological health,” says Leslie MacDonald, a Sales Representative who has been with the company for a decade. She is one of six Lundbeck employees on the implementation committee. “Our managers will be trained to listen and be respectful if their staff raises mental health problems,” she says. “And employees won’t have to feel ashamed to approach them.” The company has also supported efforts to promote a more open attitude toward mood disorders in society at large. Along with Bell Canada, Lundbeck sponsored Clara Hughes, the Olympic multi-medalist athlete, in her 110-day cross-Canada bicycle ride last winter to raise awareness and encourage dialogue about mental health issues in the community. Lundbeck employees themselves participate in an annual five-kilometer walk to raise awareness and funds in






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the Defeat Depression campaign. In 2013, the event took place on a cold, rainy day, says MacDonald, “but it was still motivating and inspiring.” Lundbeck’s concern for the well-being of its personnel is reciprocated by a high level of employee loyalty and engagement. The company’s annual Employee Satisfaction Survey showed a loyalty rating of 88% for 2013. “Employees tend to stay with Lundbeck for several years,” says Baril. “We have a very healthy turnover rate.” For the past two years, Lundbeck has been selected as one of Canada’s Top 100 Employers and one of Montréal’s Top Employers. Each employee has an individual development plan that details their next

steps to either advance within the company and/or develop themselves. This may mean taking courses or being mentored. Lundbeck pays tuition up to $1,000 a year for non-job related courses. The company also makes it easy for employees to receive mentoring, allowing them to devote two or three days a week for that purpose during the summer months. Lundbeck Canada links a portion of each employee’s performance evaluation to the successful implementation of their professional development plan. A larger portion of their manager’s performance evaluation is based on their employee’s successful development.

Proud to be one of Canada’s Top 100 Employers 2015

Hope, Strength, Humanity


Where employee engagement is a matter of respect


hen the worst floods in Alberta’s history struck in June of 2013, McCarthy Tétrault quickly mobilized to help employees in its downtown Calgary office and victims across the province.

The national law firm, which traces its roots to 1855, donated $137,000 to the flood relief effort, and another $86,000 to help lawyers and staff in its Calgary office. Colleagues at the firm’s locations in Vancouver, Toronto, Montreal, Quebec City, and London, England, raised $43,000 of the total on their own. Employees across the firm were also eligible to take up to a week off with pay to assist with the cleanup. “That was really for me,” says Rita Apa, the firm’s Senior Director, Human Resources, “an amazing way to give back to our people who were in need, and everyone just pulled together to make it happen.” It comes down to simple respect for all employees, says Lisa Vogt, a Vancouver-based partner who joined the firm in 1983 and, in 2013, became its first Chief Diversity and Engagement Officer. “It’s still a firm that recognizes people first,” she says, “and I think that’s what has kept me here.”

“This recognition is entirely due to the feedback, passion and hard work of our people” – Tracie Crook, Chief Operating Officer

McCarthy Tétrault, says Vogt, was the first law firm in Canada to create the role of chief diversity officer. The firm has also established a national diversity committee made up of lawyers from its locations across Canada, and all new lawyers and staff receive mandatory diversity training. Embracing differences is a key


ingredient in employee engagement, says Vogt, and enables McCarthy Tétrault to provide better service to its clients. “None of us in the legal industry is completely there yet,” she adds, “but the fact that our firm has a strategic emphasis on inclusion, and its importance to us, is energizing.” Respect for employees is reflected in other ways, too. Chief Operating Officer Tracie Crook says that the corporate culture allows everyone to have a voice at the table. “This recognition is entirely due to the feedback, passion and hard work of our people,” she says. “It directly informed the initiatives we developed and improved over the past few years.” As COO, she was recruited from the financial services sector three years ago, in part, to implement structural changes designed to bring greater transparency, improved communication and better service delivery to the day-to-day oper-

1,450 partners and staff in Canada


ations of support staff, including human resources, accounting and I.T. “The firm,” she says, “is truly about innovation and leading change – and leading in the marketplace.” In an industry infamous for long hours, McCarthy Tétrault is also striving to create more work-life balance. It offers alternative work arrangements, including flexible hours, compassionate care leave, and subsidies for in-vitro fertilization up to $12,000. It also reimburses new moms who are nursing for the cost of bringing an additional caregiver when travelling to a business conference or client event.

Our People Make Us Better Being named a Top 100 employer is a great achievement. But what we’re really proud of is our people and what they accomplish for our clients. Every day. McCarthy Tétrault LLP


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The firm’s excellent financial benefits include year-end bonuses for all employees. And lawyers and staff are encouraged to develop their professional skills through in-house training and apprenticeship programs, formal mentoring, and tuition subsidies. McCarthy Tétrault is also putting an increased emphasis on management training and leadership development. “Being named a best employer is a source of pride,” says Apa. “But it’s also a challenge and means we have to continue to live up to that standard. So our commitment to our people is to earn that distinction every day.”



Medtronic’s mission puts patient and employee health first

edtronic of Canada Ltd. is changing the face of chronic disease and also promoting health at home base. Brampton, Ontario-based Medtronic delivers innovative health-system solutions and advanced medical technologies to hospitals. Its devices, which include insulin pumps, pacemakers and spinal implants, contribute to the company’s mission to alleviate pain, restore health and extend patients’ lives. With more than 420 Canadian employees, the company has regional offices in Vancouver and Montreal.

Medtronic fosters a corporate culture that allows for job satisfaction and security, advancement opportunities, and ways for employees to share in the company’s success. “When you invest in your employees, it pays back in their engagement,” says Neil Fraser, who joined Medtronic in 1984 and was appointed president in 2004.

“When you invest in your employees, it pays back in their engagement” – Neil Fraser, President

One engaged employee is technical support representative Ronnie Hum, who began working at Medtronic’s Mississauga plant in 1979, when he was 30. He enjoys his role repairing devices and answering customers’ questions about how they work. “We can save a life with one of our devices,” says Hum. “This type of work is extremely rewarding.” At Medtronic, the employees’ health is just as important as that of the

patients they’re helping. “It’s an essential part of our culture that our employees are healthy,” says Fraser.

Hum appreciates Medtronic’s customizable health plan, RRSP matching, stock-purchase plan, tuition subsidies and flex-time work options. But he most values the free use of the on-site fitness facility, especially after being diagnosed with type 2 diabetes in 1999. “I run five kilometres every day at around 2 p.m., which helps me manage my diabetes,” he says. “Having the gym right here is ideal.” During his 35 years with Medtronic, Hum has benefited from various professional-development courses, including customer-service training. He also appreciates that Medtronic gives back to the community, such as being a United Way sponsor. And he enjoys attending quarterly town-hall meetings, where employees’ accomplishments are celebrated and they’re updated on company performance and strategy. That strategy has seen a major shift in the last couple years, with Medtronic’s CEO Omar Ishrak declaring, “We aren’t a device provider but a health-care solution provider.” Adds Fraser: “The evolution of our strategy is exciting because it means helping reduce wait times and making new technologies more accessible to patients.” For the past seven years, customer feedback has been gathered through the Advantage Group’s Healthcare Survey, which targets such areas as customer satisfaction. “We want to understand why customers are doing business with us and how we can improve how we serve them,” says Fraser. In the most recent survey,

Improving a Life Every





say they help raised by staff for company mission charity, past year Medtronic was ranked No. 1 overall and No. 1 in seven of nine categories. Medtronic is located in Peel Region, where many new Canadians live. With that in mind, the company implemented a diversity and inclusion program several years ago that has gradually transformed its employee-population profile through the hiring of new immigrants. “We do diversity audits and interpersonal assessments so we and our employees



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can understand where we are on the diversity-and-inclusion scale,” says Fraser. Employees then use the results to build a personal-development plan. Companies that put employees at the forefront in these ways have low turnover. At 65, Ronnie Hum isn’t thinking about an exit strategy. “The people I work with are like a family,” he says. “I’m having too much fun to retire.”


Learn more at

Innovating for life. UC201401976ma EN



Holy world record! Nexen takes it to the next level

n a fine day last September, 542 Nexen Energy ULC employees got dressed up as Batman and descended on a park next to the oil and gas company’s Calgary headquarters. They kicked off their United Way fund-raising campaign in style wearing full-body black outfits, capes, masks and yellow belts while standing together in one spot to set a new Guinness World Record.

“I’ve had to wear tights on two occasions now,” said Quinn Wilson, vice president of human resources and corporate services, noting that Nexen set a Superman record in support of the United Way in 2011. “Things like this are actually a lot of fun and show our really strong community spirit.” Wilson said a United Way official told him that other companies have “Nexen envy,” wishing they could get their employees as fired up and involved in the community.

“Employees see the opportunities not only from the business perspective but personally and professionally” – Quinn Wilson, Vice-President, HR & Corporate Services

Long a name and a force to be reckoned with in Calgary, Nexen is now becoming better known the world over, says Robin Renowden, who, in keeping with his name, dressed up as Robin for the Batman event. As the head of global talent acquisition and workforce planning, Renowden says huge opportunities have opened up for Nexen since early 2013 when it was acquired by CNOOC, becoming a wholly owned

subsidiary of the global energy giant.

“CNOOC gives us real credibility and investment potential,” he said. “The combination of our diverse portfolio of oil and gas assets, plus our growth plan, provides candidates with a very compelling career opportunity. Now, we have strong candidates coming to us looking to join Nexen.” Renowden recently recruited a new VP of global exploration from Shell. With CNOOC’s backing, Nexen provides all the advantages of a smaller company with all the benefits of global super major.

Oil and gas companies like Nexen need significant capital to develop potential resources. “You can spend several hundred million dollars on an exploration program,” says Renowden. Prior to CNOOC, Nexen had to choose which assets and prospects to develop. Given that not all prospects pan out, that can limit smaller oil and gas companies’ ability to expand quickly. Now, with the backing of one of the world’s largest energy companies, Nexen can explore a broader range of opportunities. “The statistical chances of hitting paydirt when you develop more prospects are a whole lot better than when you do only a few,” he explains. Quinn notes that in the “new Nexen,” production levels and efficiency over the past 24 months are the best in a decade. The company also had its best safety record ever, by a considerable margin, over the past 12 months, which is key for the oil and gas industry. “Employees see the opportunities not only from the business perspective but personally and professionally,” he said. One example is Nexen’s Talent Exchange program, where






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over 50 people moved between the UK, Canada and Beijing to share best practices, culture and build a global capability through work assignments ranging from six months to three years. In addition, says Quinn, Nexen is proactive in giving employees a chance to shift into other roles with the company. “It’s central to development, planning and retention,”


he said, noting that the company ranks highly in this area when benchmarked against industry peers. From community support to professional excellence, Nexen CEO Fang Zhi summed it up well at the big Batman event when he said “Our employees are true super heroes.”



Passion to make a difference in diabetes drives Novo Nordisk employees

t Novo Nordisk Canada, employees combine a passion for what they do with compassion for the people they help. They are bound together by a common goal: to make a difference in the lives of people with diabetes, a chronic condition that affects more than nine million Canadians, according to the Canadian Diabetes Association. The Mississauga, Ont.based company is an affiliate of Novo Nordisk, a world leader in developing innovative diabetes medications.

Novo Nordisk has a corporate culture that helps employees to excel in their area of expertise, a culture where they have the freedom to manage their careers. By treating employees with respect, Novo Nordisk has cultivated a family-friendly atmosphere, says President Vince Lamanna. “We’ve grown from 10 employees 30 years ago to close to 300 people today, but that family feeling still holds true,” he says. “People here – from the new employee to the President – see this as a home away from home.”

“People here – from the new employee to the President – see this as a home away from home” – Vince Lamanna, President

Marie Percival, Director, People and Corporate Relations, says it’s the passion and energy which employees bring to serving patients that give a special quality to the corporate culture at Novo Nordisk: “People are very ambitious and competitive within the marketplace, but they’re also extremely compassionate. We work extremely hard, but we also have a lot of fun.”

That’s been Ian Daley’s experience since he joined the company over two years ago as a Learning and Development Specialist. His job is to train sales representatives in how to market the company’s products. But he also participates in company-supported volunteer activities that raise funds for the cause of juvenile diabetes. In April, he and 13 other employees, including President Lamanna, played on the Novo Nordisk Bulls team that were the “B” Flight Champs in the annual Canadian Pharmaceutical Hockey tournament. Novo Nordisk covered the travel and registration costs for the two-day event, which raised funds to support the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation (JDRF). And he also participates in the annual JDRF’s stationary bike ride, an event where 150 Novo Nordisk employees across Canada raised over $60,000. “There’s a competitive push among the teams to see who can raise the most money,” he says. “When they bring kids with type 1 diabetes up on the stage and talk with them about how the disease affects their lives, you see those who you’re helping. That pulls people together.” So do two innovative initiatives that the company has launched for employees. The Applause program allows managers and staff to recognize and reward each other through points that can be redeemed for gifts. “There are at least 100 recognitions a day and these are shown online,” says Percival. “Employees can see what is valued in the organization.” The My Concierge program, meanwhile, promotes work-life balance. It offers a range of services, at reasonable rates, to help employees manage personal tasks (such as errands) while at work.






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In addition, Novo Nordisk offers an extensive employee development plan in order to attract and retain the best employees. Intensive and organized mentoring is available at all levels to enable staff to acquire the skills they need to advance. Employees also have an opportunity to work in the company’s worldwide affiliate offices – including the head office in Denmark.

The company invests in the health of employees, providing an on-site gym and a flexible health benefits plan. (The health spending account can be used toward the purchase of athletic equipment.) It also offers generous parental leaves and vacations. While Novo Nordisk holds lots of celebrations to build team spirit, it also supports employees who are going through difficult transitions.



o you like to talk to your car? Dictate a text message to your smartphone? Tell your computer what to do next?

At Nuance, the voice of success

If so, there’s a strong chance you’re relying on work by the people at Nuance Communications, Inc., a world leader in voice-recognition and natural language processing technology. Its applications can be found in the latest offerings of such top companies as Toyota, BMW, Audi, Tangerine, Samsung and Intel, among many others. The company also offers cutting-edge systems for customer service, mobile banking, the healthcare industry, document imaging, and much more. “We humanize the interface between person and machine,” says David Ardman, Vice President of Engineering for Nuance.

“We humanize the interface between person and machine” – David Ardman, Vice President of Engineering

With global headquarters in Burlington, Mass., Nuance has about 750 employees in Canada, located mainly in its research and development Centre of Excellence in Montreal. The company has additional offices in Waterloo, Ont., focusing on print management solutions, and Ottawa, delivering medical transcription services. In Montreal, a dedicated portion of the staff work on mobile applications that give voice—literally—to interactions with phones, tablets, PCs, TVs, cars and “wearables”, such as smart watches. The centre also handles cloud-based development, natural language processing research, customer care applications and healthcare clinical language understanding.

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It’s exciting work. Ask Montreal-based Ardman what keeps these highly educated, highly sought-after tech experts at Nuance, and he quickly warms to the subject. “This building is full of engineers and researchers and they love surmounting difficult challenges,” he says. “Think about the challenge of getting speech recognition to work well in a noisy acoustic environment, such as in a convertible on the highway, or on a TV in a living room with people chatting in the background. Think about transcribing clinical information uttered by a heavily accented doctor, or using your voice to complete a banking transaction or book a vacation. “First and foremost, I think it’s about the technical challenge. And it’s becoming even more interesting as computing devices become more ubiquitous, like wearable electronics with small screens and small or non-existent keyboards.” On the horizon, notes Ardman, is voice-based home automation (“dim the lights, please”). Nuance also offers highly competitive compensation and benefits,





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including four weeks’ vacation to start and tuition reimbursement of up to $3,000 annually. Nuance’s Montreal office is located in the heart of the vibrant downtown area, near McGill University. Above all, Nuance is determined to attract the best people, including those early in their careers. It mounts a large paid internship program, taking in up to 25 students through three intern cycles annually. “It’s highly strategic,” says Ardman. “Interns inject a high level of energy, creativity and fresh perspective into the work environment. And the technical challenges we face require Canada’s best and brightest. The endgame is to bring in these highly talented people as permanent employees, show them why we’re the right place, and ideally keep them in Can-

ada with opportunities that normally are associated with Silicon Valley.” China-born Songzhe Toby Wang is one of those talented people. After earning his bachelor’s and master’s degrees in electrical engineering at McGill, he did an internship at Nuance this summer and joined as a junior software engineer in September. “It’s been a very positive experience,” he says. “During my internship I was able to join discussions with senior Nuance scientists and engineers around the world. And we interns worked on challenging, important projects that could really make an impact on the company.” Wang plans to stay in Montreal. Overall, he finds, “Nuance has a relaxed and dynamic work environment which really promotes innovation.”

10/2/14 2:57 PM



At agile OpenText, the best of tech’s worlds

penText Corp., Canada’s largest software company, has never forgotten its roots. It began in 1991 in Waterloo, Ont. as a four-person start-up with a great dictionary indexing system, which later morphed into Yahoo’s first search engine. Today, OpenText has 8,200 employees around the world, and it produces a wide variety of enterprise applications that help large organizations get a handle on the vast amounts of information they produce on a daily basis. Ask President & CEO Mark Barrenechea who his biggest competitor is, and he is quick to respond: “It’s IBM.” But despite its size, OpenText is determined to maintain its original esprit.

“It’s not the last or the loudest voice that wins – it’s solid thinking and analysis and facts” – Mark Barrenechea, CEO

“We drive a very entrepreneurial culture,” says Barrenechea. “It’s very much a start-up culture. We’re not bureaucratic. Best ideas typically win and we’re able to get to those ideas quickly and nimbly. We’re also a fact-driven company. It’s not the last or the loudest voice that wins – it’s solid thinking and analysis and facts. It’s a very agile, innovative, entrepreneurial environment.”

in which special workrooms are configured with workstations, 20-foot tables and wall-to-wall whiteboards, all designed to support collaboration among software engineers. Workspaces can also be reconfigured quickly to bring people together for new projects. “Writing software is a team sport,” notes Barrenechea.

To get at employees’ ideas, the CEO personally joins two bi-weekly forums, one for the engineering product review team and the other for leaders of the sales team. “It’s a risk-free environment where any idea can come forward for review,” he says.

Like many tech companies, OpenText is known for a comfortable campus in Waterloo, with outdoor barbecues, a walking path, a games lounge and free Starbucks coffee. Compensation and benefits are highly competitive, there are a variety of alternative work arrangements for work/life balance, and, notably, the maternity leave top-up payment is 100 percent of salary for 19 weeks. In return, says Barrenechea, the company looks for “performance and excellence.”

The word “agile” comes up a lot at OpenText. To implement software projects, the company has what it calls the “agile development process”

OpenText also has offices around the world, and Barrenechea feels it’s important to have Canadians in place in many of them to maintain “the






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Canadian soul” of the company. That means the prospect of being posted elsewhere is very real. Moreover, he says, “I do a leadership talk where one of the top 10 bullets is ‘Leave your country’. Leave it for a couple of years. Go learn about yourself, your company, your industry from an outside perspective. That experience is invaluable. You’ll never rise to your true potential as a manager or a leader unless you leave your home country.” To Waterloo-based Content Author Sharon Malloch, OpenText is the best tech company she’s worked at over a 20-year career in a region crowded with them. She likes the positive

culture, the excellent benefits and “the nicest offices in the city.” But more than that, she says, OpenText is on the cutting edge of information management, with an excellent set of products in a huge and growing market. “It’s great to work for a rapidly expanding, successful business,” she says. “And we have some of the smartest, most professional people I’ve worked with.” In the tech industry, says Malloch, “really it’s offering the best of both worlds. We have the entrepreneurial spirit of a start-up, plus the process control and security you’d see at a blue-chip company.”



PCL is devoted to developing its employees

CL Construction of Edmonton is one of the biggest and most successful construction companies in Canada. The company also operates one of the busiest and most innovative in-house employee learning centres in the country. “We are a learning organization,” says Mike Olsson, Vice-President of Human Resources and Professional Development. “We believe in growing our people.”

In fact, “growing our people” has become a key component of growing the business and, by any measure, it has been a successful approach.

“You never know where your career is going to take you when you get here and start” – Mike Olsson, Vice-President, HR & Professional Development

The company typically has as many as 700 projects on the go at any given moment, ranging in value from $10,000 to over $1 billion, and they can include office towers, residential condominiums, hotels and resorts, educational and health-care facilities, bridges, airports, water treatment facilities, power plants and refineries. In addition to its Canadian operations, PCL operates in the U.S., Australia and the Caribbean. Every year, the company offers students across the country an opportunity to gain invaluable, on-the-job experience through its robust co-op placement program. This year, over 600 students, recruited from 20 postsecondary educational institutions,

have had work placements in Canada alone, say Olsson.

Typically, 50 to 60 per cent of them are aspiring engineers or engineering technicians, but the program has also grown to include students in areas such as accounting, procurement, information technology, safety and human resources. “They’re involved in really meaningful, highly valued work,” says Olsson. “We put them in positions of responsibility.” Since the late 1980s, PCL has operated its own College of Construction in Edmonton with full-time trainers and instructors who teach hundreds of technical and behavioural courses across the country. On the technical side, they teach such things as project scheduling, planning and estimating while behavioural offerings include effective communication, negotiation and presentation skills. There are also courses for supervisors dealing with mentoring, training and handling difficult conversations. “I’ve gone through almost every course that the College has to offer,” says Karla Horcica, a civil engineer who is now a project manager and has been involved in a variety of projects, ranging in value from $200,000 to $500 million. Those programs have been a key part of her success, but so has the company’s philosophy of each one-teach one. In other words, everybody in a supervisory position will be teaching somebody working with them. “Everybody takes a strong interest in who they’re working with,” says Horcica. “I’m grooming my construction coordinator to take over my job.”




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PCL has found other ways to allow employees to grow and to expand their professional horizons. Employees who join the company with a civil engineering degree, for example, may start by working on bridges, water treatment plants or other infrastructure project, but they are not permanently bound to those types of projects.



years, longestpeople, capacity of serving employee new training centre “We have a multitude of people who may have gone to school for civil engineering, but later they’re working in the industrial sector,” says Olsson. “You never know where your career is going to take you when you get here and start contributing. That’s one of the best parts of being at PCL.”



PHSA: attracting health care’s ‘best of the best’

ritish Columbia’s Provincial Health Services Authority (PHSA) is the only organization of its kind in Canada devoted solely to providing specialized health services. That means, at any given time, PHSA’s clinicians, researchers and frontline caregivers are addressing some of the country’s most complex health challenges. That is certainly part of the appeal for Sabina Khan, a perinatal nurse at the PHSA’s BC Women’s Hospital, one of Canada’s largest maternity facilities and one that typically deals with the province’s most delicate and demanding pregnancies. “We provide service to the highest risk obstetric cases from across BC,” says Khan. “Many of our babies are premature births, some extremely so. That’s part of the challenge of the job. The reward is being part of so many positive outcomes.”

“This recognition honours the daily work of our people who have made us one of the best places to work” – Carl Roy, President & CEO

A similar mixture of challenge and achievement can be found across the PHSA’s agencies, services programs and divisions. One of six B.C. health authorities (the other five serve geographic regions), PHSA has a province-wide focus and oversees several centres of excellence, including BC Cancer Agency, BC Centre for Disease Control, BC Children’s Hospital & Sunny Hill Health Centre for Children, BC Mental Health & Substance Use Services, BC Renal Agency, BC

Transplant, BC Women’s Hospital & Health Centre BC Emergency Health Services, Cardiac Services and Perinatal Services BC.

“We tend to attract individuals who want to work in an area that is their passion and are very clear about what they want to do,” says Judy Clark, the PHSA’s Director of Talent Acquisition. “They are here to work alongside the best of the best.” PHSA places a strong emphasis on teamwork, collaboration and continuous career development. The latter is reflected in very high retention and promotion rates. Last year, for example, the organization had 3,159 internal hires compared to 1,600 external hires—evidence that it’s possible to build a lifelong career without leaving the health authority. PHSA has also turned its nearly 19,000 employees into potential recruiters through an initiative dubbed PHSA Talent Detectives. “We recognize the best know the best,” explains Clark. “Since 2009, we’ve received 3,500 employee referrals from our own people that resulted in 300 new hires. Our cost per hire was about $275, as opposed to the many thousands of dollars you could spend on regular recruitment.” Recognizing employee contributions is another key priority—and not just the work of doctors, nurses and other frontline staff. “When you go to one of our hospitals, it’s easy to see why people come to work,” says Clark. “But there are so many people who impact the quality of care who are not on-site, including those who work on our information systems, supply chain and communications.” All employees are formally recognized for their length of service, in increments ranging

Patients First

Results Matter

teamwork Excellence through knowledge


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from five years to 40 years. Last year alone, 1,900 employees celebrated such milestones.

sure they congratulated all staff, including night time employees who keep PHSA going 24/7.

After the PHSA was named one of Canada’s Top 100 Employers in 2013, the organization decided to celebrate by delivering B.C.-grown apples to employees across the province. In a single week, a Human Resources team visited over 30 sites bearing the apples, a personal “thank you” message and information on employee benefits. The team made

The second consecutive appearance of the PHSA on the Top 100 list will be cause for further celebration, says Carl Roy, the organization’s President and CEO. “This recognition honours the daily work of our people who have made us one of the best places to work as well as a leader in best practices in the health care.”

Best Value

Open to Possibilities



At RBC, personal and professional values add up

n today’s highly competitive business environment, any corporation hoping to thrive and prosper must deal with a key issue: How do you attract and retain the best employees? At RBC, where the corporate vision is “Always earning the right to be our clients’ first choice,” getting the answer right is a top priority.

There is, of course, no simple, onesize-fits-all way to be an employer of choice. That’s particularly true for one of Canada’s largest banks whose 79,000 employees work in 42 countries in differing businesses, including personal and commercial banking, wealth management services, insurance, investor services and capital markets products and services.

“RBC has long recognized that career success means different things to different people. We try to emphasize flexibility and what’s important to the individual.” – Per Scott, Vice President, Human Resources

Then again, diversity for growth and innovation is a core value at RBC. “RBC has long recognized that career success means different things to different people,” says Per Scott, Vice President, Human Resources, RBC. “We try to emphasize flexibility and what’s important to the individual.” For current and prospective employees who put compensation and benefits uppermost, RBC offers financial incentives that may include year-end bonuses,

discounted banking products (like mortgages) and a share purchase plan, among others. Those who strive for career advancement can take advantage of RBC’s panoply of training and development programs.

Those who want their employer to be a good corporate citizen – and this is a growing group, especially among younger workers – RBC should be a consideration. RBC is one of Canada’s largest corporate donors, with a history of philanthropy dating back to 1891. In 2013, RBC committed more than $104 million to causes worldwide through donations, sponsorships, community investments and employee volunteerism. Some initiatives, such as the RBC Blue Water Project, are companywide and global in scope. Introduced in 2007, the project is a 10-year commitment to help provide access to swimmable, fishable, drinkable water now and into the future. To date, RBC has pledged over $41 million to more than 700 charitable organizations worldwide that protect urban water. RBC also supports a wide range of employee-driven projects via measures that recognize and reward those who contribute time and resources in their own communities. One such initiative, the RBC Day of Service Grant Program, encourages employees to gather a team of co-workers, friends and family to volunteer for a day outside work hours and then apply for $1,000 for the qualifying charity. David Spence, Sales Manager Small Business in the B.C. region, clearly likes this program – a lot. Spence, based in the South Surrey-Delta region, also serves as co-chair of the B.C. chapter of NextGen. Last spring, he issued the group a challenge: raise $50,000 in the eight-week


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window the program runs. Some 950 volunteer hours later they exceeded their goal, raising $54,000. “It’s a great opportunity to give back to our community,” says Spence. There are other benefits. NextGen, the newest of an array of grassroots affinity employee groups throughout RBC, helps members in their 20s and 30s to develop personally and professionally. Volunteering can definitely play a part in that, says Spence. “You’re building connections with peers and leaders while you’re



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having a positive impact on your career, the businesses you work with, and your community.” At RBC, the personal and professional are inextricably linked. So it’s no surprise that attracting and retaining great people are too. As HR VP Scott states, over 30 per cent of new hires come from referrals from current employees. He adds, “That speaks very well of the company when somebody says to other people, ‘you should come work here, too.’ ’’

PROUD A feeling that results from fulfilling a promise.

We’ve won Canada’s Top 100 Employers award 7 years running. That’s because RBC® follows through on its promise of a great work environment with high performing, collaborative and inclusive teams. To learn more, visit

(R)/TM Trademark(s) of Royal Bank of Canada.


Good for Rogers customers means good for employees


ith its new CEO and new goal of fixing the customer experience, Rogers Communications has also created a whole lot of new opportunities for its employees – be they in the call centre or the executive ranks. According to Maria Churchill, senior vice president of process improvement, there’s a sense of optimism in the air right now thanks to the changes that are underway. CEO Guy Laurence, appointed in 2013, is committed to “taking down barriers and getting things right,” she says. “He has a very open and transparent style.”

Churchill’s present role (she’s held several since arriving at Rogers cable division in 2008) is about simplifying policies and processes both for employees and for customers. Whether they walk into a store, call in to a service representative or go online, Rogers wants to make life easier for customers, new and existing, to solve their problems – everything from getting the right phone to finding a better internet service deal.

“It’s truly Canadian owned and based. Our success contributes to the Canadian economy and Canadian consumers.” – Maria Churchill, Senior VP, Process Improvement

As an employee who spent more than three years on the frontlines of customer service in a call centre, Michelle Phillips says her goal was to make “customers feel as if they were valued.” She started off helping cable customers, moved on to wireless and especially enjoyed the “concierge” program where a single representative helps customers who are moving


house with transferring, selecting and setting up all their Rogers accounts. Phillips joined the call centre midlife after working in a very different field and roles. “It wasn’t a dead end job. It was the complete opposite,” she says. “One of the great things about Rogers is that if you show initiative the company is always trying to get you to the next level.” Through the company’s Path program, which is offered to high-performing frontline employees to help them advance their careers, Phillips gained access to webinars, live chats, special projects and internships designed to develop the skills required to advance in the organization. Earlier this year, she decided she was ready to try something new and moved on from the call centre to take on a temporary administrative role in downtown Toronto with one of the company’s directors.

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It was a success and when a similar position opened up, thanks to a maternity leave, Phillips jumped at the chance. It’s been a complete lifestyle change. To beat the worst of rush hour traffic, she drives in early to take advantage of the company’s wellness program. One of the employee perks at the downtown Toronto location is the on-site gym: “The gym has always intimidated me, but a co-worker motivated me. This is something we’re doing together,” says Phillips. “I’m excited.” Jim Reid, chief human resources officer, says that Rogers offers its staff “the chance to work along-



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side some of the best and brightest people in the industry. Our people are focused on delivering what’s next to Canadians and pushing the boundaries of innovation.” For Churchill, who’s been in the telecommunications industry for her entire career, being on the technological forefront is one of the attractions. The other thing she appreciates is working for a family business with no foreign parent where big decisions are made right in Canada. “It’s truly Canadian owned and based. Our success contributes to the Canadian economy and Canadian consumers,” she says.

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In competitive job market, Shell Canada sees employees as its most precious resource

s one of Canada’s largest integrated oil and gas companies, Calgary-based Shell Canada knows its most valuable resources are above ground – in the approximately 9,000 employees who work in its offices and energy facilities nationwide. In one important respect, inspiration at Shell flows from the top down – starting with Lorraine Mitchelmore, the company’s President and EVP of Heavy Oil. “One of my greatest joys as a leader,” she recently wrote in an essay for the Governor General’s Canadian Leadership Conference, “is when I help people reach a level they never thought possible. It opens doors to show them they can go even higher.”

“One of my greatest joys as a leader is when I help people reach a level they never thought possible. It opens doors to show them they can go even higher.” – Lorraine Mitchelmore, President & EVP, Heavy Oil

Shell Canada, a subsidiary of Royal Dutch Shell Plc, pays more than lip service to its focus on employees. Faced with intense competition for talent in Alberta’s tight job market and nationally, it offers exceptional financial rewards, including a share purchase plan, generous yearend bonuses, discounted financial services through the Shell Credit Union – and even discounts on gasoline purchases at the pump. But Shell Canada’s corporate culture recognizes that satisfaction on the job is the biggest benefit of all – and it helps employees achieve that goal in a number of ways. The compa-

ny encourages ongoing employee development through tuition subsidies for job-related courses, formal mentoring, career planning services, and subsidies for professional accreditation. “It’s a fun place to work,” says Sid Nag, Senior Advisor, Asset Operations Heavy Oil, “filled with motivated people and a very supportive and dedicated team.” The company’s unique meditation and reflection centre at Calgary Place is designed to meet its employees’ religious and spiritual needs, and is a symbol of Shell’s appreciation for diversity in every area. “Leadership,” says Mitchelmore, “is about valuing and creating diversity of culture, gender, and ideas, and a non-threatening, supportive environment where people can feel comfortable to be different, to have different ideas, to have healthy, constructive discussions and debates.”

Shell also encourages employees to give back to their communities by permitting up to three paid days off each year to volunteer for United Way “Days of Caring” initiatives or their favourite charities. There are also opportunities for employees to participate in environmental activities locally and even internationally through Shell’s Project Better World. This is a reflection of Shell’s own commitment to community and its status as one of Canada’s leading corporate donors. Last year it supported approximately 800 charitable initiatives. For Shell Canada, social responsibility also means sustainability. In 1991, it was the first major Canadian oil and gas company to adopt and implement sustainable development as an official company policy. That pledge is evident today in facilities like Shell Canada’s Quest Carbon Capture & Storage Project north of


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Edmonton, which, when completed in 2015, will capture carbon dioxide deep underground in an amount equivalent to taking 175,000 North American cars off the road. Its new Carmon Creek project in Alberta will also use state-of-the-art technology to reduce the environmental impact. The company helps new hires make a successful transition through formal


Discover remarkable opportunities at Shell is an Equal Opportunity Employer



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orientation and mentoring programs to support ongoing career development. “It’s been a job that’s given me a lot of challenges and a lot of opportunities to grow,” says Teresa Storch, a Maintenance Engineer at Shell Canada’s oil sands facilities in Fort McMurray, Alberta. “I like that no two days in a row are exactly the same. There’s always something new going on – always exciting things.”



Flexibility and employee engagement go hand in hand at Siemens Canada

lobal technology firm Siemens Canada is launching a unique new program aimed at recruiting promising engineering and technical students. “It’s called the Siemens Canada Engineering and Technology Academy,” says Heather Machado, Talent Acquisition Manager for the company’s operations in Canada. “The program offers paid tuition for the students for the final two years of their education. They’ll work their coop terms with us and we’re actually hiring them as full-time employees while they’re still in school.” Siemens is launching its academy with 40 students drawn from universities and colleges in Ontario and Alberta. The program is restricted to students in engineering and engineering technician programs because those programs provide students with the

“With the breadth of the work we do, you have the opportunity to have multiple careers, all under the Siemens logo.” – Heather Machado, Talent Acquisition Manager

educational foundation required for many of the positions available at the company. Siemens has a significant presence in Canada with facilities located from Atlantic to Pacific. They include manufacturing and assembly plants, service centres and sales offices. The company delivers electrical engineering and technology products and solutions to four different sectors of the economy – health care, energy generation and transmission, industry and infrastructure for municipalities.

Siemens has long offered work terms for students in co-op programs and not just those studying engineering. Mark Tsou studied Environment & Business Science at the University of Waterloo and spent several work terms at Siemens before taking a permanent position as a marketing specialist in the Digital Factory, Factory Automation division.

“I received a lot of mentoring,” Tsou says. “If it weren’t for the supervisors and colleagues I worked with, I don’t think I would have had the skills and abilities to do my job now. People are welcoming, they’re receptive, and they always provide feedback based on their knowledge and experience” There are several other reasons why Tsou considers Siemens a great place to work. “There are tons of opportunities here,” he says. “I moved around when I was here as a co-op student. There was plenty of room for me to make an impact on the company’s operations in every job I did.” Machado adds that Siemens employees can make a rewarding career for themselves by moving from one division of the company’s business to another. “With the breadth of the work we do, you have the opportunity to have multiple careers, all under the Siemens logo,” she says. “It’s one of the best places to build a long-term career because you can always develop and learn new things. We’re recognized for the investment we continuously make in innovation and education. We keep our employees up-to-date on industry standards and where things are going.” At its Canadian headquarters, Siemens has evolved its work environment by implementing “Siemens Office”, a global concept promoted in the Siemens world that gives em-


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ployees a great deal of flexibility and autonomy in how they manage their jobs. Employees have some latitude in setting their hours of work, they can telecommute if the job can be sustained remotely, and can participate in meetings via video conferencing. The successful implementation of this approach at Siemens encourages a culture of trust and respect between



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managers and employees and lays a strong foundation for future success. “Having that flexibility is really critical to getting the best out of our employees and having them fully engaged,” says Machado. “It’s more about managing results than managing attendance.”



No ordinary annual review at Suncor

magine the chance to sit down once a year alone with your boss’s boss to discuss your career aspirations? At Suncor Energy, the Manager Once Removed program enables such annual meetings, a key component of the company’s commitment to professional development. “It feels really great that the organization wants to help me along with my career,” says Stephanie Ryan, Suncor’s manager of talent acquisition at the company’s Calgary head office. “Manager Once Removed is a terrific opportunity to step back and consider an employee’s long-term goals. It’s not a chat; it’s a rigorous conversation about the individual’s future, not the company per se. I don’t know of any other company that does this.”

After joining the Suncor team, new personnel may join rotational programs that allow them to spend several years working in various business areas. “That way, people get invaluable wide-ranging experiences, and together the employee and company can determine the best fit,” explains Ryan. “It’s critical to our success.” For engineer-in-training Calvin Gee, the rotation program allows him to work on projects designed to improve energy efficiency, reliability and safety, one of Suncor’s core values. “I’m always doing something different,” says Gee, a University of Calgary chemical engineering graduate. “It could be anything from working with engineering drawings and calculations and simulations to developing studies or technical writing.”

“We care not just about our employees but the communities they work in.”

Ryan adds that the company also encourages new employees to get involved with “unique and stimulating” projects from the get go. “That way they have a chance to make a meaningful contribution,” she says.

– Stephanie Ryan, Manager of Talent Acquisition

People everywhere want to make a difference – and Suncor wants just that sort of employee. Says Ryan: “We hire people who want to be part of the solution.”

Manager Once Removed is one of several distinctive initiatives that has put Suncor on the Top Employers for Young People list for the past four years as well as the overall roster of Top 100 Companies. Another enticement is the variety of growth opportunities available to the some 14,000 employees of this global energy giant whose operations span petroleum exploration in the North Sea to further development of Canada’s oil sands.

The company takes seriously its commitment to sustainable energy, operating Canada’s largest biofuels plant and is also a leader in wind power. Concern for the environment and social well-being are just as important as economic prosperity, Ryan says. “We have people,” she adds, “who once said they could not imagine working in the oil and gas sector. Now, they are proud to be creating environmental solutions.”


14,000 employees in Canada





on Aboriginal athletes & coaches suppliers since ‘99 supported

end bonuses, along with referral bonuses of up to $10,000 if the company hires someone you recommend for difficult-to-fill jobs. For those wishing to continue learning, there “I saw a lot of opportunity here,” are extensive in-house training prosays recent hire Skylar Anderson, grams and tuition subsidies of up to a business administration graduAt the same time, Suncor cultivates $5,500 annually for outside academic ate from Mount Royal University an ownership culture that appeals to work. Even employees’ children are in Calgary. “Suncor provides new new as well as experienced employeligible for academic scholarships employees with limitless possibilities ees. There’s a long-term incentives of $1,800 per year. And everyone on every step of its value chain.” andAd performance-related Suncor Energy – Midcareer Recruitmentplan Print (English) – 8 in x year1.625 in_e can receive a five-per-cent discount


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at the 1,500 gas stations operated by Petro-Canada, a Suncor subsidiary. The company also encourages and supports employees’ volunteer and charitable activities. There are a number of generous matching grant programs, some of which are tied to an employee’s volunteer hours and causes that they support. Says Ryan: “We care not just about our employees but the communities they work in.”

More pride. More growth. More success. Go ahead. Apply now! © 2014 Abio, 2014.09.25



Sunnybrook: where people do “amazing things”

orking at Toronto’s Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre is not for the faint of heart. But for people who love challenges, thrive on pressure and respond to life-and-death situations, this is the place to be. “As Canada’s largest trauma and burn centre, we care for the most critically injured or ill,” says Marilyn Reddick, Sunnybrook’s vice-president of human resources and organizational development. For Reddick, it’s the “best job in the world – I get to support people who do amazing things to save lives.”

Known as much for its groundbreaking research as for its award-winning medical care for some 1.2 million patients annually, Sunnybrook emphasizes continuous learning. “We have to engage in the latest healthcare developments, including new drugs, technologies and procedures,” Reddick says. “We are all teachers and learners, every day. It’s an amazing atmosphere for anyone who thrives on learning and research.”

“We are all teachers and learners, every day. It’s an amazing atmosphere for anyone who thrives on learning and research.” – Marilyn Reddick, Vice-President, Human Resources

But Sunnybrook also recognizes the need to create a supportive working environment that extends beyond its offices, nursing units, laboratories and operating rooms. To meet that goal, its Quality of Work & Life Program administers a number of innovative programs and initiatives.

Says Reddick: “We don’t just focus on the quality of work life, but also want to ensure there are programs to assist in employees’ personal lives. We want our 10,000 employees and volunteers to come to work with the resiliency needed to perform the complex tasks expected of them in a challenging work atmosphere.” For those concerned about elderly parents, financing their first home purchase or paying their children’s university tuition fees, Sunnybrook brings in experts for informal employee talks through its Life Stages Program. They are held in the evenings so spouses and other family members can attend.

For those who need to clear their heads during office hours, Sunnybrook organizes Restorative Lunch Breaks by specialists on non-medical subjects such as making chocolate, tasting tea or gardening tips. “It’s a therapeutic break,” says Reddick. “People need that, especially when there’s lots of pressure at work.” There’s free membership to two onsite fitness facilities and a range of other sponsored physical activities from bicycle paths at the health complex’s nearly 100 acres to Zumba classes. And Sunnybrook also sponsors employee hockey, basketball and soccer teams in intramural and outside leagues to encourage social engagement away from work. For those seeking more spiritual relief, there are three onsite places of worship: a Muslim prayer room, a synagogue and a chapel with twice-daily services. In Sunnybrook’s team approach, everyone plays a critical role that is acknowledged in a comprehensive reward and recognition program. Take Joe Nunes, a 27-year Sunnybrook veteran who transports patients from one






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location to another. His understanding and humanity, especially in calming nervous patients being wheeled to the operating room, won him a major internal customer service award, after being nominated by 42 co-workers, patients and their families. “We have a real sense of community here,” Nunes says. “I love coming to work every day because of the

people I work with and those I meet.” He also praises Sunnybrook’s compassionate culture. “We try to make for a better patient experience,” says Nunes. “It’s a natural part of our jobs – the little things can really make a difference in the way a person feels about their hospital stay. All of us really care.”


A culture of caring makes Union Gas a top employer


nion Gas Limited of Chatham, Ont. celebrated its 100th anniversary in 2011 by publishing a corporate history, organizing a year-long celebration and by being named one of Canada’s Top 100 Employers.

The centennial is long over, but Union Gas has remained in Canada’s Top 100 ever since and the reason is simple, says Paul Rietdyk, vice-president engineering, construction, storage and transmission. It’s the culture. “Culture is what actually happens throughout the organization, not what executives say is happening,” Rietdyk says. “What sets us apart is our culture of caring, of family, and a culture of high performance on so many fronts. And in our case the culture is underpinned by our values of safety, stewardship, integrity, respect for the individual, high performance, win-win relationships, and initiative.”

“We live and breathe our communities... Our success is dependent on the success of our communities.” – Paul Rietdyk, VP Engineering, Construction, Storage & Transmission

That includes inside the company and out – especially when it comes to the communities Union Gas serves. Union Gas is Canada’s second largest natural gas utility. It boasts over 1.4 million residential, commercial and industrial clients in more than 400 communities in north and northwestern Ontario and from Windsor to the Quebec border in the south. “We live and breathe our communities,” says Rietdyk. “We’re part of our communities. Our success is dependent on the success of our communities.”

That core principle led to the establishment a number of years ago of the company’s Helping Hands In Action program, which is all about community involvement. As Rietdyk puts it, the company provides the funds and the employees come up with projects such as tree planting, landscaping or painting to improve community facilities such as schools, community centres and parks. The projects are all employee-driven. The company offers a wide range of technical and professional employment opportunities. On the technical side, Union Gas employs utility service representatives who replace gas meters and respond to emergencies, among other things, as well as compressor mechanics and technicians who maintain the large, complex infrastructure required to move gas through the system. Union Gas also employs engineers, accountants, lawyers, information technology specialists and public affairs practitioners and recruits on university campuses for many of these positions.

The company provides a number of in-house training and career development programs. Union Gas operates a technical training centre for utility service representatives and operations technicians at its Stoney-Creek office and gives newly graduated engineers and accountants the work-related experience necessary to obtain professional designations. The Leadership Development Network is one of several multi-faceted, employee-led initiatives. Among other things, the network brings in motivational speakers and arranges mentoring opportunities for those who want to benefit from the guidance and advice of a senior leader. The Business Women’s Network is a similar program for female professionals and has its own board and






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arranges several events annually. “Union Gas is very focused on providing development opportunities for all its employees with an emphasis on development of the next generation of the organization’s leaders,” says Tanya Mushynski, assistant general counsel and general manager, legal affairs. “Such opportunities include coaching, rotations in different work assignments, mentoring, development plans, the Leadership Development Network and the Business Women’s Network. There are many women at Union Gas in senior leader-

ship positions who have had very interesting and varied careers.” Union Gas also recognizes the importance of work-life balance and has adopted several programs to benefit their employees. Flex Friday allows employees to take every other Friday off by completing two weeks work in a compressed nine-day period. Flex Time gives employees the opportunity to start and finish the work day on a fluctuating basis and the job sharing program allows two or more people to share one full-time position.

Union Gas is proud to be recognized as one of Canada’s Top 100 Employers for the fifth year in a row. Great energy connects our employees. Their diversity, energy and commitment have contributed our success for over 100 years. We share this success with the 1.4 million customers we’re honoured to serve in communities across Ontario.

Connected Through Energy



University of Toronto’s family benefits rate A+

hen Arlene Clement began her B.A. at the University of Toronto over 20 years ago, she was studying English and Political Science. More recently, Clement, who is now the university’s director of housing and the mother of a threeyear-old daughter, attended a campus talk on young children’s sleep issues as part of a “Parenting Toddlers” discussion group, organized by the U of T Family Care Office.

The Family Care Office, which turned 20 last year, provides guidance, resources, referrals, educational programming and advocacy for the university’s community and their families. The “Parenting Toddlers” session was one of many including “Sibling Rivalry” and “Queer & Trans Family Planning 101.” The office also provides information on child care options near the university including U of T’s Early Learning Centre, where Clement’s daughter is enrolled.

“Each of us works in an environment where we’re surrounded by leadingedge research, teaching and innovation. You feel that you’re contributing to something greater.” – Arlene Clement, Director of Housing

“I knew the university ran a great daycare program at each of its locations and wanted my child to attend. I got on the waiting list right away when I found out that I was pregnant,” says Clement, who notes that her location was purpose-built with its own kitchen. As a vegetarian, the freshly-made, healthy meals are a feature she especially values.


“Helping U of T employees find that often-elusive ‘work-life fit’ is one of the goals of the Family Care Office,” says Erin Jackson, Executive Director of Human Resources Service Delivery at the university. To further aid harried parents and caregivers, there are programs such as flextime and telecommuting. Recently, Jackson’s schedule allowed her to step away from work in order to attend her eight-year-old son’s hockey tournament on a Friday afternoon, a benefit of the university’s flex hours. Jackson emphasized that family care is not just about helping employees with young children. The university also offers programs and services for those involved in elder care. “We have a multi-generational workforce. It spans a broad range from ‘millennials’, who are relatively new in their careers, to those who have been with the university for more than 40 years,” she said. “The university is viewed as an excellent place to work, and a lot of individ-





full-time staff in Toronto

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years, average employee age

of managers are female

uals who have the opportunity to work here, tend to want stay and make U of T home for their career.” Along with excellent benefits, the wide range of career opportunities allows career growth and development, not to mention the chance to work in a beautiful setting. “People talk about how cool it is to work at Google and Apple,” said Jackson. “Well, at U of T, each of us works in an environment where we’re surrounded by leading-edge research, teaching and innovation. You feel that you’re contributing to something greater.” Clement is certainly a poster child for the opportunities available. “I am the director of the office I started

in,” she says, noting that she took a couple of detours along the way. She worked in the Faculty of Medicine in communications and helped set up U of T’s new Health and Wellness unit. She also took advantage of the university’s educational assistance program to help finance her master’s degree in adult education. And she applied for and was accepted into its Rose Patten Leadership Program, where her mentor was one of the university’s senior administrators. The well-regarded employee program helped Clement to broaden her network and see and approach work problems from a different perspective. “My mentor was terrific,” she says.

Work Where the World Comes to Think, Discover and Learn


At Western, it’s written in the wind


t may take a village to raise a child, but it takes most of a university to build a revolutionary new wind dome. Just ask engineering professor Horia Hangan, director of Western University’s WindEEE Research Institute. Hangan and his multi-disciplinary colleagues, considered Canada’s leading wind engineering research team, wanted to build a hexagonal wind dome that, rather than run straight like wind tunnels, would work in 3D – mimicking the swirling, circular movements of tornadoes, hurricanes and other high-intensity air streams. To show funders and others how their $30-million vision would work, they needed a scale model. Enter Rich Ramos (pictured, at right), a control mechanic in Western’s Facilities Management group, and a team of fellow staff who together created a 1:11 scale model, complete with 106 roaring fans and a lot of complex wiring. With further staff support,

“...we need to attract highly skilled and emotionally intelligent people who thrive in a complex and demanding environment.” – Amit Chakma, President

the funding came through, and to build the full-scale WindEEE Dome (for Wind Engineering, Energy and Environment), “every department on campus participated,” says Hangan (pictured, at left). “It was a great effort and a great feeling.” At Western, everyone feels a part of the academic enterprise. Just as students come from all over the world to learn from some of the

top professors in their fields, so do many staff recruits. The prospect of working with world-class teams on projects with global impact can be a major attraction, says associate vice-president (human resources) Jane O’Brien. “There are a lot of staff roles that work directly with researchers or support outcomes, from technical and scientific people to administration and finance,” she says. “It really permeates our work.” So does supporting students from more than 115 countries. Western’s high international profile in both research and teaching has led the university to encourage its people to get out and see the world. Among its innovative programs is Leave for Change, in which two employees each year can use their vacation for a three-to-four-week volunteer assignment in one of 11 developing countries, paid for by Western and its external partners. There is also a Staff Alternative Spring Break, in which

An extraordinary student experience starts with extraordinary people. At Western, we strive to deliver a learning experience second to none. The dedication, skill, and passion of our faculty and staff make this possible. We are proud to be one of Canada’s Top 100 Employers, and a destination of choice for some of the brightest minds in the global academic community. Visit for more information.


4,763 50.5% full-time staff at Western

of staff are female

employees lead students on one-week volunteer missions around the world in partnership with various organizations. And yet another program offers staff international professional development through job-shadowing in another country for up to six weeks. O’Brien says these programs help employees better understand the cultures they are often working with at Western. Moreover, people often bring back knowledge that can lead to changes in their own work environment, she says. “Our goal is to be global citizens.” As one of the largest employers in southwest Ontario, Western recruits



daycare spaces provided

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applicants from across the province, across the country and sometimes around the world. What kind of people is the university looking for? Western’s president, Amit Chakma, sums it up powerfully. “Our dedication to world-class teaching and research means we need to attract highly skilled and emotionally intelligent people who thrive in a complex and demanding environment — people who understand the importance and value of interpersonal relationships and collaboration,” he says. People, in other words, like the ones who built the WindEEE Dome.



WorleyParsons’ world of opportunity

reg Conlon knows a lot about what it means to be part of a truly global company. Before his appointment in January 2014 as Regional Managing Director for WorleyParsons’ North America region, Conlon held senior positions in Europe, Singapore, Thailand and Australia.

That’s not an uncommon leadership career path at a company that is based in Australia but provides project delivery services for the energy and natural resource sectors in more than 40 countries. The global opportunities at WorleyParsons are a significant attraction, especially for new and younger employees. But just as important, says Conlon, is the variety of work offered.

“So even in a large company, you want small company energy and enthusiasm. And we’ve fought hard to keep that level of passion.” – Greg Conlon, Regional Managing Director, North America

“Consulting engineering is one of the few areas where you can work on an oil and gas project one year, a mining project the next year and a power project the year after that,” he says. “So if you are a younger person and want to broaden your experience, this kind of company allows you to work in many different sectors and locales.” That is precisely the appeal for Andy Nishimura, 25, a Calgary native who joined WorleyParsons three years ago after graduating with a chemical engineering degree from Queen’s University in Kingston, Ontario. “Because of the kind of work we do, I can help bring a project to completion

and move on to something new rather than being stuck doing the same thing over and over again,” says Nishimura. “As a young engineer, getting as much and as varied experience as you can is incredibly valuable.” In addition to his “day job,” Nishimura is president of the Calgary chapter of the Graduate Development Organization, or GDO, part of a company-wide program to recruit, develop and retain talented new employees. The GDOs, which are established by the graduates themselves, provide networking opportunities with senior staff through full-day forums and training sessions. They also help facilitate the company’s rotation program, which allows employees with fewer than four years in the industry to alternate between fields and even countries of operation for a year at a time, gaining the broadest possible experience and knowledge base. The GDOs also act as a social outlet. “In Calgary, there are very few of us who are actually from here,” says






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Nishimura. “So it’s great to organize a ski trip or a bowling night, often involving senior managers, so people can connect on a personal as well as professional level.” As part of its Top 100 distinction, WorleyParsons was also recognized as one of Canada’s best employers of young people and for employee diversity. Conlon says the diversity is, in part, due to the international nature of the company, though “it is also something we actively promote as the right thing to do.” As for the emphasis on youth, that simply makes good business sense. “As with any business, you want to keep evolving and bringing along the next generation,” he

says. “You want to encourage that passion, energy and thirst for new and better ways of doing things.” Since Conlon joined WorleyParsons in 2000, the global company has grown from a few thousand employees to more than 35,000. One of the challenges of growth, he says, is ensuring individuals still feel a valued part of the team – something WorleyParsons attempts to do by recognizing and celebrating employee performance. “It’s very easy for people to get lost in large corporations,” he says. “So even in a large company, you want small company energy and enthusiasm. And we’ve fought hard to keep that level of passion.”

“ Work-life balance, inclusiveness and diversity are more than corporate buzzwords here. We see and live these values every day. You feel part of a bigger family because the focus is on developing people, not just careers. ” Tatiana Wagner-Ruygrok

Check out career opportunities at:

Business Development Director, Hydrocarbons



North of 60, ‘you get the feeling that you count’

oet Robert Service called it “The Spell of the Yukon,” and for the people who work for the territory’s government, it’s very real.

“People who come here from outside the Yukon are generally amazed by the quality of life and the supportive nature of the community,” says Mindy Crayford, human resources director for the Department of the Environment in the Government of Yukon. “We sort of become each other’s families, because we are at a bit of a distance from the rest of the world. People who leave often come back because they realize it’s so good living here.” Crayford points to the many amenities in Whitehorse, the capital, which is home to the majority of the government’s approximately 4,000 full-time employees. There are also the spectacular landscapes and superb outdoor recreation opportunities Yukon offers.

“People who come here from outside the Yukon are generally amazed by the quality of life and the supportive nature of the community” – Mindy Crayford, HR Director, Department of the Environment

But working for the government is very good, too. To begin with, a number of positions have a significantly higher salary scale than those for comparable posts in southern Canada. Healthcare, insurance and pension benefits are also excellent. And among the most attractive aspects of government service is its high degree of accommodation

for people’s lifestyles.

Crayford rhymes off a whole series of ways people can adjust their work schedules. They can average their hours over two weeks or a month, working more one day than another to hit, say, 150 hours in 28 days. They can do a compressed work week and take every second Friday off, perhaps. They can do flex time on a daily basis, coming in earlier or later. And there is also job-sharing, where one person works the first week and a job partner works the second – or even six months on, six off. Charlie Furchner, a cost recovery analyst in the Department of Health and Social Services, has really appreciated the averaging system. Sharing custody of his young son, Furchner would work six hours a day in the week when he needed to drop off and pick up his boy from school. The other week he would work nine hours a day, bringing his average to the standard 75 hours every two weeks. “I really like this system,” he says.

Furchner also takes advantage of another benefit unknown in the south. Yukon government employees receive a negotiated benefit called the “Yukon bonus”, which under Canadian tax rules allows staff who’ve been employed two years or more to claim $2,242. This benefit is non-taxable as long as they present receipts showing they’ve used it for travel. Furchner once used it to drive 5,000 km to his native Sudbury, Ontario. Most staff use it for flights, of course, taking advantage of a starting vacation allowance of four weeks. Crayford notes that in recent years, competition has brought airfares down significantly and she can fly to her native Vancouver for $500. There are also regular flights to Edmonton






full-time staff in Yukon

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latitude of capital, Whitehorse

and Calgary as well as a weekly flight to Frankfurt in the summer. Housing in the north remains expensive, but Crayford and Furchner say the government’s compensation package more than makes up for local costs.

Above all, says Furchner, this is an employer that cares about its people. “There seems to be concern that the employee is happy and healthy, which is nice,” he says. “You do get the feeling that you count.” YKG-HRS-144_FIN.indd 1

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“Number one job site” based on six-month average online job postings for period ending October 7, 2014. Comparison between Workopolis and all other major paid online job boards. Does not include online classified sites or job posting aggregator sites. Statistics provided by WANTED Technologies. © 2014 Workopolis.



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Toyota Motor Manufacturing Canada Inc. is the proud recipient of 11 Canada’s Top 100 Employers Awards.

Canada's Top 100 Employers (2015)  

Official announcement magazine for the 2015 competition. Published in the November 4, 2014 issue of The Globe and Mail.

Canada's Top 100 Employers (2015)  

Official announcement magazine for the 2015 competition. Published in the November 4, 2014 issue of The Globe and Mail.