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S A Record Year: About this year’s competition


Methodology: How the winners were selected


The Full List: Canada’s Top 100 Employers (2017)

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


6 Download this magazine:


p Staff at Simon Fraser University in Burnaby, BC, taking part in Haida canoe-blessing ceremony


( 2017 )

q TD Bank employees making their communities a little greener.


CANADA’S TOP 100 EMPLOYERS 2017 Magazine Anthony Meehan, PUBLISHER

Karen Le,


Editorial Team:


Kristina Leung, SENIOR EDITOR

Advertising Sales:

Kristen Chow,


Sponsor Content Writers:

Berton Woodward, SENIOR EDITOR

Michael Benedict Brian Bergman

Ann Brocklehurst Jane Doucet

Sheldon Gordon Patricia Hluchy D’Arcy Jenish

Bruce McDougall John Schofield

Barbara Wickens

© 2016 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.



his year marks the 17th consecutive edition of the Canada’s Top 100 Employers competition. When we launched the project in the fall of 1999, our modest objective was to bring the stories of a few exceptional employers to a few thousand readers. Our hope was that, in time, other employers would take notice and job-seekers could learn about the kinds of HR policies available at the nation’s most progressive employers. Today, the Canada’s Top 100 Employers project annually reaches over 13 million Canadians through our newspapers and magazine partners, including millions of job-seekers who use our Eluta.ca job search engine. The project attracted a record number of applications from employers this year, not only for the Top 100 competition, but also the 19 regional and special-interest competitions we manage as part of the project. Although competition has grown significantly, employers are still evaluated on the same eight criteria we used in our first edition: (1) physical workplace; (2) work atmosphere and social; (3) health, financial and family benefits; (4) vacation and time-off; (5) employee communications; (6) performance management; (7) training and skills development; and (8) community involvement. Our editorial team compares employers to similar organizations in their field and region of the country. This year, we completed a significant expansion of our editorial reasons for selection, which are published for every winner. In addition to a

beautiful new responsive layout, our editorial reasons also include hundreds of additional photographs and interest points for job-seekers. You can review our editors’ reasons for selection at www.CanadasTop100.com Each year, we go through the painstaking process of publishing detailed reasons for selection and grades for every winner. This provides transparency in the selection of winners – and helps job-seekers learn what the best employers in their field or region offer. You may not always agree with our editors’ choices, but our published reasons make it clear why each winner was selected. This year, we’ve also expanded this beautiful magazine that we co-publish with The Globe and Mail. With over a million readers in print and online, this year’s magazine features more photos and stories than ever before. We are tremendously grateful for The Globe’s contribution to this year’s announcement magazine. We have also improved the integration with our Eluta.ca job search engine, which now includes photos from winning employers in its search results – the site will soon include new features that make it easy for job-seekers to find great opportunities at employers offering particular benefits that match their interests. Above all, we look forward to bringing you more stories on the nation’s most remarkable employers in our 2018 competition. These stories raise the bar for all employers and help job-seekers discover what the very best employers in their field or region are offering.

p Air Canada flight captain Scott Harrison.

p Labatt employees adding mulch to a kids’ maze on World Environment Day.

p Employee at Agrium’s potash facility in Vanscoy, SK.

p Fine-tuning some test equipment at Canadian Nuclear Laboratories.


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he latest best practices from the winners of Canada’s Top Employers for 2017 are worth a second look. While these industry leaders already excel in making their organizations a place where people love to come to work through a wide variety of innovative initiatives, many have gone further in transforming their physical space to further engage workers.

INTRODUCTION In many cases, employee feedback was key in planning the design of their newest spaces, such as at Samsung Canada. As a result, the company’s LEED certified head office features plenty of flexible and open work space that invites employee collaboration, dedicated idea rooms and casual breakout areas, as well as a technology showroom featuring current and future technology. Rogers also recently introduced a new

workspace design strategy, which they call Sharespace, that offers greater flexibility with both quiet and interactive zones, including cafés where employees can meet over coffee or tea, while accessing the latest technology. The new Telus corporate headquarters in Vancouver is another example, with features designed to better accommodate the changing nature of work for many employees, including telepresence rooms,

reservable walkstation treadmill desks and onsite restaurants that offer their own online ordering system. That all translates into a more engaged and collaborative workforce with higher company morale, in addition to helping attract top talent while retaining their best. Other companies should take note. –Diane Jermyn

p GE Canada employee working on a renewable energy project on Manitoulin Island, Ontario.


p Employees at Hatch Ltd. reviewing engineering plans.


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3M CANADA CO., London, Ont. Technology manufacturing; 1,740 employees. Encourages employees to get involved in their local communities with paid time off to volunteer.


BORIGINAL PEOPLES TELEVISION NETWORK INC. / APTN, Winnipeg. Television broadcasting; 138 employees. Supports ongoing career development through in-house and online training. ACCENTURE INC., Toronto. Management consulting; 3,425 employees. Manages the LiveWell 365 initiative to support employee efforts to maintain or improve their health. AGRIUM INC., Calgary. Agriculture products and fertilizer manufacturing; 3,440 employees. Offers retirement planning assistance and

phased-in work options for employees approaching retirement. AIR CANADA, Saint-Laurent, Que. Air transportation; 23,783 employees. Offers unique financial perks including air travel discounts that also apply to the employee’s family members. ALBERTA-PACIFIC FOREST INDUSTRIES INC., Boyle, Alta. Pulp and paper mills; 408 employees. Provides maternity leave top-up payments for employees who are new mothers, up to 100 per cent of salary for up to 18 weeks. ARCELORMITTAL DOFASCO INC., Hamilton. Iron and steel mills; 9,765 employees. Offers generous tuition subsidies of up to $24,000 for courses both related and unrelated

to an employee’s current position.


ANK OF CANADA, Ottawa. Central bank; 1,550 employees. Offers “flex dollars” equal to 3.5 per cent of employees’ salaries as part of its health benefits plan. BASF CANADA INC., Mississauga. Chemical manufacturing; 693 employees. Offers an in-house eTV employee television network for employees to connect with colleagues from across North America. BAYER INC., Mississauga. Pharmaceutical manufacturing; 1,522 employees. Cultivates an ownership culture through a share purchase plan, available to all employees. BC PUBLIC SERVICE, Victoria. Provincial government; 26,309 employ-

ees. Established Accessibility 2024, a 10-year action plan to make the province more accessible and inclusive for persons with disabilities. BDC / BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT BANK OF CANADA, Montreal. Secondary market financing; 2,076 employees. Offers signing bonuses for some, year-end bonuses for all and referral bonuses of up to $2,000. BELL CANADA, Montreal. Communications; 38,671 employees. Celebrates workplace success through a variety of recognition programs.


AMECO CORP., Saskatoon. Uranium mining; 3,040 employees. Offers 40 annual scholarships for children of employees who pursue postsecondary studies in Canada, the United States or Australia.


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q Radiation technician Eric Roy inspecting shipping containers at Cameco Corp.



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2017 W INNER S ( C ON T. )

q Employees at Bayer Inc. have a share purchase plan available to all staff.

CANADIAN HERITAGE, Gatineau. Culture and heritage; 1,742 employees. Provides employees with access to a subsidized onsite daycare facility. CANADIAN NATIONAL RAILWAY CO. / CN, Montreal. Railroad transportation; 15,074 employees. Offers tuition subsidies for courses related to an employee’s current position as well as subsidies for professional accreditation. CANADIAN NUCLEAR LABORATORIES LTD., Chalk River, Ont. Nuclear power technology and engineering; 3,318 employees. Offers learning opportunities for students and new grads, including postdoctoral fellowships, apprenticeships, summer student and co-op opportunities. CANADIAN SECURITY INTELLIGENCE SERVICE, Ottawa. National security; 3,299 employees. Introduced a four-day work week option, allowing employees to work four days each week for up to three months annually, with salary adjusted accordingly. CANADIAN TIRE CORP. LTD., Toronto. Retail; 85,000 employees. Offers contributions to a matching RSP plan and defined contribution pension plan to help employees save for the future. CARGILL LTD., Winnipeg. Food and agricultural products; 8,166 employees. Provides employees with a health spending account of up to $1,000 a year that can be used for additional wellness-related expenses. CATHOLIC CHILDREN’S AID SOCIETY OF TORONTO, Toronto. Child and youth services; 503 employees. Offers four weeks of vacation to start and up to 10 paid personal days off, which can be used throughout the year.


CBCL LTD., Halifax. Engineering; 260 employees. Provides paid time off for employees to volunteer in their communities. CERIDIAN, Winnipeg. Payroll; 1,597 employees. Established the “Ceridian Cares” registered charity to assist individuals and families in commu-


( 2017 )

2017 W IN N E R S ( C O N T. ) nities where the company operates across Canada. CIBC, Toronto. Banking; 36,215 employees. Manages a formal CIBC@ Work program to help employees design work schedules that suit their individual needs. CISCO SYSTEMS CANADA CO., Toronto. Computer and equipment manufacturing; 1,741 employees. Created the “Connected North” initiative to provide video collaboration technology to schools and hospitals in remote aboriginal communities across Canada. COLLEGE OF PHYSICIANS AND SURGEONS OF B.C., Vancouver. Professional organizations; 126 employees. Offers health benefits that extend to retirees, with no age limit. CORUS ENTERTAINMENT INC., Toronto. Media production and broadcasting; 1,513 employees. Recognizes employee contribution

through a variety of awards including the Creative Spark Award for in-house talent.


ESJARDINS GROUP / MOUVEMENT DES CAISSES DESJARDINS, Lévis. Que. Credit union; 40,944 employees. Provides maternity leave top-up payments for new mothers, and parental leave top-up for new fathers and adoptive parents. DIAMOND SCHMITT ARCHITECTS INC., Toronto. Architecture; 190 employees. Offers all employees additional time off with a summer holiday shutdown and closure between Christmas and the new year’s holiday. DIGITAL EXTREMES LTD., London, Ont. Software publishers; 232 employees. Features a commercial kitchen and dining room at head office, with two full-time chefs who prepare free, healthy meals daily for employees.


LLISDON CORP., Mississauga. Construction; 1,721 employees. Continues to build and expand

across Canada, adding more than 200 positions in the past year. ENBRIDGE INC., Calgary. Natural gas distribution; 5,848 employees. Manages an in-house university which includes training in business and financial acumen, project management, leadership development and energy-related studies. EXPORT DEVELOPMENT CANADA, Ottawa. International trade financing and support; 1,287 employees. Offers academic scholarships for children of employees as well as for undergraduate students interested in pursuing a career or furthering their studies in international business.


IDELITY CANADA, Toronto. Portfolio management; 792 employees. Offers alternative work arrangements including flexible hours, telecommuting, a shortened work week option and reduced summer hours. FORD MOTOR CO. OF CANADA, LTD., Oakville, Ont. Automobile

manufacturing; 8,140 employees. Offers discounts to unionized hourly employees on their purchases of up to four new Ford vehicles each year.


ENERAL ELECTRIC CANADA / GE, Mississauga. Diversified technology and equipment manufacturing; 7,213 employees. Offers subsidized memberships to an onsite fitness facility at head office that features instructor-led classes and personal training. GOLDCORP INC., Vancouver. Gold mining; 3,291 employees. Provided more than $27-million in community contributions last year. GRAHAM GROUP, Calgary. Construction; 1,036 employees. Helps employees save for the longer term through a defined contribution pension plan. GREAT-WEST LIFE ASSURANCE CO., Winnipeg. Insurance; 10,938 employees. Offers in-house training programs, including apprenticeship


q Desjardins Group recently opened a beautiful ‘Career Space’ in downtown Montreal where the public can learn about, and interview for, positions at the company.

10 2017 W IN N E R S ( C O N T. ) opportunities, as well as subsidies for tuition and professional accreditation.


ATCH LTD., Mississauga. Engineering; 2,930 employees. Encourages employees to become owners through a share purchase plan. HOSPITAL FOR SICK CHILDREN, Toronto. Hospitals; 5,487 employees. Offers a wellness program, including weekly massage therapy for clinical staff, walking and running clubs, lunch and learn seminars and subsidized access to their staff wellness centre. HP ADVANCED SOLUTIONS INC., Victoria. Computer systems design

( 2017 )

services; 463 employees. Hosts an annual golf tournament in support of Victoria General Hospital and the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit.


MAX CORP., Mississauga. Motion picture theatres; 336 employees. Features its own IMAX theatre at head office as well as two barrier-free washrooms, shower facilities and an area for yoga and pilates classes. INTACT FINANCIAL CORP., Toronto. Insurance; 11,314 employees. Offers new parents the convenience of an onsite daycare centre through a third party daycare provider. IRVING OIL, Saint John. Petroleum refining, distribution and retail; 2,474 employees. Provides up to five paid

days off for employees to volunteer in their community. ISM CANADA, Regina. Computer programming; 796 employees. Encourages employees to keep up-to-date through a no-limit tuition subsidies program. IVANHOÉ CAMBRIDGE INC., Montreal. Property management; 1,188 employees. Hosts an annual bike tune-up clinic for its cycling commuters.


PMG LLP, Toronto. Accounting; 6,385 employees. Offers summer internships for students as well as a unique Avenues program for recent graduates in the early stages of their career.


’ORÉAL CANADA INC., Montreal. Cosmetics manufacturing; 1,200 employees. Published its first Worldwide Diversity Report on the company’s progress between 2010 and 2015 in gender equality and inclusion of persons with disabilities and of people of diverse social and ethnic origins. LABATT BREWERIES OF CANADA, Toronto. Breweries; 3,143 employees. Offers interested employees the Labatt Beer Mastercard that comes preloaded with two cases each month. LOBLAW COS LTD., Brampton, Ont. Supermarkets and grocery stores; 28,481 employees. Features an onsite herb garden and test kitchen at head office where new food products are created.


q Maintenance employee at Irving Oil’s iconic storage tanks overlooking Saint John, N.B.



( 2017 )

p Air traffic controller working at NAV Canada’s flight control tower in Vancouver.

2017 W IN N E R S ( C O N T. )


ANITOBA HYDRO, Winnipeg. Hydroelectric power generation; 6,001 employees. Offers a variety of training programs in a 38,000 square-foot training centre featuring classrooms, mechanical shops plus indoor and outdoor training areas. MARS INC., Bolton, Ont. Food manufacturing; 1,068 employees. Hosts fundraisers in support of dog shelters and pet adoption services across the country. MCCARTHY TÉTRAULT LLP, Toronto. Law firm; 1,435 employees. Designates May as its annual Mentoring Month, which includes speed-mentoring for students, mentor meetings for new associates and awards.

MEDAVIE BLUE CROSS, Moncton. Insurance; 1,896 employees. Commits more than 10 per cent of its annual net income to charitable and community giving through its Medavie Health Foundation. MOSAIC CO., THE, Regina. Fertilizer manufacturing; 2,263 employees. Offers retirement planning assistance services for all employees.


ATIONAL ENERGY BOARD, Calgary. Federal government; 460 employees. Offers employees the opportunity to apply for an educational leave of absence for up to one year in duration. NATIONAL LEASING GROUP INC., Winnipeg. Sales financing; 350 employees. Provides employees with

paid time off to volunteer in their community and matches employee donations. NATURE’S PATH FOODS INC., Richmond, B.C. Food manufacturing; 185 employees. Established a zero waste target and has an employee-maintained onsite organic garden. NAV CANADA, Ottawa. Air traffic control; 4,807 employees. Provides employees with a health spending account of up to $750 a year to cover a variety of additional wellness-related expenses. NORTON ROSE FULBRIGHT CANADA LLP, Calgary. Law firm; 1,417 employees. Offers employees an option to extend their maternity leave into an unpaid leave of absence.

NUANCE COMMUNICATIONS CANADA INC., Montreal. Software publishers; 740 employees. Brings in a professional yoga instructor for regular onsite yoga classes.


NTARIO PUBLIC SERVICE / OPS, Toronto. Provincial government; 62,080 employees. Manages a sponsored volunteer employee program for high-potential employees to be seconded for up to 15 weeks to work for United Way (with regular pay). OPENTEXT CORP., Waterloo, Ont. Computer programming; 1,442 employees. Offers in-house training programs and generous tuition subsidies for courses taken at outside institutions.



( 2017 )

p Employees at RBC taking part in the bank’s annual Diwali festival, focusing on South Asian culture.

2017 W IN N E R S ( C O N T. )


CL CONSTRUCTION, Edmonton. Construction; 2,865 employees. Offers a variety of socials throughout the year, from golf tournaments to ski trips to the long-standing in-house hockey tournament, the Schmauch Cup. PEPSICO CANADA, Mississauga. Soft drink and food manufacturing; 9,358 employees. Hosts an annual “Employee Volunteer Campaign” that encourages employees to donate time to a local charity. PROCTOR & GAMBLE INC., Toronto. Consumer product manufacturing; 1,754 employees. Features digital workspaces at head office that offer open concept collaborative workspaces in place of assigned desks.

PROVINCIAL HEALTH SERVICES AUTHORITY / PHSA, Vancouver. Hospitals; 10,346 employees. Partners with TravelSmart to help reduce the number of single occupancy vehicle commutes to work.


.F. BINNIE & ASSOCIATES LTD., Burnaby, BC. Engineering; 115 employees. Offers a dedicated Engineer-in-Training program to support the career advancement of its younger employees. RAYMOND JAMES LTD., Vancouver. Investment banking; 840 employees. Offers an option to extend parental leave into an unpaid leave of absence. RBC, Toronto. Banking; 52,488 employees. Offers a range of discounted banking services, from fees to mortgage rates.

ROGERS COMMUNICATIONS INC., Toronto. Telecommunications, cable publishing and subscription programming; 23,177 employees. Introduced a new workspace design strategy offering greater flexibility with quiet zones, interactive zones (including cafés) and access to the latest technology.


ALESFORCE CANADA CORP., Toronto. Computer programming; 1,184 employees. Provides access to emergency back-up child and eldercare services, up to seven days each year. SAMSUNG ELECTRONICS CANADA INC., Mississauga. Communications equipment manufacturing; 517 employees. Established the “Women@ SECA” in 2013 to help women employees connect from across the company.

SANDOZ CANADA INC., Boucherville, Que. Pharmaceutical manufacturing; 883 employees. Offers a variety of alternative work arrangements, including flexible hours, shortened and compressed work weeks and telecommuting. SAP CANADA INC., Toronto. Computer programming; 2,863 employees. Created the “Volunteer Ambassador” program to help manage employee volunteer and charitable efforts in the community. SASKATCHEWAN GOVERNMENT INSURANCE/ SGI, Regina. Insurance; 1,882 employees. Invests in employee development, spending more than $1,340 per employee on training last year. SASKATCHEWAN RESEARCH COUNCIL / SRC, Saskatoon.


( 2017 )

gram, a joint initiative between the city and private-sector employers to connect youth from diverse neighbourhoods to jobs.


TOYOTA MOTOR MANUFACTURING CANADA INC., Cambridge, Ont. Automobile manufacturing; 8,575 employees. Offers numerous onsite amenities including free membership to a fitness facility, an employee lounge, a quiet room, outdoor walking trails, tennis courts and a community garden.

p Employees at Telus Corp. celebrating Family Day.

2017 W IN N E R S ( C O N T. ) Research and development; 344 employees. Offers a variety of onsite amenities including a cafeteria with healthy and special diet menus, an employee lounge and shared access to an onsite fitness facility. SHAW COMMUNICATIONS INC., Calgary. Communications, cable and subscription programming; 10,921 employees. Maintains a Community Action Network comprised of 10 employees from across the country to increase engagement with local communities. SHELL CANADA LTD., Calgary. Crude petroleum and natural gas extraction; 8,307 employees. Offers a dedicated women’s career development program. SIEMENS CANADA LTD., Oakville, Ont. Engineering; 4,904 employees. Maintains a formal program to encourage telecommuting as way to eliminate unnecessary driving. SIMON FRASER UNIVERSITY, Burnaby, B.C. Universities; 2,903 employees. Offers tuition subsidies for employees and their immediate family members. STRYKER CANADA INC., Hamilton. Medical equipment and supplies wholesalers; 246 employees. Offers a variety of in-house training options as well as job-shadowing

and leadership development programs. SUNNYBROOK HEALTH SCIENCES CENTRE, Toronto. Hospitals; 5,950 employees. Operates an onsite daycare facility.


D BANK GROUP, Toronto. Banking; 43,273 employees. Manages a unique online site that helps employees match their skills and interests with local charitable initiatives. TELUS CORP., Vancouver. Telecommunications; 23,328 employees. Received LEED Platinum certification for its new corporate headquarters for its many energy saving features. THOMSON REUTERS CANADA LTD., Toronto. Publishers; 1,196 employees. Supports employees through ongoing mental health awareness campaigns, articles and resources on mental health and participation in the “Not Myself Today” campaign. TORONTO INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL / TIFF, Toronto. Motion picture promotion; 228 employees. Hosts unique film-related initiatives such as the TIFF Kids International Film Festival for families and school groups. TORONTO, CITY OF, Toronto. Municipal government; 22,983 employees. Created the Partnership to Advance Youth Employment pro-

TREASURY BOARD OF CANADA SECRETARIAT, Ottawa. Finance, spending and regulation; 1,922 employees. Participates in the Indigenous and Northern Affairs Canada’s Aboriginal Leadership Development Initiative.


BISOFT TORONTO, Toronto. Software publishers; 3,494 employees. Subsidizes a social committee which organizes events and celebrations throughout the year, including a ski trip to Blue Mountain near Collingwood, Ont. UNION GAS LTD., Chatham, Ont. Natural gas distribution; 2,245 employees. Offers a generous subsidy for in vitro fertilization when needed, to $15,000. UNIVERSITY OF NEW BRUNSWICK / UNB, Fredericton. Universities; 1,762 employees. Offers employees full tuition subsidies for courses related and not directly related to their current position.


UNIVERSITY OF TORONTO, Toronto. Universities; 9,286 employees. Supports retiring academic personnel through an Academic Retiree Centre that helps retirees continue their research and professional activities. UNIVERSITY OF WATERLOO, Waterloo, Ont. Universities; 4,990 employees. Offers three weeks of starting vacation allowance, moving to four weeks after four years on the job.


ERAFIN INC., St. John’s. Computer programming; 205 employees. Offers employees a unique open concept work environment featuring small fitness stations, employee-led yoga and aerobics classes and a Friday afternoon beer cart.


EST FRASER TIMBER CO. LTD., Vancouver. Sawmills; 5,449 employees. Manages a New and Young Worker Program to provide extensive training to employees under 25. WORLD VISION CANADA, Mississauga. Charitable organizations; 479 employees. Offers employees opportunities to travel and work at its field locations for up to two years.


UKON, GOVERNMENT OF, Whitehorse. Territorial government; 4,085 employees. Offers eligible employees an annual subsidy of $2,200 as travel allowance. – Diane Jermyn


hile the selection process to choose the winners of Canada’s Top Employers continually evolves to include new questions that reflect changes in the workplace, the underlying methodology has not significantly changed since the project began in 2000. The competition remains a catalogue of best practices. To select the winners, the editors of Canada’s Top 100 Employers compare each organization’s policies to others in their industry and region to see whether they’re a leader. Each employer’s application is judged by

rigorous criteria in eight key areas: 1) physical workplace; 2) work atmosphere and social; 3) health, financial and family benefits; 4) vacation and time off; 5) employee communications; 6) performance management; 7) training and skills development; and 8) community involvement. Canada’s Top 100 Employers is an annual national competition. Any employer with its head office or principal place of business in Canada may apply regardless of size, whether private or public sector. – Diane Jermyn


( 2017 )



p Foresters at West Fraser Timber reviewing plans at the company’s Quesnel Woods division.

The Benefits of Listening

Whether it’s through technology or one-on-one chats, Canada’s Top 100 Employers are getting to know just about everything about their employees. By Berton Woodward


isten to your employees. Call it a cliché or call it an essential organizational strategy, but listening is what Canada’s Top 100 Employers are all about these days. “It involves understanding everything about your

employees – how they work, where they work, what’s competing for their time,” says Richard Yerema, Managing Editor for Mediacorp Canada, which compiles the Top 100 list. The value of such information is inestimable to the organizations

on this 2017 list of the Top 100 Employers. Backed by ever more sophisticated technology, companies are using surveys, social media, focus groups, interviews and other techniques to drill deep into the fabric of their employees’ lives and find ways to help them be happier, more focused, more motivated people.

( 2017 )

“In our industry, we’re mindful of the fact that our assets go up and down the elevators every day,” says Rob Strickland, President of Fidelity Investments Canada ULC, the major component of Fidelity Canada. “So every year, we try to do a better job of listening.” Many companies have programs to gather employees’ ideas about better ways of doing things. Fidelity offers rewards for the best innovations. But even then, says Strickland, “it’s more than just listening to ideas. Employees want to know that their contribution is visible and recognized and appreciated.” The positive results go well beyond boosting efficiency and productivity. Listening has also contributed mightily to the changes Top Employers have made in recent years to their diversity and inclusion programs. With workplace diversity almost a given in today’s Canada, many organizations now put greater emphasis on inclusion, because it covers such a broad range of situations for employees. The idea of “bring your whole self to work” started in support of members of the LGBTQ community. Now, that emotive idea of inclusion has expanded considerably. Through listening, employers are learning more about all their employees’ whole selves. That can mean their need for time to take care of children, or elder care, or, increasingly, support for mental illnesses such as depression. Listening can even centre on more subtle areas – many employers are focusing on the differences between the generations, or even between introverts and extroverts. Technology has played a key role in the explosion of listening, and allowed companies of every size to compete in this crucial area. “The online capabilities have reached down to the smaller

organizations as well,” says Yerema. “It’s almost like analytics in sports – there’s an ability to measure everything. So there’s really no excuse for organizations not to figure out ways in which to gauge what their employees are thinking.” At Samsung Canada, they even have an app for it. It’s an off-the-shelf online tool called Two-Minute Feedback that any manager, employee or sales person can send to any other employee or outside client. The recipient anonymously answers a few quick questions and, voila, instant feedback.

We had come to the conclusion that in the future, successful companies would be purpose-driven, principles-led and performancefocused

“It really works well for team-based work and collaborations, as well as feedback for an individual on how they’re performing,” says Christine Greco, Vice President Human Resources and Corporate Affairs at Samsung.

60 minutes long, trying to understand what engages our employees. You get a lot of feedback when you do that.”

But it’s not only about tech. Employers like Samsung also carry out human listening across the enterprise. “We spend a lot of time getting feedback from our employees,” says Greco. “Last year and early this year we conducted over 200 one-on-one interviews, each about

Possibly the most ambitious listening exercise among the Top 100 in the past year occurred at banking giant RBC, with some 80,000 employees worldwide. It held a 55-hour global “Vision and Values Jam” online, in which some 20,000 employees in 22 countries posted

– Per Scott, Vice President, Human Resources, RBC

q Employees at Thomson Reuters Canada meeting informally at the company’s Toronto head office.


The Benefits of Listening (cont.)



q Staff at Edmonton-based PCL Construction celebrate their fundraising success with a huge donation to the United Way.


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The Benefits of Listening (cont.)

more than 17,000 threads, comments and replies. Set in motion by new President and CEO David McKay, who participated, the goal was to collectively articulate RBC’s very reason for existing – its purpose – and refine its vision and values. “We had come to the conclusion that in the future, successful companies would be purpose-driven, principles-led and performance-focused,” says Per Scott, Vice President Human Resources. “That led to the work on what we call our Collective Ambition. And we said,

we can’t do this work without talking to the employees.” When the non-stop, two-and-a-halfday discussion was all distilled down – aided by sophisticated text and data analytics methods -- the result was a concise but powerful new statement of purpose for RBC and its employees: “Helping clients thrive and communities prosper.” There were also tweaks to the company’s five values – notably to the Diversity description. “What came through loud and clear from employees was that the idea of inclusion had to be reflected in

this value, and that today, it wasn’t simply about respecting differences, but it was also about advocating and speaking up for inclusion,” says Scott. “So we changed the value to Diversity and Inclusion, and we added that language.” Scott says the example of the global jam has led to dozens of “mini-jams” through RBC’s internal social media. “It’s a new era of what communications looks like,” he says. “Really, it’s not just about listening, but about listening and responding. Employees want transparency and they want a dialogue.”


q Remembrance Day ceremony at Goldcorp’s large gold mining operation in Red Lake, Ontario.


p Young accountants at KPMG LLP celebrating the completion of their UFE exams.


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Agrium employees help feed the world


ith the world population expected to reach nine billion by 2050, global food production needs are projected to rise by 35 per cent. The key to sustainably meeting that demand is to increase agricultural yields on existing farm lands. In response, Agrium Inc., one of the largest global distributors of fertilizer, has made “help feed the world” part of its central mission statement. Vinesh Kohli, manager of Agrium’s nitrogen production plant in the southern Alberta hamlet of Carseland, has no trouble relating to that mission. “From my office window, I can see combines working the fields,” says Kohli. “I know that the product we’re making here is helping farmers grow the food our society and the world needs. I can see it and I can touch it. For me, that’s a tremendous connection.” It’s great when you can clearly articulate what your day’s work ultimately accomplishes. Mike Webb,

Senior Vice President, Human Resources

At Agrium’s head office in Calgary, Mike Webb, Senior Vice President of Human Resources, feels a similar connection. Prior to joining Agrium in 2014, Webb worked in the financial services sector. He sometimes found it difficult to explain to his three young children what he did for a living. That’s no longer a problem.


“Now, when I talk to my kids over dinner, I can tell them that, one way or another, Agrium had a role to play in producing the food that’s on their plate,” says Webb. “It’s great when you can clearly articulate what your day’s work ultimately accomplishes.” Agrium, already the largest agricultural retailer on three continents, may soon extend its global reach even further. Pending shareholder and regulatory approval, Agrium is set to merge with Saskatoon-based PotashCorp to create the world’s largest crop nutrient company. Webb says the proposed merger is about creating an enterprise that can invest in the growth and innovation needed to address the global food challenges of the 21st century.

The proposed merger could also open up new opportunities for employees to advance and diversify their careers. “One of the things we hear from many employees is that they want to have one or more tours overseas during their career,” says Webb. “If it happens, this new enterprise would be positioned to operate successfully in 18 different countries.” Career development is a top priority for Agrium. “We’ve taken mentorship to a new level,” says Webb. “We call it sponsorship. New employees are each assigned a sponsor who provides more than traditional mentorship. They also act as the individual’s champion when key decisions are being made about calibrating performance and considering promotions.”

Even before the proposed merger, Agrium was on a significant growth curve. The company has evolved into a global leader in what is called precision agriculture, using satellite technology, drones and soil sampling to better manage and direct the application of fertilizer and seed. But through all of that, says Webb, Agrium has never lost sight of its roots. “We are a large company, but also a very down-to-earth one. Our retail branches are part of the fabric of small towns and rural communities. When we do recruitment, often it’s literally on a piece of paper pinned up on a notice board in a town hall, a church or an ice rink.” As Agrium continues to grow, adds Webb, those connections will be more important than ever. “A lot of it comes down to our work culture. When all is said and done, we are an agricultural company and our end user is the farmer. How can we help individual farmers do their job more efficiently, sustainably and at a lower cost? That’s what keeps us on our toes and keeps our business moving forward.”

3,440 2,800 25,803 3

full-time staff in Canada staff volunteer hours last year job applications last year weeks, starting vacation allowance

Together we’re cultivating excellence! We’re honoured to be recognized as one of Canada’s Top 100 Employers.



( 2017 )

Air Canada is a high-flying champion


f you want to succeed at Air Canada, make sure you understand these words: “global champion.” You’ll hear them a lot, and for good reason. More than ever, Air Canada is a global airline, with an expanding network on nearly every continent. So its standards for everything it does—the services it offers, the processes it follows and, most especially, the people it hires—are built around the idea that all must be world-class. This means it’s crucial for Air Canada to make sure it’s supporting its people, so customers have the best experience possible, from call centre to check-in to flight. “There is an increased understanding at every level of the company, from the top down, of what it means to be a frontline employee,” says Arielle MeloulWechsler, Vice President, Human Resources. “It’s becoming more and more tangible as we grow to become what we call a global champion.”


York’s JFK. Vancouver plays the same role for U.S. west coast travellers heading for Asia. In the other direction, Our goal is to be world-class the airline competes for U.S.-bound in everything we do. Asians and Europeans. “Because of all this growth, our Dotane Harel, Manager, Maintenance reality has changed,” says MeloulPerformance and People Wechsler. “We carry more customers, Development the check-in agents are busier, our inflight crews are busier. So we all recognize that to keep up stellar cusIn recent years, Air Canada has been tomer service through this growth, it expanding its international traffic at has to be done through mutual support.” a rapid rate. “We are launching great The airline has responded with “a lot new destinations on a regular and more listening” to employees, through unprecedented basis,” says Meloulfocus groups, quarterly meetings, direct Wechsler. The airline markets heavily conversations and online forums, to U.S. travellers who might want to go AC_banner ad 8-25x1-625.pdf 1 she2015-10-02 AM says. Quick 11:12 communications are from Atlanta, say, to Europe, and use essential. “We make sure that frontline Toronto as an alternative hub to New

employees are empowered and equipped to answer customer questions right away. It’s about everybody rowing in the same direction with real-time information at their fingertips.” Air Canada has also boosted its recognition programs, including the Shine online initiative in which employees can give each other peerrecognition points redeemable for awards ranging from movie tickets to electronics. There are wellness programs, tuition support, and environmental scholarships that employees’ children can apply for. And of course, all employees and their immediate famlies are eligible for the longstanding airline perk of access to discounted travel on a standby basis, all over the world.










The airline’s strongly peoplecentred approach is evident in the work of Dotane Harel, Manager, Maintenance Performance and People Development. His job is to support continuous improvement in the critical area of aircraft maintenance— not by directing the work, but by making sure the process is working properly and people have what they need to succeed. “If you don’t have what you need, you can’t be your best,” he notes. “So we put a lot of effort into making sure employees have the tools and the support to truly excel. Our goal is to be world-class in everything we do.” Recently, for example, the airline introduced iPads for its licensed aircraft technicians, as well as pilots and onboard service directors, so they could immediately see the data they needed. “It just makes their work environment easier,” Harel says. Air Canada, says Harel, a 19-year veteran, has done a lot of work in recent years on people management. “We want to attract the best, we want to keep them, and we want to help them develop.”

23,783 350+ 184,725 52

full-time staff in Canada charities helped last year job applications last year years, longestserving employee


( 2017 )

BASF creates chemistry in every way


ith almost 700 employees and 11 production sites and offices across Canada, BASF Canada Inc. strives to create good chemistry with its employees and customers from coast to coast. “It’s critical to be close to our customers,” says Marcelo Lu, President of BASF Canada. With its head office in Mississauga, Ont., the company provides chemistrybased products and solutions for customers in a range of industries, from agriculture, electronics and construction to pharmaceuticals, automotive paints and coatings. Forty per cent of our employees are out in the field, working closely with our customers. Paulo Springmann,

aerospace business development manager

“We pride ourselves in being an innovative and dynamic organization,” says Lu. “Our company strategy is: ‘We create chemistry for a sustainable future’. Our employees work together to turn that strategy into reality. Through science and innovation, we enable our customers to meet the current and future needs of society.” While BASF offers career opportunities in roles ranging from production to finance, almost half of its employees work in customer-facing sales and marketing positions. “Forty per cent of our employees are out in the field, working closely with our customers to help provide them with the support they need,”

BASF CAnAdA employee NaNcy lyoNs iN the lab at basF’s WiNdsor site

says Paulo Springmann, Aerospace Business Development Manager for BASF Canada in Montreal. To help employees stay connected, the company strives to create a collaborative work environment with virtual and physical resources. Through internal resource groups, for example, employees can build networks with Canadian colleagues and enhance their knowledge and skills. “This creates a sense of community and helps employees develop personally and professionally,” says Lu. “It’s important for us to foster a culture where every employee feels engaged.” BASF Canada also encourages employees to connect with their colleagues through an in-house employee television network. The network accommodates employee video blogs as well as company news and information. Paulo Springmann joined BASF Canada 11 years ago, attracted by its

How does chemistry enhance your life? Find out now at basf.ca

global scope and depth of expertise. Trained as a chemical engineer, he spent nine years in the company’s automotive segment before moving into aerospace. “In aerospace, we’re pushing the envelope,” he says. “What was standard in the industry 10 years ago is obsolete today. We’re always moving forward.” That forward momentum began more than 150 years ago in Baden, a German territory, where Badische Anilin & Sodafabrik started manufacturing aniline and sodium carbonate. BASF went on to pioneer innovations such as synthetic dyes for clothing, nitrogen fertilizer, magnetic tape, polystyrene and the first threeway catalyst for automobiles. The company now operates in almost every country in the world, employs about 112,000 people and generated sales in 2015 of €70 billion. “BASF has production facilities and offices around the globe,” says Lu, “so

we can offer an exciting variety of roles and opportunities for international development.” To further engage employees and provide access to its global resources, BASF Canada recently formed the Offsite Employee Resource Group (OERG). “It’s a diverse mix of employees from various business units, functions and geographic locations,” says Springmann, a member of the OERG. “We want to help deliver information and support to offsite employees and develop initiatives to create a collaborative, efficient work environment.” The goal is to help give employees more time to dedicate directly to their customers. “That is the essence of our strategy: all of our employees working towards solutions that help our customers conserve resources, ensure good nutrition, and improve quality of life,” says Lu. “We’re looking for the next generation of leaders and innovators to help bring our solutions to life and join us in our journey of creating chemistry for a sustainable future.”

670 162 6,879 44.6

full-time staff in Canada jobs available last year job applications last year average employee age

150 years


( 2017 )

Engaging in a positive corporate culture at Bayer


hen Sheila Lavell joined Bayer two decades ago, she was not looking for a promotion. Nor was she seeking a bigger salary. “What I wanted was a company with values I could embrace,”she says. “I wanted a job where employees are highly engaged, valued and trusted.” For Lavell, Bayer has turned out to be just that place. But before accepting the global life science company’s job offer as a regional sales manager, Lavell met with several people at Bayer’s Mississauga, Ont., Canadian head office. “Friends working at Bayer had told me it was special, and I experienced that right away,” she recalls. “Everyone I met was consistently positive, proud to be a Bayer employee and highly engaged with their work.” I came for the corporate culture – and I stayed for the corporate culture. Sheila Lavell,

Regional Sales Manager

All these years later, she sums it up: “I came for the corporate culture – and I stayed for the corporate culture.” Nowadays, Lavell works from her St. Catharines, Ont., home office two days a week and is in the field the other three days, supporting her southwestern Ontario sales force. “Working remotely provides me with a great work-life balance,” she says. “That balance would be even better if I turned off my computer! But I love my work so much.”


Lavell remains, by choice, a regional sales manager. “Working remotely suits my personal needs,” she says. Lavell also knows that the company does not stereotype people who stay in their jobs as unambitious lifers. “Every year,” she says, “I attend an array of incredible professional development courses. The company wants to make sure I grow, and so do I. Should I want to move up the corporate ladder or to another area, I know I would be supported.” Lynda Newcomb, Bayer’s Vice President, Human Resources, also joined the company because of its values and the people she met. “From our CEO to our managers and employees, everyone wants to help each other,” she

says. “And we all have a desire to make a positive difference in people’s lives.” At Bayer, there are lots of opportunities for that. It is best known for over-the-counter medications such as ASPIRIN and, more recently, trusted brands such as Coppertone and Claritin. Bayer also has substantial prescription drug and Crop Science divisions. “People join Bayer because they want to contribute,” Newcomb says. “It could be by developing and providing products for people’s wellbeing or helping to find ways of feeding the earth’s growing population.” And once people join, they tend to stay. Bayer boasts an annual average retention rate of some 94 per cent and

Explore Employment Opportunities at Bayer.ca and BayerCropScience.ca

employee satisfaction levels at 92 per cent or more. Those enviable numbers help explain why Bayer has made the Canada’s Top 100 Employers list for 10 years running. “A decade on the list shows we are not a flavour of the month,” Newcomb says. “It does show we are constantly innovating and committed to helping people develop to their potential.” Generous industry-leading benefit programs reflect Bayer’s philosophy that corporate financial health relies on recognizing and rewarding employees. Among the notable benefits are: two paid days off for volunteering for a charity of an employee’s choice; health benefits for retirees; generous matching savings and stock purchase plans; and up to 12 weeks of salary top-up for maternity and parental leaves with eight weeks for compassionate care. But none of that is what drives Lavell to perform. “Don’t misunderstand. It’s great to have such fantastic benefits,” she says, “but it’s just as important to be in a work environment where you are valued, challenged and supported. You can’t put a price on that!”

1,584 53% 5,658 130

full-time staff in Canada of employees are women job applications last year charities helped last year


( 2017 )

Millennials help connect Bell’s future


t Bell Canada, the opportunity to innovate and take on varied challenges is attracting young people – and they’re making a difference at Canada’s largest communications company. Take Ann Lee, hired in 2012 for a customer service analyst role. A key part of Lee’s job was to find new ways to help improve the customer experience. After reviewing thousands of customer interactions, she realized that there could be a better way to manage the many promotions offered to Bell customers. While people enjoyed Bell’s various offers, she found they were sometimes surprised by changes on their bill when the promotional period ended. “I figured, why not reach out to alert customers and then maybe sign them up for a new contract with another offer.” There is great opportunity for our team members to have a real impact. Bernard le Duc,

Executive Vice President, Corporate Services

Lee’s suggestion was immediately implemented and produced positive results, improving customer retention. Her manager put the initiative forward for a quarterly employee recognition award, which led to Lee receiving the company’s Bravo Award for outstanding performance. Just three years after joining Bell through the Graduate Leadership Program, she became a Senior Manager of Loyalty and Retention in Toronto, her current position.


Attracting young leaders like Lee is a priority for Bell. Bernard le Duc, Bell’s Executive Vice President of Corporate Services, says the company’s youth hiring strategy is essential to the company’s continued growth. “Communications is rapidly changing, and millennials help us test new products against a key demographic,” le Duc says. “Also, as Ann showed, millennials provide us with a fresh set of eyes on current practices.” That kind of customer-focused insight was also essential when Zayyan Chowdhury, another young Bell leader, helped develop a way to automatically notify Bell wireless customers when data usage was approaching their monthly limit. The project ensured customers could make an informed choice about the data package that

Get your career moving. Join a winning team. Apply today at bell.ca/careers Follow us


was right for them. For his part, Chowdhury was promoted to Senior Manager of Business Process after just three years with the company. Both Lee and Chowdhury are products of Bell’s Graduate Program, which recently won Best Grad Program from the TalentEgg National Campus Recruitment Excellence Awards competition. The program is highly competitive, receiving more than 6,000 applications each year for 150 to 200 spots. Lee recalls being introduced to Bell at a recruiting event at York University. She was attracted by the varied opportunities, but there was more. “I really liked the people,” Lee says. “They seemed to care about employee development and growth, and they were very open to new ideas.”

With leadership in wireless, Internet, TV and media services, Bell has team members working in such fields as network and product development, broadcasting, marketing, IT, finance, HR, legal and regulatory. “Our 50,000 people across the country deliver innovative communications solutions that have real-world applications for millions of Canadians every day,” says le Duc. “Innovation is core to the Bell brand and it continues to be a key driver of growth and the reason for such a diverse, rewarding range of career opportunities.” In his experience, young leaders are highly engaged, look for variety in the workplace and want to have an impact. “At Bell, we offer all that,” he says, thanks to “our lean and agile organization.” Adds le Duc: “There is great opportunity for our team members to have a real impact, and we are committed to helping them succeed right out of the gates with our welcome programs and ongoing career development. Our culture of engagement and innovation sets us apart and makes it possible for people to excel.”

50,000 3,000 361,000 6,000

total employees charities helped last year staff volunteer hours last year jobs filled last year

your career just got better


( 2017 )

BDC helps fuel the innovation economy


asmin Ganie-Hobbs liked what she saw. Over 13 years ago, while working in sales in the high-tech industry in Toronto, she became acquainted with lenders at the Business Development Bank of Canada (BDC), a federal Crown corporation that provides financing and advisory services for small- and medium-sized businesses in all industries. “Some of my high-tech clients were also clients of BDC,” she says. “We met at various business functions. After a couple of years of interacting with them and seeing BDC from the outside – how they operated and what the culture was – I thought this would be a really good place to work.” We have highly engaged employees because we provide them with not only what they need to be effective in their roles, but also what they need to learn and grow within our organization. Mary Karamanos,

Senior Vice President, Human Resources.

Friendly conversations led to a job offer as an entry-level account manager. Today, Ganie-Hobbs is Commercial Account Manager, Major Accounts in Toronto. In that role, she works with women entrepreneurs and high-tech businesses, personally managing 50 accounts. “I’ve always had this passion for tech,” she says. “I feel every day when I come to work and assist these companies that what we do here at


BDC is fuelling the innovation economy and building the next generation of tech entrepreneurs.” As the only bank in Canada devoted exclusively to serving entrepreneurs, BDC has tried to adopt the mindset of its customers. “Increasingly we see ourselves as an extension of what our clients face in their businesses,” says Mary Karamanos, Senior Vice President, Human Resources. “We strive to be easy to do business with. We are agile and proactive in anticipating our clients’ needs, and we ensure we can respond promptly.” BDC hires account managers, as well as other financial and advisory positions at its 112 business centres across Canada. It looks for people with a solid business background; industry experience and business acumen play an important role in the selection process. “We used to focus

Join the bank for people people — like Jocelyn, Analyst Special Accounts

strictly on finance and credit skills,” says Karamanos, “but we now also look for employees who can work closely with clients and build relationships.” Employee retention is high. “Last year, our turnover rate was seven per cent, on a par with, or lower than, other financial institutions,” says Karamanos. She credits good hiring decisions, effective on-boarding of new employees and the implementation of career development plans. “We have highly engaged employees because we provide them with not only what they need to be effective in their roles, but also what they need to learn and grow within our organization.” To welcome new hires, BDC offers various tools and activities, a dedicated section on the bank’s employee portal, a welcome conference and peer coaching. “The feedback we receive from new hires is that they like to meet

with other employees during their on-boarding,” says Karamanos. “It is not just an information dump. We encourage them to build relationships that very quickly help them form an internal network of peers.” For their career development, employees are encouraged to have regular discussions with their managers about their long-term aspirations and how BDC can help them achieve those. “I identified my interest to management that the high-tech sector was where I wanted to be,” says Ganie-Hobbs. “With the bank’s support, I have been able to attend seminars, educational events and trade shows that helped me stay on top of trends in the sector. This is especially important in tech, where things change at such a rapid pace.” BDC also provides internal training. This past year, for example, GanieHobbs has honed her advisory skills for BDC clients that are expanding their businesses beyond Canada. “Thanks to this training, I have been able to grow my own skill set and help clients. My next step would be a role that has me even more involved in the tech sector.”

2,076 344 31,345 42

No other bank is doing what we do. At BDC, we’re devoted to Canadian entrepreneurs. We’re also dedicated to our employees. Adaptable. Inspiring. Different. There’s a reason we like to work here and we think you’ll like it too. We’re hiring. bdc.ca/careers

full-time staff in Canada jobs available last year job applications last year average age of employees


( 2017 )

At Ceridian, it pays to be ‘people-centric’


hen Celine DuPuis arrived at her job in the Toronto office of Ceridian one day, she noticed something unexpected waiting for her and her colleagues on each of their desks. It was a chocolate bar with a sign reading “Payday is Awesome!” For DuPuis, Product Marketing Manager with the human capital management technology provider, that small gesture is very much in keeping with the big picture at Ceridian, where making employees feel appreciated and valued is a top priority. It’s that positive culture that attracted DuPuis to Ceridian. Disenchanted with a former employer, she set out on a job search that led to two offers. Favorable impressions throughout the interview process, plus glowing reviews from an insider, a former classmate who described the company as “the best place to work in the entire world,” settled the matter and DuPuis joined Ceridian in April 2015. Employees make a commitment to us with their time, and we give back by demonstrating we’re committed to them. Lisa Sterling,

Executive Vice President and Chief People Officer

She says it’s the best decision she’s ever made. “The leadership here really care about the employees,” says DuPuis. “Things like an email thanking you for a job well done shows they’re paying attention and that’s super motivational.” With nine offices in Canada, including main offices in Toronto and Winnipeg, Ceridian offers careers in technology,


sales and marketing, customer service and corporate fields such as finance and legal affairs. Ceridian is a global company, serving small, medium and large organizations across the globe. Ceridian takes its expertise in helping clients recruit, manage and pay top talent and applies it conscientiously to its own operations. Beyond practising what it preaches, Ceridian is guided by what Lisa Sterling, Executive Vice President and Chief People Officer, describes as a “peoplecentric” organizational philosophy and culture. “We believe that by doing right by our people, everything else falls into place,” Sterling explains. “If we have a loyal, passionate and engaged workforce, they’re going to be more productive and

will provide a superior experience for our customers.” At a time when some corporations are trying to reduce their obligations, Ceridian offers a defined contribution pension program, as well a variety of other financial benefits. Employees can, for instance, take advantage of subsidized home internet, discounted home loans and auto lease rates, and even discounts on pet insurance. Sterling says Ceridian sees such measures not as a cost of doing business, but as an investment in the future. “Employees make a commitment to us with their time, and we give back by demonstrating we’re committed to them,” she says. “Part of our people-centric philosophy can be seen in our focus on career

We’re proud to be in great company.


growth. Ceridian has programs to identify and develop high performers and high potentials that allow them to take the career path that is most natural and desired by them. We offer a range of ways for employees to get the experience they need. Among them are tuition reimbursement, job rotation programs and opportunities to explore careers elsewhere in some of Ceridian’s global operations.” Ceridian is also committed to worklife balance, and flexibility underscores many of the initiatives aimed at helping employees achieve it. For some, this means telecommuting. “We believe in making people’s work life better and if working virtually reduces a commute and gives a person more time with their family, then we want to accommodate them as much as possible,” says Sterling. Another strong point, adds DuPuis, is the stress-free ability to set dental and other personal appointments during office hours. But what she appreciates most is the message Ceridian is sending about how it values and trusts its employees. “That level of respect,” she says, “translates into my work happiness.”

1,597 515 6,000 3

full-time staff in Canada jobs available last year job applications received in Canada last year weeks starting vacation allowance

Match your degree or diploma with employers that recruit new grads with your academic background Published annually since 1992, The Career Directory is Canada’s longest-running and best-loved career guide for new graduates. Each year, our editorial team reviews thousands of employers to determine the academic qualifications they actively seek in younger job-seekers. The result is a wonderful, free resource that helps new graduates find student jobs that make the most of their university degree or college diploma.


Match your degree or diploma with employers that actively recruit new grads with your educational qualifications!



( 2017 )

CIBC takes the lead in digital banking


t’s become a truism that the staid old banking industry is ripe for disruption by agile young fintech upstarts, but dig a little deeper and the situation turns out to be far more complex. Big banks like CIBC are proving themselves adept at innovation in ways that allow them to serve their clients better while attracting top financial technology talent. What’s more, they’ve been at it for some time. It was years ago, for example, that CIBC made it possible for clients to deposit digital cheques simply by snapping a smartphone photo of that relic of paper payments past. Since then the bank has, among other things, introduced its CIBC Tim Hortons Double Double Visa, which is both a Visa and a Tim’s card all in one; rolled out a no-fee CIBC Global Money Transfer service; and brought Apple Pay to its clients. To succeed in this space, we have to be smart and move fast. It’s rewarding to see a project become a reality in the marketplace so quickly. Courtney Campbell,

Consultant, Digital Strategy and Innovation Team

“We look at disruption as an opportunity,” says Todd Roberts, Senior Vice President of Innovation. “Partnership is a key part of our success going forward.” Another example of a CIBC partnership is the one it has forged with Thinking Capital, an independent fintech company known for its innovative financing solutions. CIBC


small business clients can get fast and simple loans of $5,000 to $300,000 in as little as 24 hours with an online application that takes minutes. As a consultant on CIBC’s Digital Strategy and Innovation team, Courtney Campbell says she “gets to work on projects that seem really far out there but in reality are just around the corner.” She delves into topics like artificial intelligence, virtual reality, biometrics, 360 videos, the role of voice – “things Facebook and Google are doing.” When Apple introduced its fingerprint reader, Campbell says, CIBC jumped on board and used the new technology to enable clients to sign on quickly to their banking apps. “To succeed in this space, we have to be smart and move fast,” she says. “It’s

rewarding to see a project become a reality in the marketplace so quickly.” Campbell works with different partners across the bank as well as with CIBC Live Labs, which she describes as a kind of in-house think tank. The Live Labs innovation and digital technology centre is located in Toronto’s MaRS Discovery District. “We challenge ourselves to see the world through the eyes of the client, then build and test our way to success,” proclaims the Live Labs website. CIBC Live Labs and its digital team have diverse skillsets. Campbell isn’t an engineer or a coder nor did she work in financial services before joining CIBC last year. Her background is strategy consulting and brand management, and she brings

those insights and recommendations to the team. “I’m always asking what clients need,” she says. “Our clients are the boss.” Roberts emphasizes that as CIBC tries to make its clients’ everyday lives easier, it competes not just with banks but with companies in other industries who are providing “outstanding client experiences.” CIBC clients used to getting Amazon-level service, for example, expect the same kind of stress-free interaction with their banks. To deliver client experiences that are “best in class on a global stage,” Roberts says it’s necessary to foster a fast-moving, innovative culture for employees. For those with engineering and technological backgrounds, he says, “we are a very interesting place for developing deep skills in financial services.” The digital team also enjoys a common tech company perk, the casual dress code. “I’m wearing jeans and a Blue Jays shirt,” said Campbell on the day the playoffs began. “It wouldn’t surprise me if my VPs are wearing Blue Jays gear too.”

36,215 13,245 710,920 42.3

full-time staff in Canada jobs available last year job applications last year average employee age

You only make Canada’s Top 100 Employers list with top employees. CIBC is proud to be one of Canada’s Top 100 Employers for the fifth year in a row. It is our employees’ unwavering commitment and passion for serving our clients that make this possible. Thank you to everyone. CIBC Cube Design & “Banking that fits your life” are trademarks of CIBC.

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2016-10-18 2:35 PM


( 2017 )

Desjardins offers balance beyond the bottom line


riginally trained in aerospace design, Michael Kennedy later became a consultant and spent a lot of time in airports, travelling to meet with clients and working long hours. But when he and his wife started a family five years ago, he was ready to touch down with a company that offered a less stressful lifestyle. “I was looking around for something that would make more sense from a worklife balance point of view,” says the Senior Advisor, Strategy and Corporate Performance, in the Mississauga office of Lévis, Que.-based Desjardins Group. EMPLOYEES TAKE PART IN THE ‘DEFI DESJARDINS’ RUNNING RACE IN LÉVIS, QC

It’s definitely among the top employers in terms of positivity and family support, while still being high performing – so it’s kind of cool that way. Michael Kennedy,

Senior Advisor, Strategy and Corporate Performance

For Kennedy, it’s been a happy landing at Desjardins, Canada’s largest financial services cooperative. The company’s generous benefits are designed to be family friendly, beginning with maternity leave top-up payments for new mothers to 95 per cent of salary for 18 weeks, and parental leave top-up payments for new fathers and adoptive parents to 95 per cent of salary for 12 weeks. Head office employees can also take advantage of an onsite daycare centre. Vacation time starts at three weeks, and Desjardins Group offers up to five

paid personal days each year, which can be scheduled at the employee’s discretion. But balance is by no means boring. Desjardins Group is a dynamic company that has grown well beyond its Quebec roots. The 116-year-old firm has established a strong presence across much of Canada through its operations in consumer and commercial banking, investing, and insurance. With assets of $248.1 billion, it’s one of the best capitalized banks in North America. And with the completion of its purchase of State Farm Canada in early 2015, it became the second largest provider of property and casualty insurance in Canada. That makes for a challenging and stimulating work environment. “It’s an exciting time,” says Kennedy. “It’s definitely among the top employers in terms of positivity and family support, while still being high-performing – so it’s kind of cool that way.”

Desjardin’s culture of service begins with happy employees, says MarcAndré Malboeuf, Vice-President, HR Centre of Expertise. “A higher level of employee engagement has a direct impact on higher customer appreciation,” he notes. The annual employee engagement survey keeps Desjardins in touch with the needs of employees. Based on the results, the company targets two areas for improvement each year, and consults with employee focus groups to design the best action plan. It works to optimize the employee experience through seven key aspects of their careers, including their orientation as new recruits, training, performance evaluation, job transitions and retirement planning. “One of our key slogans is, ‘Your talent is moving us forward,’” says Malboeuf. As a co-operative, community service is planted deep in Desjardins’ DNA. The company was founded

in 1908 by Alphonse and Dorimène Desjardins to help lower-income Québecois, in particular, to meet their financial needs. It consistently places high in rankings of Canada’s most socially responsible companies. In the past year alone, Desjardins Group and the Desjardins Foundation have invested more than $81 million in the broader community through sponsorships, scholarships and philanthropic partnerships. That dedication to the community helps make Desjardins a meaningful place to work, says Kennedy. “Our whole reason for being is to contribute back to people,” he observes. “When you think of what you do, that’s a real feel-good element.” Kennedy also enjoys the company’s Quebec roots and its diverse workforce. Increasing diversity and advancing women are key priorities for Desjardins Group going forward, says Malboeuf. “We’re all about openness and inclusion,” he adds. “We want to be a frontline player in our changing society because we know it will bring strength and richness to our organization.”

40,944 49.7 58.5% $81+

TEAM UP WITH 45 000 TALENTED PROFESSIONALS desjardins.com/careers

full-time staff in Canada years, longestserving employee of managers are women million invested in community


( 2017 )

Variety is the spice of trade at EDC


ric Agyemang was in Sweden on an international exchange scholarship from Export Development Canada, when he received news he was in the running for a full-time position as an EDC intern once he completed his degree. A Skype interview was scheduled and Agyemang hurried out to buy a very expensive Stockholm tie on his tight student budget. The tie proved its worth but “luckily,” says Agyemang with a laugh, “I had a dress shirt.” Agyemang, who studied international business, got the internship, which EDC runs together with the Forum for International Trade Training, and then got a permanent position at EDC. He is now Account Manager, Commercial Markets and Small Business, responsible for parts of southwestern Ontario stretching from Mississauga south to the Niagara region. EDC has invested in me and has given me the platform to kickstart my career in international trade. Eric Agyemang,

Account Manager, Commercial Markets and Small Business

His task is to help out businesses looking to sell their goods and services abroad. He provides market intelligence, offers information on best practices, and facilitates financing and insurance solutions through EDC and in partnership with commercial banks. Studying in Sweden, he says, opened his eyes to the challenges Canadian


business owners face when they operate in different countries with different languages. As part of his job, Agyemang is on the road regularly, travelling from head office in Ottawa to his territory at least once a month. He visits manufacturing plants, economic development groups, and even vineyards. His clients range from small game developers to pharmaceutical companies to wineries looking to break into the ice wine market in Asia. Agyemang gets a close-up view at the businesses he supports and “the passion behind them. Just looking at the financials, you miss out on some of the uniqueness of the talents behind their product or service,” he says. Stephanie Butt Thibodeau, Senior Vice President of Human Resources, believes employees like Agyemang come to EDC because they want to make a difference for Canada and the country’s businesses. She joined the organization 21 years ago fresh out of university and

spent the first half of her career working in insurance before switching to international business development. As she chatted with a colleague in financing one day, the pair hatched a plan to temporarily trade departments and jobs. Within months of talking to their leaders, it became a reality. That ability to learn and develop by moving within the organization continues to be an option for employees who want to try out different fields. “You can have multiple careers,” says Butt Thibodeau. The variety has also been a big draw for Robert Fosco, a lawyer who arrived at EDC from a law firm 16 years ago. He liked the idea of “doing something for Canada” at a corporation that operates like a commercial institution in the private sector. “We are profitable,” he says with pride of EDC, which, unlike many export credit agencies, does not rely on annual governmental appropriations.

Fosco, who is now Vice President of Talent, Learning and Culture, has held many different jobs including a foreign posting as consul and senior trade commissioner for Canada in Seattle, and, back in Ottawa, Director of Small Business Financing. Both Fosco and Butt Thibodeau have seen EDC develop into a far more diverse corporation during their tenure. Among other things, women now hold over 45 per cent of leadership roles. Earlier this summer, Agyemang launched an initiative to celebrate the cultures of the different countries EDC does business with, which is now set to become an annual affair. The inaugural event was held in conjunction with the Indian High Commission. “It showcased the beauty of Indian culture and the business we’ve done together,” says Agyemang, who appreciated the opportunity EDC gave him to run with his idea. “EDC has invested in me and has given me the platform to kickstart my career in international trade,” he says. As the organization evolves to meet future challenges, he plans to be there with it.

1,391 132 42.7 50.2%


full-time staff in Canada jobs available last year average employee age of employees are women


( 2017 )

Fidelity invests its talent in a meritocracy


t Fidelity Canada, one of the country’s top investment companies, they like feedback. To begin with, staff are encouraged to offer their ideas for improving the organization through innovation programs that give prizes for the best. One employee, for example, built a database that funneled information from several business units into the cleanest, most simplified format. His idea not only enhanced the ease of access and accuracy of the data, but improved a critical process. “Every year it always amazes me how many great ideas the employees have,” says Rob Strickland, President of Fidelity Investments Canada ULC, the major component of Fidelity’s presence in Canada. “The promise we make is that we will consider every idea that’s submitted.” We challenge our employees to be number one in whatever aspect of the business they work in. Rob Strickland,

president of Fidelity investments canada ulc

It’s also a practice that every employee meets with his or her supervisor once a week to talk about anything they feel is relevant, including any challenges they face. And if you’re in the sales force or the leadership team, you get something called a scorecard. It shows targets and other kinds of progress, such as employee engagement, and gives you quarterly feedback on how

EmployEEs at Fidelity participatE in thE onEWalk to conquEr cancEr

you’re doing – in green, meaning good, yellow or red. “I’m a big believer that scorecards promote employee engagement and employee satisfaction, because the contribution they make becomes very, very visible,” Strickland says. “It’s something they take a great deal of pride in.” And for anyone trending into yellow or red territory, the company takes a positive and supportive approach, focusing on what they need to succeed. Fidelity has a philosophy of continuous learning, which gives employees the opportunity to develop and advance. All of these tools are part of Fidelity’s relentless drive for excellence, says Strickland. “We challenge our employees to be number one in whatever aspect of the business they work in,” he says. “And we have all sorts of external

evidence to prove we are number one in the industry in all of our capabilities, from sales to systems to customer support.” Fidelity Canada’s 800-plus employees are concentrated in Toronto, but there are also offices in Vancouver, Calgary and Montreal. Fidelity Investments Canada, with roughly $127 billion in assets under management, offers a broad range of mutual fund products to financial planners, investment dealers, banks and other institutions that deal directly with investors. There is also Fidelity (Canada) Asset Management ULC, which offers investment management expertise, and Fidelity Clearing Canada, which provides support services to brokerages. The company recruits from the top universities in the country, looking for people with an interest in the

Outstanding employees create a culture of success. careers.fidelity.ca

investment field. “I’ve hired thousands of people and I’ve given up trying to figure out who will make a good sales person,” says Strickland. Instead, the company moves people through various roles to see how they do. Some may ultimately prefer to work in product design, marketing or other areas, he notes. Brock Dunlop, now Vice-President, Finance Business Unit Support, has been there. When he was hired in finance 16 years ago, “I did every job. Often, you move laterally before you move up.” Fidelity, he says, is “a wonderful meritocracy and a very compassionate company,” He notes that it provides top-quality job training, benefits such as a generous share program, and work-life balance options that include flexible hours and work from home opportunities. Dunlop says that although he is one of the rare people who left Fidelity, he quickly came back. “In a short time, you can sense a firm that doesn’t have good engagement with its employees,” he says. “What we have at Fidelity is very special.”

817 173 3 957

full-time staff jobs available last year weeks, starting vacation allowance charities helped last year


( 2017 )

GE Canada relies on diversity to spur innovation


indy Maharaj missed her family back in Canada. In 2005, after four years working with General Electric Plastics in Holland, the customer service specialist found an opening for an order management specialist at Toronto-based GE Canada’s Healthcare Business. She applied and got the job. By 2008, she was promoted to Order Management Manager. In 2013, she changed roles to become the Proposals Manager for Canada. In 2015, she assumed more responsibility, and stepped into the role of North American Proposals Manager, in charge of Healthcare’s submissions to project tenders. Ours is a performance-driven organization that rewards individuals not only for how they do their jobs but for how they act and lead. Sonia Boyle,

Executive HR Leader

“The great thing about working for a company with the size and scope of ours,” she says, “is that you can change roles while staying with the same company.” GE Canada has offices across the country. Its core businesses include healthcare, oil and gas, transportation, power, renewables, digital and energy connections. “Ours is a performance-driven organization that rewards individuals not only for how they do their jobs but for how they act and lead,” says Sonia Boyle, Executive HR Leader.


The company hires engineers and scientists, software specialists, financial professionals and business graduates. “There’s a particular focus on hiring employees who can help with GE Canada’s digital transformation,” says Boyle. With over 6,500 employees across the country, GE Canada relies on diversity and inclusiveness to foster productivity and innovation. The company has seven Affinity Networks – groups for women, military veterans, African-Canadians, Asians, Hispanics, GLBT and young professionals – to promote networking and professional development. Maharaj, born and raised in Trinidad and Tobago, chaired the African Affinity Forum group from 2013 to 2015. “When I looked at all the affinity groups at GE Canada, I identified most closely with this one because there were many people of Caribbean descent like myself,” she says. She is currently

involved in the GE Women’s Network and as an ally to the GLBT group. “It’s a great way to grow my networks and practise my leadership skills,” she says. GE Canada encourages the continuing education of its employees; it offers tuition subsidies for external courses and a range of in-house training options, delivered both online and in-person. Executive leadership training includes the opportunity for selected participants to spend a week at the John F. Welch Leadership Development Center in Crotonville, N.Y. “I did a course on Innovative Leadership there in April,” says Maharaj. “It was a great opportunity to collaborate with peers from around the globe. Much of the training was based on experiential learning. Taking that learning, sharing it with my team of 23 and having them apply it in their jobs was the biggest take-away from my being there.”

GE Canada also connects with the up-and-coming generation. In addition to providing paid internships, the company has partnered for the past decade with Actua, an Ottawabased non-profit that delivers STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) programs to youth across the country. GE employees engage with Actua through mentorships, volunteering and contributing to program design. GE also offers a scholarship program for women and Aboriginal students studying for engineering or business degrees. Employees help direct the company’s charitable initiatives through the GE Community Investment Council, which meets quarterly and publishes an annual report. GE Canada also organizes an annual, country-wide “Day of Caring” to encourage employees to volunteer in their local communities. Last year, GE Canada held 444 volunteer events in support of about 250 charitable causes. “We don’t just write a cheque,” says Boyle. “We want to actively support the communities where we live and work.”

6,500 444 23,759 1,243

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full-time staff in Canada volunteer events in 2015 staff volunteer hours last year jobs filled in 2015


( 2017 )

Graham builds success on employee ownership


stablished in 1926, Calgarybased Graham has grown to become one of Canada’s largest providers of general contracting and construction management services, numbering more than 1,400 employees and over $2 billion in annual revenue. And much of its success is built on employee ownership. Graham is 100-per-cent employee owned. Between 15 and 20 per cent of profits are returned every year to unitholders, depending on the performance of the company. “The employee-ownership program has always been a big motivator for people to do their best,” says Justin Churko, a Design Build Deputy Project Director in Graham’s Saskatoon office and a University of Saskatchewan civil engineering grad. “When people are literally invested in the company with their own money, it helps drive their performance and holds everyone accountable.” The whole emphasis is on being better together, working together to achieve our common goals. Jeff Schippmann,

Senior Vice-President, Human Resources, and Chief People Officer

Jeff Schippmann, Senior VicePresident, Human Resources, and Chief People Officer, says Graham’s corporate culture still reflects the values of its founder, Phillip Wigglesworth Graham, and are summed up in three words: commitment, integrity and reliability.


But a sense of teamwork has always been a constant -- even during tough economic times, he adds. “The whole employee-owned aspect of the company creates this ‘Hey, we’re all in this together’ spirit,” he observes. “It’s quite different from other places I’ve worked, and contributes to entrepreneurship and accountability.” As Graham grows larger, strengthening that spirit of collaboration becomes increasingly important, adds Schippmann. In fact, its future success depends on it. “The whole emphasis is on being better together, working together to achieve our common goals,” he notes. “It’s having that message represented in just about everything we do.”

“Better together” also means supporting employees through top-notch training, industry-leading benefits, and opportunities for advancement. Graham’s in-house development opportunities include a three-staged leadership training program and a newly developed series of courses for builders called Builders’ Framework. Graham also provides internship opportunities, and offers tuition subsidies for courses at outside institutions. The company’s benefits are among the best in the industry, says Churko. New moms receive top-up payments that bring their salaries to 100 per cent for up to 12 weeks, and have

the option of working flexible hours when they return. The firm also helps employees save for the longer term through a defined contribution pension plan. To promote wellness, nurses periodically visit the workplace to administer flu shots. And, through a partnership with a private health clinic, employees can receive confidential, biometric health screenings and an overall snapshot of their health. Staff members also receive three extra vacation days around the holiday season, and annual vacation time is based on total work experience, not just an individual’s tenure at Graham. For Churko, though, one of the biggest benefits is the ability to develop as a professional. Thanks to the company’s growth, employees have the opportunity to specialize in a particular area, and can move more easily between Graham’s various divisions, including infrastructure, buildings and industrial. “You’re not constrained in what you do,” he notes. “It’s really determined by your own motivation. I’ve never felt pigeon-holed or stuck in a role.”

1,441 31,759 41 40

full-time staff in Canada job applications last year years, longestserving employee average employee age


( 2017 )

At Great-West Life, the learning never ends


hen Justin Cameron joined Great-West Life in Winnipeg about 13 years ago, he had acquired a skill set from the University of Manitoba that the company had a special need for at the time. “I’d studied Smalltalk Development language in school,” says Cameron, a graduate of the university’s computer science honours program. He used this computer language when he joined Great-West to develop and refine an insurance illustration application that was in need of an overhaul. Since then, Cameron has continued his education, mainly through internal educational and learning modules, which Great-West offers to its approximately 12,000 employees to help them advance. educational development activities are a big part of what brought me in to the company, and they’re a big part of the reason i’m still here. Justin Cameron,

senior systems architect

“Educational development activities are a big part of what brought me in to the company,” says Cameron, now a Senior Systems Architect, “and they’re a big part of the reason I’m still here.” Celebrating its 125th year in business in 2016, Great-West is a leading Canadian insurer with interests in life insurance and health insurance, investment, retirement savings and reinsurance business.

Great-West Life employees benefit from free external and in-house training and development

Growing from a Western Canadian insurance company with a focus on farmers and retailers into a multinational financial organization, Great-West has depended heavily on the quality of its employees. “Our commitment to employee development is critical,” says Cathy Weaver, Great-West’s Senior Vice-President of Human Resources. “Enhancing skills strengthens us as an organization. No company can have such a long and stable history without good employees.” From hiring selectively to enabling advancement through the company, Great-West encourages employees to develop capabilities that extend far beyond an individual’s immediate job. Employees can take advantage of in-house training programs, tuition subsidies for courses taken at outside institutions, including general interest courses, and subsidies for professional accreditation. Cameron, for example, joined Great-West as a junior developer, but

quickly advanced to a senior developer position, then went into testing and analysis before he became a senior systems architect. Along the way, he developed his technology-related skills, but he also studied negotiating, critical thinking and resource management strategy. “You can’t survive on hard skills alone,” he says. “It’s important to build your soft skills, as well. They’re superimportant.” Almost every employee at GreatWest receives training in a particular job. But almost 40 per cent of employees also take in-house or external courses to enhance their skills in areas such as leadership, communications and negotiating, while another third pursue continuing education courses on their own time but with financial assistance from the company at a local college or university. “This is a large organization,” says Weaver, who first joined a Great-West

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

subsidiary, London Life, over three decades ago, after working there as a summer student. “There are lots of opportunities for growth.” Weaver was following in the footsteps of her father, who also worked for the company for 30 years. “Family relationships are not uncommon here,” she says. “Over our history, one generation often follows another into the company.” Once they join, the onus is on the employee to choose a path through the company. “But we get lots of support and encouragement,” says Cameron. “Every year, I work with my career centre leader to build a professional development plan that extends over the next year,” he says. “Then we figure out how to get there. We assess the time, funding and courses involved. And along the way, we measure the result.” Cameron reached one of his milestones when he became a senior systems architect about a year ago. “Now I have further milestones,” he says. “But none of this would have been possible without the courses available here at Great-West.”

12,025 1,100 68,753 50

full-time staff in Canada jobs available last year job applications last year years, longestserving employee

Read the full editorial Reasons for Selection for all of this year’s Canada’s Top 100 Employers winners, plus the 2017 winners of our regional and special-interest competitions. Our redesigned website now features thousands of beautiful images and stories on this year’s winners, presented in an easy-to-navigate format that’s accessible on any device, including mobile. Discover valuable editorial information on what it’s like to work at any of the employers you see in this magazine. Discover the new online home of the Canada’s Top 100 Employers project at:



( 2017 )

Hatch engineers an entrepreneurial culture


ot long after graduating from University of Toronto with a degree in chemical engineering, Ajay Kochhar went to work for Hatch, a global professional services company based in Mississauga, Ont. He worked on designs for reducing air emissions for clients in the mining and metals sector and, as he puts it: “You could always see the impact of your work on clients and the surrounding communities. It was extremely rewarding.” Kochhar was equally inspired by the working environment at Hatch. “One of the things that drew me to the company was the entrepreneurial culture,” he says. “At Hatch, we say that people are entrepreneurs with a technical soul. That really resonates with me.” At Hatch, we say that people are entrepreneurs with a technical soul. That really resonates with me. Ajay Kochhar,

Hatch Consultant

Over 90 per cent of the company’s employees are professional engineers. They work with mining companies, public and private sector clients that build infrastructure, and clients in the energy field, which includes oil and gas as well as hydro, solar, wind, thermal and nuclear power generation. That said, Hatch is far from a typical engineering firm, says Chief Executive Officer John Bianchini. The company designs and builds, but its goes well beyond that. “We help our


clients realize their dreams,” says Bianchini. “Whatever they envision, we love to build. We then partner with clients to maintain and optimize their assets, reduce costs, and implement ideas and technologies that benefit their business and the local community.” Hatch recruits from top engineering schools across Canada and around the world. The company, which funds over 500 scholarships and bursaries globally each year, has offices in more than 60 countries. “We draw people from everywhere and we give our young people a chance to see the world and be their best,” says Bianchini. “At any given time, we will have hundreds of people on assignment outside their native country. That’s the nature of

our work. We follow our clients as they expand globally.” However, the company ensures that employees – especially younger ones – are well prepared. For the first two to three years with Hatch, young professionals are enrolled in the Professional Development Program. They spend much of their time getting to know the company and its clients. They have the opportunity to meet their peers and senior leaders, both professionally and socially, and they learn to work in teams. The company also promotes team-building and camaraderie by participating in community fundraising and charitable activities. For the fifth consecutive year, Hatch has been the top corporate fund-raiser in

the Princess Margaret Cancer Foundation’s Road Hockey Tournament to Conquer Cancer. The company has raised over $1 million, and this year more than 100 employees on 10 teams participated. Those who decide to make a long-term commitment to Hatch are encouraged to participate in the company’s share purchase plan. “We do really exciting work that changes the world,” says Bianchini. “People who are technical and entrepreneurial find that attractive, but they are also attracted to a company that gives them the opportunity to become owners and, with that, can prosper along with the business.” Those two things, ownership and the nature of the work, go a long way toward promoting loyalty and long service. “One of the aspects of Hatch that really surprised me when I first started was the number of people I met who’d been here for 25 to 30 years or more,” says Kochhar. “They’d been able to move around within Hatch and have multiple careers.”

2,930 313 10,272 50

full-time staff in Canada jobs available last year in Canada job applications last year years, longestserving employee


( 2017 )

IMAX: High tech and the sexy side of Hollywood


hings can move quickly for people at IMAX Corporation. Five years ago, Sarah Hasnoo was a newly hired sales analyst for the big-screen entertainment company at its global headquarters in Mississauga, Ont. Now she is based in Manila, Philippines, where, as Director, Theatre Development and Theatre Operations, Asia-Pacific, she travels a vast territory stretching from India to Japan to Australia. “It’s a great opportunity,” says Toronto-born Hasnoo. “It’s fascinating to see the different cultures and how people interact with each other.” Currently there are nearly 100 IMAX cinemas in Hasnoo’s territory, which involves the whole Asia-Pacific region outside China, Hong Kong and Taiwan, and she is out to expand that number, big-time. It’s a measure of how this Canadian company, founded in 1967 after its people created the famed giant screens at Expo 67, has grown and prospered in the half century since. This company really values its employees and thinks about how it can provide opportunities to them. Sarah Hasnoo,

Director, Theatre Development and Theatre Operations, Asia-Pacific

Although IMAX was long known for vivid large-screen documentaries on everything from the Grand Canyon to space exploration, its biggest focus today is Hollywood blockbusters. More than 1,100 IMAX cinemas in 74 countries now show big-budget, com-


mercial movies that have been digitally remastered to take advantage of IMAX’s huge screens and top-quality sound systems. Many directors also use IMAX equipment to film at least part of their movies for extra drama and clarity, and recently Clint Eastwood’s “Sully” – starring Tom Hanks as Miracle on the Hudson pilot Chesley “Sully” Sullenberger – became the first commercial release to be filmed entirely in IMAX. This all makes for an exciting work environment, says Carrie LindzonJacobs, Executive Vice President, Human Resources. “It’s a very unique atmosphere and culture,” she says. “You’re bringing together cuttingedge technology as well as the sexy side of the Hollywood entertainment business.”

In fact, she notes, “we are an innovative entertainment company, and that extends beyond films and the theatre network. We’re always looking for new development opportunities. Currently, for instance, we’re very focused on virtual reality.” IMAX recruits people from across the country to its building in the Sheridan Park research campus in Mississauga. There, they find a multi-generational workforce – some people have been with the company since the early days, while others are millennials – and lots of great perks. The most popular is the Blockbuster Friends and Family Screenings held on weekends. There are also yoga and pilates spaces, bikes for employee use and a subsidized cafeteria.

Given the varied generations, the company also offers flexible health benefits, a $500 wellness allowance, and an additional $1,000 worth of paramedical services, such as massage and physiotherapy. Employees also get shares in the company. And, depending on the role, there may be opportunities for global travel and even international placement. The second largest office is in Los Angeles, and Lindzon-Jacobs says several Canadian staffers have relocated there, as well as Europe. Technical people often work on Hollywood film sets during production. A joint venture in China also involves IMAX Canadians. Similarly, Hasnoo opened the Manila office in January 2016 along with a colleague from Los Angeles, and she works closely with a Canadian IMAX executive based in Moscow. “This company really values its employees and thinks about how it can provide opportunities to them,” she says. “IMAX is just such an innovative company, and I really get a sense of pride when I tell someone I work there.


full-time staff in Canada


charities helped last year


job applications received last year steps taken in

Corporate 367,059,357 GlobalChallenge



( 2017 )

When Intact’s people came to the rescue


t was all hands on deck. The Fort McMurray wildfire of spring 2016 was the worst natural disaster in Canadian history, and the country’s largest property and casualty insurer, Intact Financial Corporation, headquartered in Toronto, rose to the challenge. Employees from across Canada pitched in to help Fort McMurray residents when they were forced from their homes. “We were on the ground within hours of the news,” says Denise Thompson, Vice President, Human Capital Management. “We mobilized our teams to set up evacuation centres throughout Alberta, to answer questions, handle claims and provide financial relief to our customers. It was inspiring to see the commitment and the caring that our staff showed.” It was inspiring to see the commitment and the caring that our staff showed. Denise Thompson,

Vice President, Human Capital Management

Thompson says the crisis response reflects the strong sense of engagement among Intact employees. The insurer ranks among the top quartile of Canadian companies in surveys of employee engagement. “Our employees have a passion to make a difference for customers and their communities,” she says. Last year, Intact had more than 3,000 positions available. While it hires a large number of claims representatives and underwriters, the


company looks outside these traditional insurance roles, too, recruiting software engineers and data scientists to create innovative technological solutions for customers. Intact employee benefits set it apart. These include maternity and parental leave top-up payments for new parents (up to 18 weeks for birth mothers and up to six weeks for other parents). In the Toronto office, there is access to an onsite daycare centre with over 80 spaces. Another key benefit is the employee share purchase plan; employees can invest up to 10 per cent of their salary annually and the company matches 50 per cent of net shares at the end of each calendar year. Intact promotes the continuing education of employees through

tuition subsidies for courses related to their existing jobs, a variety of in-house training programs, and bonuses of up to $2,000 for completion of certain programs, such as the Chartered Insurance Professional (CIP) designation. Adam Lawrence came to Intact with a Bachelor of Business Administration degree three years ago, starting in the claims department as a customer service representative. He then joined the two-year commercial lines trainee program. He earned his CIP, and progressed to Intermediate Commercial Lines Underwriter, evaluating risks for mid-market businesses. “What I’d like to do next is apply the skills I’ve learned in claims and underwriting to the corporate side,”

It’s easy to be one of Canada’s Top 100 Employers when you have the best employees. Intact is a registered trademark of Intact Financial Corporation. © 2016 Intact Financial Corporation. All rights reserved.

he says. “I’m interested in going into our sales and business development area or our marketing team, now that I have a better understanding of what our product is.” Lawrence praises Intact for its approach to career development. “Your direct manager checks in with you often and plans out where you want to go and where your skill sets would be needed. Both my direct manager and my director sit with me quarterly and make sure I’m progressing on the path.” He recently got to job-shadow a sales and business development team to see what they do on a day to day basis. Lawrence also gains from participating in the LGBT and Allies Network, one of seven employee networks. “It’s given me an opportunity to develop my leadership skills outside of my day job,” he says. As chair of the national network, he manages peers, organizes events and proposes budgets and annual goals to senior vice presidents. “My job is more than just underwriting; I contribute to the organization’s success in many ways. It has enabled me to build a brand for myself.”

11,314 3,183 67,413 47

full-time staff in Canada jobs available last year job applications last year years, longestserving employee


( 2017 )

Irving Oil leads the way on the east coast


he philosophy that Irving Oil Chairman Arthur Irving has applied throughout his 65year career at the company his father, K.C., founded in 1924 gets passed down to every employee – act with integrity, work hard, treat your customers well and you will succeed. There certainly haven’t been any limitations to Kevin Scott’s 24 years with the Saint John, N.B.-based company. He became Chief Human Resources Officer in 2013, but he first began working at Irving Oil in 1991 as a summer student while studying chemical engineering at the University of New Brunswick. To work for a local company with global reach and a great reputation – right here in my hometown – is remarkable. Janelle Shillington,


Retail Marketing Manager

Scott so impressed his managers that they encouraged him to apply for a fulltime job before he graduated – and he had one waiting for him in May of 1992 after earning his degree. Since then he has held these varied positions: Process Engineer, Crude Oil Trader, Director of Supply and Trading, Director of Refining Growth and now his HR title. “I feel like I’ve trained for my current position for 20 years,” says Scott. “I’ve worked in many different roles and with different people. All of that has been a good grounding for this role.” When recruiting, Scott and his team look for candidates who are interested in considering new opportunities that might at first glance appear outside their existing skill set. “To be really successful

here,” he says, “you have to want to take on new challenges, because they’re important growth steps in an employee’s career path.” If someone is willing to work hard, the opportunities are endless. Retail Marketing Manager Janelle Shillington has only been at the company since 2013, but she has already taken steps to expand her role. Within two years of joining Irving Oil, Shillington held a key leadership position in the development and execution of the largest summer retail promotion in the company’s history, working collaboratively with other leaders across the organization and external partners. “Our managers want to maximize their employees’ potential, and they’re

very supportive in doing that,” says Shillington, who recently started an MBA through Dalhousie University. She receives financial support from the company for tuition, and she doesn’t have to take vacation days when she needs to attend in-class sessions and exams. “I’m so grateful to Irving Oil for this investment they’re making in me,” she says. Irving Oil also invests in its local communities, which is a source of great pride for employees. Shillington has taken part in Fuel the Care Day, where employees volunteer at an Irving Oil gas station pumping gas, washing windshields and thanking customers for their patronage. Customers don’t have to donate directly – $1 of each gas purchase

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on that day is funneled to Fuel the Care, a program that has helped more than 50,000 families across Atlantic Canada, New England and Quebec with the cost of travel between home and hospital. Shillington and Scott both hail from the Saint John area and speak highly of their Chairman and his daughter, Sarah Irving, the company’s Executive Vice President and Chief Brand Officer. “Our company’s strong leadership starts with the family – you feel their pride and loyalty, and you feel part of that as an employee, which helps connect you to the company.” Even more important, employees like Shillington feel their opinions are heard and their contributions are valued. “Our senior leadership team recognizes the company’s greatest asset is its people,” she says. “We’re encouraged to think big, use our creativity and run with new ideas. This leads to an immensely rewarding work experience, and one that translates into a strong culture of respect and collaboration.”

2,474 500 1,000+ 46

full-time staff in Canada charities helped last year staff volunteer hours last year years, longestserving employee


( 2017 )

Labatt drives success from the bottom up


hristie Cunningham was headed for a career as a mechanical engineer until she met a representative of Labatt Breweries of Canada at a recruiting session during her final year as a student at Queen’s University in Kingston, Ont. She pulled a proverbial 180, joined the brewing giant after graduating in 2013 and has since specialized in logistics – the business of managing the flow of goods and services to the company’s nationwide network of breweries and distribution centres. “I’m not doing differential equations every day or sitting in front of a terminal doing computer aided design,” says Cunningham, who is currently National Materials and Scheduling Manager at the company’s Business Service Centre in Mississauga, Ont. “But I am using the analytical, problem-solving and leadership skills that I acquired while studying engineering.” our talent programs set us apart as an employer of choice. agostino De Gasperis,

vice-President, People and Partnerships

She is also using skills acquired through Labatt’s sophisticated and multi-faceted training programs. Recent graduates are recruited into a development program that can lead to a career in sales, brewing, logistics, human resources or information and business services. Each year a limited number of graduates are admitted to the Global Management Training program. “Our talent programs set us apart as an employer of choice,” says Agostino

Labatt’s Christie Cunningham thrives on the Challenges of logistiCs

De Gasperis, Vice-President, People and Partnerships. “The Global Management Trainee program is the centerpiece. It’s an accelerated development program for high potential talent coming right out of school.” Participants rotate through a number of positions in different divisions of the company and at different locations over a 10-month period. They’re given the opportunity to work in breweries, warehouses, distribution centres and business centres and to manage parts of the operations in each facility. At the end of their rotation they receive a real business problem and they’re expected to come up with an innovative solution. “It’s really important to work in the regions and to get first-hand experience at the field level. This way we learn

to drive success from the bottom up,” says Amanda Rohaly, Manager, People Continuity. Labatt maintains a diverse and dynamic campus recruiting program, looking for talent at post-secondary institutions across the country. Besides attending information sessions and career fairs, the company’s campus ambassadors routinely visit schools to promote their training and development programs and to explain them to career advisors. The company frequently hires graduates of business programs and engineering schools, but also casts its net widely and recruits students with social science, liberal arts and humanities degrees. “We’re looking for candidates with spirit, drive, ambition and the desire to make a difference,” says Rohaly.

THERE’S NO END TO WHAT WE CAN DO Our Dream is to bring people together for a better world.

And new hires from professional schools frequently find themselves attracted to a totally unrelated field, thanks to the company’s suite of development programs. Cunningham rotated through several of them, but found herself attracted to logistics and supply chain management. “One of the great things about the development programs was how they challenged me immediately,” says Cunningham. “In the end, logistics really spoke to me. I had the opportunity to apply engineering skills and I really loved being on the floor at a brewery or a distribution centre and seeing first-hand how things moved from point A to point B.” She has already held five positions in the company and currently oversees a team of 10 analysts, four in Mississauga and six in breweries across the country, who are responsible handling the flow of packaging and raw materials. Cunningham has enjoyed a whirlwind start to her career. Her first full-time position involved managing a team of 60 truck drivers at a distribution centre, she says. “It’s pretty crazy to think you could be doing that right out of school.”

3,143 452 55,792 47

full-time staff in Canada jobs available last year job applications years, longest serving employee

Proud member of the Anheuser-Busch InBev family


( 2017 )

Medavie Blue Cross reinvests in communities


edavie Blue Cross has an unconventional approach to business: It measures its wealth in terms of people, not just profits. In fact, Canada’s fourth-largest provider of individual and group insurance products officially operates as a not-forprofit, and believes deeply in investing in the communities where it does business. “There’s a long-term view to growing the bottom line, with an emphasis on doing what’s right for the organization – to the benefit of employees, client service and our communities,” says Eric Laberge, President, Medavie Blue Cross. “Striking that balance resonates with our people because, as a health-care company, we’re only as strong as our employees.” As a health-care company, we’re only as strong as our employees. Eric Laberge,


After working 22 years for two leading corporate consulting firms, Laberge joined Medavie Blue Cross in December 2012. But instead of remaking it as a strictly market-driven company, he embraced its community-oriented culture and is building on it. The company contributes in a variety of ways. Ten per cent of profits go every year to the Medavie Health Foundation, which supports programs related to child and youth mental health and type 2 diabetes. Medavie Blue Cross is a key sponsor of the annual MS Bike event for multiple sclerosis in Quebec, and a major supporter of the United Way.


When employees volunteer with a charity for 50 hours or more, Medavie Blue Cross donates $500 to that organization. It also matches donations up to $3,000 when staff members team up to raise funds for a charity. For Derek Orsini, Account Executive, Group Sales, in the company’s Toronto office, the opportunity to help others makes the job more meaningful. “It’s important to give back to the community because we’re very lucky to live in Canada,” he says. “Obviously you want to make a profit, but everything shouldn’t be based on the bottom line, so sharing back with the community is important.” Orsini, who joined Medavie Blue Cross about 10 years ago after working

for two larger insurance companies, says he also enjoys the company’s smaller size and the family feeling that creates. Employees typically feel a stronger sense of job security and loyalty, he adds. The company still supports an annual holiday party – an increasing rarity in corporate Canada – and most locations enjoy a turkey lunch at Christmas. “It feels like we have really strong relationships with all departments,” he observes. “There’s a very strong team environment, and it trickles down to better service for clients.” To enhance its family-friendly atmosphere, Medavie Blue Cross supports new parents with maternity and parental leave top-up payments to 90

per cent of salary for up to six weeks, and offers parents the option of extending their leave with an unpaid leave of absence. Employees can take advantage of flexible work arrangements to help them transition to their new role as parents. And a new vacation-purchase program gives eligible staff the opportunity to buy extra holiday time through payroll deductions to spend more time with family and friends. At the same time, the company’s strong growth offers exciting challenges and opportunities for development, says Orsini. Medavie Blue Cross encourages professional growth through tuition subsidies for job-related courses and subsidies for professional accreditation. More than 200 employees have gone through its recently introduced Leadership Summit program, and the company tries to promote from within whenever possible. As president, Laberge says he’s trying to create a collaborative culture by continuing to break down barriers between departments, increasing the pace of decision-making and improving communications with managers, team leaders and employees.

1,870 200+ 583 65%

full-time staff in Canada charities supported last year internal & external jobs available last year of managers are women

OUR SHAREHOLDER? THE COMMUNITY. As a not-for-profit organization, we commit 10% of our annual net income to the Medavie Health Foundation. The remaining funds are reinvested into our business to better serve our members and clients.


( 2017 )

National Leasing owns its can-do attitude


s manager of contract administration for National Leasing, Rose Mandaliti oversees a wide range of issues, including the collection of delinquent payments. It’s a challenging job, but one Mandaliti approaches with an upbeat and creative attitude. “The fact is very few people enter into a contract intending not to honour it,” says Mandaliti. “But sometimes customers face unforeseen difficulties. Our goal is to work with them to problem-solve and get them to the end of the contract. And helping people get through tough times is very fulfilling.” Mandaliti’s positive, can-do attitude is typical of National Leasing, a firm that helps over 57,000 Canadian companies to lease, rather than own, everything from combines to golf carts. It’s apparent as soon as you walk into the firm’s 72,000-square-foot head office in south Winnipeg, which is drenched in sunlight streaming in from windows on all sides of the building, as well as eight overhead skylights. I’ve never seen a company this successful that has so little ego or pretension. Carol Stubits,

Sales Manager

Unlike more traditional workplaces, where executives work in closed-off offices with all the best views, here many of the prime spots are filled by more junior employees. Instead,


executives work at modest desks surrounded by co-workers who are free to approach them at any time. President and Chief Executive Officer Tom Pundyk occupies one of those desks. Pundyk, who cofounded the company in 1977, today works with 350 employees, including some 60 account managers and support staff at field offices across Canada. Assets currently managed by National Leasing (which is now owned by Canadian Western Bank) total nearly $2 billion. Yet Pundyk still makes a point of meeting with every new employee three months into the job. He talks about the company’s expectations of them and listens to what they expect in return. “It lifts me up every time,” says Pundyk. “Afterwards, I often get an email from them saying, ‘boy, that’s the first chance I’ve had to speak to a CEO.’ I tell them, ‘make sure it’s

Love where you work.

Join our growing team of innovators. Visit Careers at nationalleasing.com to discover your opportunity.

not your last – I want to see you coming back to me with ideas about how we can improve our business.’” Individual and team initiative is a big priority at National Leasing. “When I started as a junior collector 15 years ago, it was all pretty open-ended,” says Mandaliti. “There were expected results, but how I got there was largely up to me.” Carol Stubits, who joined National Leasing two years ago as a sales manager in the company’s Burlington, Ont. office, concurs. After two decades working for competitors in the Greater Toronto Area, Stubits was charged with expanding National Leasing’s presence in Ontario. Recalls Stubits: “From the very start, it was ‘what do you need, Carol, to get the job done? Help us to help you’ It’s not top-down; they give employees a voice.”

On a recent weekday, Stubits was in the Winnipeg head office, a place she visits whenever she can. “I’m in a great mood because I’m among my people,” she said. “There’s something very different about National Leasing, which reflects its Winnipeg roots. I’ve never seen a company this successful that has so little ego or pretension.” The company has high expectations of all employees, including the best sales results and customer service in the industry. In return, National Leasing is committed to providing a fun and engaged workplace. An on-site gym, yoga classes and office hockey games every winter Friday are among the attractions. Annual themed dress-up parties, group skits featuring executive members and champagne breakfasts to celebrate reaching sales goals are some others. “We work hard and we’re rewarded by having a lot of fun,” says Mandaliti. “It’s a pretty nice balance.”

350 55% 15 4

full-time staff in Canada of managers are women employee wellness events per week, on average guiding values – smart, helpful, fun and creative




For two days this November, join the organizers of the annual Canada’s Top 100 Employers project as they explore the key themes they will be covering in next year’s competition. Join world-class speakers, authors, journalists and dozens of business leaders from this year’s winning employers – all hand-picked by the editors of Canada’s Top 100 Employers to bring you the latest thinking on becoming an employer-of-choice. Attending the Top Employer Summit is an ideal way to have all your questions on the Canada’s Top 100 Employers project answered in a convenient two-day, non-commercial format.

For information or to register, please visit: www.EmployerSummit.ca


( 2017 )

NAV CANADA: the right people, the right culture


es Jesseau loves being an air traffic controller for NAV CANADA. “It’s a tough job that not everyone is suited for,” he says, noting that his work keeps him on his toes. “Every day is different, depending on the weather and the time of year.” Jesseau also greatly admires the men and women alongside him at the area control centre in Gander, N.L. “The people I work with are really phenomenal,” he says. “They are some of the most professional people in the world.” It can look like I’m playing a video game. But these are real people and real planes. Safety is our absolute No. 1 priority. Des Jesseau,

Air Traffic Controller

And Jesseau, who has been an air traffic controller for 22 years, never forgets what his job is about – moving aircraft safely and efficiently. As he monitors the movement of those aircraft on some of the most advanced technology in the world and speaks to pilots on a headset, “it can look like I’m playing a video game,” he says. “But these are real people and real planes. Safety is our absolute number one priority.” Indeed, NAV CANADA is recognized as one of the safest civil air navigation service (ANS) providers in the world. A not-for-profit company, NAV CANADA was created in 1996 with the purchase of the country’s civil ANS from Transport Canada,


making it the only fully private ANS in the world. With a head office in Ottawa, it has more than 4,800 employees, located in every province and territory. The majority are operational staff, including about 2,200 air traffic controllers and more than 600 flight service specialists, who provide crucial information to pilots. Handling about 12 million movements annually, these employees work out of NAV CANADA’s seven area control centres, 41 airport control towers and 55 flight service stations. The company also employs engineers and technologists, as well as a variety of support functions including manage-

ment, IT, legal and administration, among many others. Jesseau says that at NAV CANADA, “the compensation is good, the benefits are good, the pension is good,” but what really makes the company stand out for him are the wellness programs. Jesseau is an active volunteer with these support initiatives, including the Critical Incident Stress Management program, established to provide support in the aftermath of rare and difficult events at work. Volunteering, he says, “is something I’m very proud of. It’s amazing to me that NAV CANADA will spend so much time, money and resources to train peers and provide us with

WE’RE A TOP EMPLOYER BECAUSE OUR EMPLOYEES GO ABOVE AND BEYOND. NAV CANADA is Canada’s air navigation service provider. Our employees are inspired by the importance of their work and take pride in what they do – and NAV CANADA is proud of each and every employee working to ensure the skies are safe and aircraft move efficiently.

To learn more about a career with NAV CANADA, visit navcanada.ca

the necessary tools so that in the off chance something happens, we’re there and we’re ready to help.” The wellness programs are just one part of NAV CANADA’s commitment to its employees, which is something that President and CEO Neil Wilson sees as integral to the company’s success. “We adjusted our mission statement to include the provision of a professional and fulfilling work environment for our employees,” says Wilson, “because our employees are key stakeholders in everything that we do.” NAV CANADA’s Senior Vice-President of Human Resources, Raymond Bohn, echoes that sentiment. Initiatives to foster an inclusive workplace, and support employee growth and engagement are at the heart of all employee programs, he says. “At NAV CANADA, we’re committed to providing value to all of our stakeholders, including our employees,” Bohn says. “We strive to find the right people and to build the right culture. It’s about taking care of our people and creating an environment where they can thrive.”

4,800+ 321 194 300+

full-time employees in Canada peer volunteers participating in wellness programs scholarships awarded to employee dependants charities supported each year


( 2017 )

PHSA: taking patient and employee experience to a new level


s a large and multifaceted organization, the Vancouver-based Provincial Health Services Authority faces some complex challenges in providing specialty health services throughout British Columbia. The how of PHSA’s operation is complicated, but the why is simple. “Patients are at the centre of everything we do,” says Arden Krystal, Executive Vice President, Patient & Employee Experience. It’s a recently configured portfolio for Krystal, combining her long-standing corporate and clinical experience with her commitment to continuous quality improvement. This new portfolio became part of a realignment of the executive team, allowing for more emphasis on patients, populations, networks of care, and the workplace experience. “I believe we are entering a new era,” says Krystal. “This new structure enhances our capacity to plan, implement and deliver services while stressing the importance of the overall patient experience.” The diversity of opportunity at PHSA is extraordinary. Arden Krystal,

Executive Vice President, Patient & Employee Experience

Working with the province’s five regional health authorities, the First Nations Health Authority and the BC Ministry of Health, PHSA plans and coordinates the delivery of highly specialized healthcare services. It does this through a network of agencies, services and programs, such as the BC Cancer Agency, BC Emergency Health Services,

Our mission


BC Mental Health & Substance Use Services, the BC Centre for Disease Control, the BC Women’s Hospital + Health Centre, and the BC Children’s Hospital. PHSA also plays a significant role in health research, developing world-class treatments and technologies for patients, and providing the best evidence for decision-making and effective health care spending. A key step in PHSA’s leadership restructuring was to improve the employee experience – and engage all staff in the process. When PHSA called for volunteers for two new advisory groups, a Patient Experience Council and a Workplace Culture Council, hundreds of employees of all ages and from workplaces throughout BC applied. Their contributions, such as helping develop a new Mission, Vision and

Our values

Results through caring, leading and learning together.

Our vision

Values statement through the voice of the employees they represent, have been significant and Krystal says more noteworthy recommendations are in the works. “The passion of our people is remarkable,” she adds. Registered Nurse and Program Manager Lynn Coolen is familiar with the passion and dedication of those who choose to work in health care. She’s the Manager of the 22-bed Pediatric Intensive Care Unit at BC Children’s Hospital. Coolen supervises a team of nurses who work round the clock tending to critically ill children and youth sent to the Vancouver hospital from throughout BC. “In Pediatric Intensive Care, our teams experience joyful and sometimes sad outcomes,” says Coolen. “But we’re here to do a job and we always do the

best we can for our patients and their families. The people here are fantastic.” While being part of a close-knit team provides a large dose of job satisfaction, Coolen also appreciates the career opportunities that working for a large organization like PHSA provides. She has, for instance, taken advantage of a number of professional training and development programs, including earning an MBA while working full-time. In addition to online and in-house courses, Coolen has also taken management and leadership development programs that PHSA offers. Crucial to the development and engagement of the organization, course participants come from across PHSA agencies. “These courses are a fantastic opportunity,” Coolen says. “You can connect with others from throughout the province and learn about their best practices.” For Krystal, PHSA’s size and scope, plus its strong emphasis on promoting from within, are key factors in helping the organization meet employees’ varying career aspirations. “The diversity of opportunity at PHSA is extraordinary,” she says. “We really want people to feel PHSA is their employer of choice.”

10,346 5,360 144,188 6,000+

full-time staff in Canada jobs available last year job applications last year in-house training programs

Respect People Be Compassionate Dare to Innovate Cultivate Partnerships Serve with Purpose Dr. Samuel Aparicio, Head of Molecular Oncology, BC Cancer Agency

Province-wide solutions for excellence in health, every time.



( 2017 )

Binnie builds champions


fter 15 years with R.F. Binnie and Associates Ltd., Tom Rabey says he has learned the key to employee engagement – it’s all about helping people make their mark. “I tell our staff that every great idea needs a champion and all champions are welcome,” says Rabey, Professional Services Group Manager for the Vancouver-based firm of civil engineering consultants. “So if something sounds like a good idea, take it and run with it. Be that champion. If you do, you will help shape our company. That kind of work environment keeps you interested, engaged and excited at the prospect of coming to work each morning.” Certainly, there is no shortage of opportunities at Binnie. Projects run the gamut from highway and bridge construction to building sports and recreation facilities to helping create entire municipal subdivisions. They care about helping me meet my career objectives while also growing as a person. Emma Yee,


Most of the projects are based in the B.C. communities where Binnie’s employees work, live and play – another key attraction for both new recruits and veterans like Rabey. “We do a lot of work in our local communities and there are few things that engage people more” says Rabey. “You take that extra amount of care


and pride because you know the area and you may end up using the infrastructure you’re helping to build. You want to make it the best it can be.” Another way Binnie seeks to empower employees is through its Young Professionals Committee, made up of individuals with 10 years’ experience or less in the industry. “The YP Committee is a force to be reckoned with,” observes Rabey. “They put proposals forward to our Board of Directors and have direct input into our annual planning process. They also act as a peer support group and as champions for a lot of social events and volunteer activities.” YP members recently volunteered to build a playground at a local children’s centre and to create a new outdoor learning and community park. The

volunteers are recognized for time contributed through Binnie’s profitsharing program. Longer-term, high-achieving Binnie employees are invited to become shareholders in the firm. Currently, about a quarter of Binnie’s full-time employees own shares. “It’s very satisfying to be part of an employee-owned company,” says Rabey. “Rather than reporting to some far-away mystery head office, we have the ability to influence and change policies. It allows us to be a lot more dynamic, responsive and accountable.” Like other engineering firms, Binnie places a lot of emphasis on its engineerin-training (EIT) program which takes new university graduates and provides them with the on-the-job training and mentoring required to become

accredited professional engineers. Emma Yee, who graduated from the University of British Columbia in 2014, is at the midpoint of her EIT program. She is also a member of Binnie’s YP Committee. Yee says she benefits from Binnie’s supportive and collaborative work culture. “My division has people ranging in experience from a couple of years to many decades. They are always willing to share their knowledge and expertise with people like me.” As part of Binnie’s formal mentoring program, Yee was paired up with a more senior engineer with whom she meets regularly. “I’ve learned a lot from her, not just about the work itself, but also how you balance work and other aspects of your life.” Among other initiatives, Binnie offers employees flexible work hours, shortened and compressed work weeks and the option of telecommuting. “What I like is that they value people,” says Yee. “It’s not just about billable hours or my work output. They care about helping me meet my career objectives while also growing as a person.”

135 37 3,796 12

full-time staff in Canada jobs available last year job applications last year charities helped last year


( 2017 )

‘Astounding’ 92% staff satisfaction at Raymond James


or Deborah Best, it would have been a deal breaker. The financial services industry veteran wanted to know how committed Raymond James Ltd. was to giving back to the community. “If the company was focused only on profits, I would not be here,” says Best, its Vice President, Human Resources. Best joined Raymond James, one of North America’s leading independent full-service investment dealers, in 2012, just months after the Canadian operation established a foundation to handle burgeoning employee charitable donations. This year, staff donated some $434,000 to the Raymond James Canada Foundation. We care about our clients first, not about short-term profit margins. Deborah Best,

Vice President, Human Resources

In less than five years, the foundation has directed more than $4.8 million to some 1,000 community charities across the country. Says Best: “It is who we are. We have a culture of care. We care about our clients first, not about short-term profit margins. “Clients who value charitable giving can turn to us for help. And our employees, who put their clients first, are the sort of people who also care about their communities.” Indeed, take Raymond James financial adviser Jay Dowhaniuk in


Kelowna, B.C. Every year, he takes positive advantage of the company’s charitable foundation in two ways. He contributes $2,500 of his own money to be forwarded to a charity, or charities, of his choosing, knowing that the foundation will match most of that amount. “When you can leverage Raymond James’ generosity, it’s a win-win,” he says. Another way Dowhaniuk leverages that generosity is by raising money in the community for a charitable event, such as the annual B.C. Ride to Conquer Cancer. Over three years, he has raised more than $30,000 for, and participated in, this twoday, 250-kilometre bicycle trek from Vancouver to Seattle. For such initiatives, the foundation matches donations up to $1,500 per employee participant and $15,000 per team.

Both Best and Dowhaniuk are also active contributors every May in the RJ Cares Month. This year staff broke all records, volunteering more than 2,200 hours and collecting some 3,750 pounds of food and more than $25,000 for food banks. (The company provides one day with pay for volunteering activities.) Such generosity has won the company an Imagine Canada citation as a Caring Company, an honour bestowed on businesses that donate at least one per cent of pre-tax profit to charity. Says Dowhaniuk: “It shows Raymond James really does care.” But altruism is not the only reason that Dowhaniuk is a happy Raymond James employee. He joined the Toronto and Vancouver-based wealth management company nearly 12 years ago from a larger financial


institution and says he can’t imagine going anywhere else. “This is a bottom-up organization where I have total freedom to focus on my clients’ needs,” he says. “I’m treated so well that I, myself, feel like a client.” For her part, Best adds that the company’s client-first approach is reflected in its flat organization and “servant-leadership” approach as opposed to a top-down structure. “Our leaders serve our employees because they are the ones who serve our clients,” she says. Treating employees as valued clients has other implications. “If business circumstances change,” Best says, “we go to great lengths to train people for other functions so they can stay on.” Nurturing its employees extends to generous tuition support for those who want to advance their careers along with industry-leading maternity and paternal leave for those with newborns. As a result, it’s no surprise that the latest employee engagement survey recorded a 92-per-cent overall satisfaction result. “In our industry, that’s incredible,” says Best. “It’s nothing short of astounding!”

1,019 388 219 45

full-time staff charities helped in annual campaign jobs available last year years, longestserving employee


( 2017 )

RBCers driven by six powerful words


o understand how RBC has evolved as a place to work, you should talk to both Per Scott, part of the leadership team at the bank’s Toronto headquarters, and Amr Mohamed, a Banking Advisor at the Mountain Road branch in Moncton, N.B. Scott, Vice President, Human Resources, will tell you about the bank’s remarkable exercise of the past year to rearticulate its purpose, vision and values. A key part of the process was a 55-hour, worldwide “Vision and Values Jam”, in which more than 20,000 employees participated online from 22 countries. The eventual result was RBC’s compelling new purpose statement: “Helping clients thrive and communities prosper.” We want to communicate to employees and prospective employees that it’s not just about being commercially successful. There is a mission. Per Scott,

Vice President, Human Resources

And in Moncton, Mohamed will tell you about how he and some colleagues vividly lived that statement of purpose with the all-in support they offered a group of newly arrived Syrian refugees. “It was a little emotional,” Mohamed allows. Only a few months later, the group is indeed thriving. Mohamed was working in an RBC Advice Centre in October 2015 when the Vision and Values Jam was held across the organization. President and CEO Dave McKay had launched a


broad effort to define an explicit purpose for Canada’s leading bank, and he was among those who took part during two and a half days of non-stop global discussion about its guiding principles. “We had come to the conclusion that in the future, successful companies would be purpose-driven, principles-led and performancefocused,” says Scott. And what is the purpose of having a Purpose? “It’s about inspiring like-minded people to join you, and focusing on the things that matter most to you,” he says. “We want to communicate to employees and prospective employees that it’s not just about being commercially successful. There is a mission.” Scott was among those who, some two months later, succeeded in distill-

ing all the discussion into the new, six-word statement about helping clients and communities. And about two months after that, in February 2016, Mohamed got a call from his manager. An Arabic speaker who grew up in Egypt, Mohamed was needed at a local branch where RBC had agreed to help a group of Syrian refugees who had arrived just the day before. There, he discovered that far from being interested in banking, the group needed help with much more fundamental concerns. “They wanted to know where can we find food, where is the market, where are we going to live? I said everything will be taken care of.” On the second day, men brought their families, and everyone crowded

into a branch conference room to learn more about the basics of Canada and of banking. In succeeding weeks, Mohamed, backed by Maha Smith, another Arabic-speaking colleague, slowly began introducing a group used to paying with cash to bank accounts, ATM cards and finally credit cards. Mohamed transferred to work at the branch, and it became the go-to place for the Syrians to get information about anything they needed. “They came in all the time,” he says. “We built a trust.” Today, aided by intensive English classes, more than 80 per cent of the adults are working – a community prospering. Many go straight to the ATM or a teller when they come in, no longer needing Mohamed, and some, he chuckles, even speak to him in English. “What I like about RBC is that we are so involved in the community,” says Mohamed. “I am so proud that we were one of the first banks to help Syrian refugees. It’s amazing to be part of an organization that has this awareness.” And now, six powerful words to describe it.

52,480 6,200 34,800 65


That’s the feeling that results from fulfilling a promise. We’ve won Canada’s Top 100 Employers 9 years running. That’s because RBC® follows through on its promise of a great culture with collaborative, inclusive and high performing teams.

To learn more, visit rbc.com/TOP100 (R)/TM Trademark(s) of Royal Bank of Canada.

full-time staff in Canada charities helped last year staff volunteer hours last year years, longestserving employee


( 2017 )

Rogers transforms its workplace to drive performance


oya Rezaie is a Senior Manager of IT Planning at the Brampton, Ont. Campus of Rogers Communications Inc. But for a couple of months, she’s been wearing another hat. She’s been a Sharespace ambassador, an informal role that has her introducing team members to a physical transformation of the workplace that is also transforming the corporate culture. “The key word is collaboration,” says Rezaie. “Rule number one is: we’re bringing teams together to deliver for our customers. In the morning you go to a focus room or to a shared space. It depends on what you’re working on and where you can be most efficient.” We’ve made a huge investment in technology to enable collaborative working, mobility and moving quickly. Douglas Jeoffroy,

Vice-President, Corporate Real Estate

In this new, highly-mobile, collaborative work environment, floors of cubicles are a thing of the past. Rezaie notes that she can sit right across from a senior vice-president. Desktop computers are out too. Everyone works on a laptop, which enhances mobility and fosters collaboration. “We have several demands we need to respond to,” says Douglas Jeoffroy, Vice-President, Corporate Real Estate, who leads the Sharespace transformation. “We need to launch products with greater speed. We need to attract and retain top talent in a very competitive industry. We need to work much more


collaboratively. A great workplace is one of the ways to achieve those goals.” Jeoffroy notes that Rogers has a multi-generational workforce, but millennials are the fastest-growing demographic and in five years will represent 50 per cent of Canada’s labour force. “That type of worker is programmed to use great tools and great technology,” he says. “We’ve made a huge investment in technology to enable collaborative working, support mobility and moving quickly.” Nancy Nazer, Senior Vice-President, Organization Development, notes that all new hires from entry-level to executives go through an innovative, two-anda-half-day onboarding program. Managers get an additional day focused on what it means to be a leader at Rogers.

Apply today! jobs.rogers.com

“We overhauled the experience for new employees by providing an intensive immersion into who we are, what we do and how we do it, increasing productivity from Day 1,” Nazer says. “Employees are engaged, excited and able to make immediate contributions to company objectives even before they meet their teams for the first time.” Rogers also introduced a comprehensive suite of professional development programs to drive change and enhance performance at all levels. “There is a real focus on personal and professional development for all our employees,” says Nazer. “All our investments are about creating a great workplace and shaping the right culture. For us, it means attracting, developing and retaining employees who believe in delivering

winning results and achieving rewarding careers.” Employees can tap into on-demand learning and managers, directors and executives go through experiential programs focused on leadership and driving effectiveness across the organization. Rezaie, who joined Rogers nearly a decade ago, has become an enthusiastic ambassador for Sharespace. “I started in accounting and I lived in a cubicle for nine years,” she says. “We had a huge storage room with locked cabinets full of documents and files in labelled binders. Every couple of years we cleaned it out. That seems like another world now.” These days, she works in an environment that is close to paperless. Everything is stored in secure, Cloudbased drives and she rarely makes a run to a shared printer. She’s also far more mobile. “Everything is on the laptop,” she says. “At the end of the day you put all your stuff in a locker – your water bottle, your gym bag or whatever. There’s nothing left on the desk because the next day somebody else could be sitting there.”

23,177 37.8 1,000 48.5

full-time staff in Canada average age of employees charities helped last year years, longestserving employee


( 2017 )

For Samsung Canada, innovation is in everyone


t’s hardly surprising that Samsung Canada likes to stress innovation for its employees. After all, it sells leading-edge devices, TVs, home appliances, and much more. But the company isn’t just talking about its cohort of research and development techies. Samsung wants every employee – whether in sales, marketing, finance, legal, customer service or any other role – to be innovative in their work. “We’re the kind of company that is very future-forward,” says Christine Greco, Vice President Human Resources and Corporate Affairs. “Nothing stays the same for very long in our organization.” Individuals who are inspired, inventive and passionate thrive at Samsung. Christine Greco,

Vice President Human Resources and Corporate Affairs

That makes for a very stimulating environment at Samsung’s Mississauga, Ont. headquarters, at its Burnaby, B.C.-based R&D Lab, and at its office in Montreal. “Individuals who are inspired, inventive and passionate thrive at Samsung,” says Greco. “Our workplaces are full of energy, and have a very positive and creative vibe. And you can be creative in any of our roles.” Every year, the South Koreanbased parent company runs a global employee survey that in part measures “how creative and inventive you can be in your job, how you’ve been able to grow yourself and therefore grow the organization,” she says.


Samsung Canada has begun training on special tools for employees to use themselves and in teams to foster innovative thinking. These include company-wide and division-level workshops on Systematic Inventive Thinking, as well as hosting external speakers for employees to hear about future trends in technology beyond Samsung’s own products. “We’re starting to give people really unique tools and ways to think differently around challenges they’re facing,” says Greco. “If you’re an HR professional or a brand marketing leader on a consumer electronics product, you have different challenges. But these tools and external insights can be used to foster new thinking and approaches,”

For the R&D Lab team in suburban Vancouver, innovation is a way of life. Yet Zhibin Niu, a server specialist working on the Samsung Pay and Samsung Knox systems, still finds that the company is impressive in its ability to come up with breakthrough solutions, not just on technology but in managing processes. “People here are very open to new ideas,” he says. Empowerment, too. China-born Niu joined Samsung two years ago after earning a Master of Software Systems degree at the University of British Columbia. Since then he has been given exciting responsibilities, including starting up the system on the day of launch for a major new service, and he has travelled to the U.S.,

Europe and South Korea. “I have been given a lot of trust,” he says. “I really appreciate it.” Samsung Canada is also keen to provide a comfortable and progressive work environment for its employees. Beyond old-style casual Fridays, its headquarters policy is now “dress for your day” – casual in the office if you prefer, business dress if you have clients to see. “It’s been very well received,” says Greco. Work times are also becoming even more flexible. During the summer, employees could leave at noon on the Friday before a long weekend. Opportunities to work from home have been expanded. There are improved benefits, including support for eldercare in a partnership with Toronto’s Bayshore HealthCare. Samsung has also introduced a peer-to peer and manager-toemployee recognition program called U r Awesome. Through an online and mobile app, the recognition can be social or offer points to be redeemed for an array of product or service rewards. From benefits to casual dress, says Greco, “it all goes to the culture we want to enable, so you can be innovative and creative.”

517 10,000 40.8 3

Inspire the World, Create the Future. Find out more at www.samsung.com/ca/careers

full-time staff in Canada staff volunteer hours last year average employee age weeks, starting vacation allowance

Tell us your story If you are an exceptional employer with progressive human resources programs and initiatives, we invite you to submit an application for next year’s edition of Canada’s Top 100 Employers. Now entering its 18th year, our project is the nation’s longest-running and best-known editorial competition


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( 2017 )

Shell has the energy to offer great opportunities


eresa Waddington followed her curiosity – rather than her passion – after graduating from Queen’s University in 2004 with a degree in chemical engineering. She was passionate about the outdoors and dreamed of a job designing and manufacturing skis and bicycles. Instead, she took an entry level position with Calgary-based Shell Canada and it has worked out better than she ever could have imagined. “Shell has given me remarkable opportunities,” says Waddington, who currently manages a maintenance team of 70 tradespeople and technicians at the company’s Albian Sands bitumen mining operation, located 75 km north of Fort McMurray. “I’ve had the opportunity to work on difficult, exciting, high-impact jobs, even as a young person, and I’ve been supported by a community of experienced and skilled coaches.” Shell’S AndreA BreckA sAys the compAny’s in-house trAining is ‘exceptionAl’

it’s been really fantastic. i’ve been able to have a very diverse career without leaving the company. Andrea Brecka,

general manager retail

Shell is a diversified energy giant with operations that span the globe. It has interests in almost every aspect of the oil and gas business, from the wellhead to the gas pump, from exploration and development to refining and processing. Shell has also laid out its commitment to a sustainable future and is investing in lower-carbon energy sources and clean technologies. As such, the company offers a remarkable array of careers and promotes employee

development through tuition subsidies, apprenticeship programs and a whole suite of in-house training programs. Robert Collings joined Shell in 1989 as a junior operator at the company’s Waterton gas plant in southwestern Alberta. Today, he manages a staff of 200 at the Jumping Pound and Caroline gas plants in central Alberta – facilities which strip the feed gas of methane, propane and various other components destined for a variety of uses and markets. “I don’t know too many other places where you could start as an operator on the floor and end up running two big gas plants,” says Collings, adding: “Along the way, I’ve pretty well done every job one can do at a gas plant.”

He benefitted from the company’s Operator and Supervisor Development Training program. Over a three-year period, he attended nine one-week sessions at Shell’s Roberts Training Center in New Orleans and honed his managerial and leadership skills. “It was definitely a game-changer for me,” he says. “I went from a command and control guy to having big ears and asking lots of questions.” Shell encourages its employees to broaden their horizons by moving from one division or line of business to another. Andrea Brecka has taken advantage of that philosophy and it has led to a remarkably diverse career. Currently, Brecka is General Manager of Shell’s retail division, which employs

150 people directly and oversees the company’s nationwide chain of some 1,300 service stations. “It’s been really fantastic,” says Brecka, who joined Shell in 1994 after earning a Bachelor of Commerce degree at the University of Alberta. “I’ve been able to have a very diverse career without leaving the company.” She started in the information technology division and has since worked at the Scotford refinery in Edmonton and at head office in Calgary in the Trading & Supply and Oil Sands areas. Brecka had also take advantage of the company’s rich offering of in-house training and development programs. She has completed the Senior Leader of Teams, Senior Leader of Communities, Women’s Career Development and Women’s Senior Connect programs. “The amount of effort and focus we place on developing talent is exceptional,” says Brecka. “We’ve moved into more structured leadership development programs targeted at women, but the company makes an extraordinary effort to develop talent regardless of gender.”

8,000+ 530 46 3

full-time staff in Canada jobs available last year years, longestserving employee weeks, starting vacation allowance


( 2017 )

How Sunnybrook nurtures talent


arly one September morning, Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre held a ceremony for the 135 new graduates of its Leadership Institute. Nurses came in scrubs. A breakfast was held to celebrate. The hospital’s senior leadership team recognized the graduates of eight different programs. Photos were snapped. And then all the graduates returned to work – taking care of patients and their families. “At a 24-hour trauma hospital, we have to be efficient in everything we do,” says Shamena Maharaj, Director, Human Resources, Organizational Development & Leadership. They do want to teach, educate and groom staff here. That’s a really big perk. Steffanye Michaelson,

Patient Care Manager for Surgical Oncology and Medical Short Stay

The Sunnybrook Leadership Institute plays a major role in the working environment at the central Toronto hospital, one of Canada’s leading healthcare institutions, by influencing and developing key talent. Since 2011, over 9,000 staff and physicians have participated in the Institute’s workshops and programs. “Our employment promise is to be more at Sunnybrook,” says Maharaj. The Institute has a holistic approach to leadership and learning, offering classroom and online learning opportunities for professional and personal development. For


example, over an eight-week period, the Management Excellence Program provides coaching, analysis of key concepts, and practical leadership tools. As part of the experiential learning, participants create presentations based on their own Sunnybrook work experience to share with their peers and leaders. Leadership Institute workshops include topics such as Foundations of Coaching, Effective Communication, Crucial Conversations, and much more. “It’s one of the unique things we do,” says Christopher Townsend, Manager, Organizational Development & Leadership. “Each workshop is matched to one or more of Sunnybrook’s core and leadership competencies.” The OD&L team does everything from setting up programs customized for different departments and units to organizing the graduation ceremony. Steffanye Michaelson, a nurse who

spent many years working in Emergency has recently taken over as a Patient Care Manager for Surgical Oncology and Medical Short Stay. She completed a leadership certificate designed to develop her ability to influence others by building respectful relationships and trust. “You develop skills and learn with your peers,” she explains. “They do want to teach, educate and groom staff here. That’s a really big perk.” Michaelson says one of her goals as a leader, is to be a resource for her colleagues -- “to have them come to me and be comfortable.” Along with team development and learning, she has benefited from other activities, such as keynote speakers open to all staff and physicians. It’s not unusual to have more than 100 people show up for a lunchtime talk on Appreciative Leadership or a related topic.

Dr. Nadia Ismiil, Chief of Anatomic Pathology, describes Sunnybrook’s leadership program as both transformative and inspiring. She participated in sessions designed especially for the Anatomic Pathology department, which includes physicians, technology assistants and the interprofessional team. “As chief, it’s very important to me to be self-aware and to work collaboratively,” she says. “We all work together. Patient care is our primary goal.” Nigel Wilson, a Project Leader and Systems Architect, says the various different courses he’s taken have prepared him to manage different types of projects. He works with clinicians, nursing managers, staff, and of course his own team. “All have a different perspective,” he says. “I try to mediate and get to the best solution.” Ultimately, explains Maharaj, effective leaders contribute to greater employee engagement and job enjoyment as well as a willingness to go above and beyond. “There’s leadership everywhere in this organization including at the bedside,” says Michaelson. “That’s why I say everyone’s a leader.”

5,200 6,000 48 43

full-time staff internal job applications last year years, longestserving employee average employee age


( 2017 )

For employees, TD is not your average bank


icholas Hawkes was still searching for direction when he joined TD Bank Group two years ago. Thankfully, an innovative internship program for recent university graduates helped him find happiness as a Solution Architect, ITS Projects. The 27-year-old Richmond Hill, Ont. native says the “amazing opportunity” he enjoyed through TD’s twoyear Technology Solutions Rotational Program also helped him gain new skills and forge valuable connections. Under the program, recent grads with IT skills are rotated through four, six-month work placements. After his stint as a solution architect, which involves developing technology to meet specific business challenges, Hawkes took advantage of the option to stay in one position after completing threequarters of the program. tD is a performance-driven company, and we strongly believe that great customer experiences start with great employee experiences. Bharat Masrani,

group president and chief executive officer

“When you leave university, you’re 19 or 20 and you have no idea what you want to do,” he says. “With this, you get four chances to try different positions, and hopefully you’ll land in something you like.” Bharat Masrani, Group President and Chief Executive Officer for TD Bank Group, says the company is committed to helping employees achieve their full potential by setting

TD Bank employees participating in a customer appreciation event

clear expectations, investing in their development, and providing the opportunities and resources they need to be their best. “TD is a performance-driven company, and we strongly believe that great customer experiences start with great employee experiences,” he adds. “Our vision to be the better bank is only possible by creating a diverse, inclusive and supportive environment where our colleagues feel empowered and valued.” Hawkes, a graduate of the business informatics program at McMaster University, can vouch for TD’s open and supportive culture. When he contacted an assistant vice-president about being his mentor during the rotational program, the senior executive immediately agreed and suggested meeting for a coffee. And when he reached out to one of TD’s vicepresidents months later with a plan to improve the bank’s internal search

TD is proud to be one of Canada’s Top 100 Employers.

engine, his suggestions were greeted with enthusiasm. “The culture is extremely inclusive, and they really give you the opportunities to connect with the right people,” he notes. “I find that everywhere at TD. You can message anyone and they’ll be more than happy to talk to you, and they’re always willing to listen to your good ideas.” TD Bank Group also provides ample opportunity for skill development and long-term career advancement. Hawkes says his training began from day 1 with a comprehensive orientation. From talking to friends at other companies, he adds, those opportunities are becoming increasingly rare. Defying the traditional, conservative image of a big bank, TD has also shifted its culture to meet the changing needs of employees. In 2010, it introduced its ground-breaking “FlexWorkPlace” pilot program to accommodate more flexible work patterns, complete

with redesigned floors that include more meeting rooms, no traditional offices, and a “collaborative cafe” where employees can meet and work in a comfortable and informal setting. As an industry leader, TD also believes strongly in the importance of giving back to the broader community. Last year alone, it contributed over $62 million to a wide variety of charities, making it one of Canada’s largest corporate donors. It also manages a unique online site that helps employees match their skills and interests with local volunteer opportunities. More than 26,000 employees are registered, and they have donated over 118,000 volunteer hours in the past year. “Providing our colleagues with the opportunity and environment to grow, develop and make meaningful contributions to our business and to our communities is ingrained in the TD culture,” says Masrani. “At TD, we believe we’re part of a larger community and our success depends on the success of those around us. Our purpose – what we set out to do every day – is to enrich the lives of others.”

43,273 118,971 478,973 52.5

full-time staff in Canada staff volunteer hours job applications last year years, longestserving employee


( 2017 )

Union Gas works to bring more women into operations


here are many jobs in technology and the trades where women are traditionally under-represented. But through its Women in Operations initiative, Union Gas is working hard to change that – and succeeding. Since 2013, Union Gas has doubled the number of women in its technical field roles. Now Kirby Skinn-Jones is eager to persuade still more women that the trades represent not only a viable career path, but an interesting and exciting one. She’s speaking from experience. As a Utility Services Manager, SkinnJones heads a Union Gas team based in Windsor, Ont., that installs gas meters, does maintenance work and responds to emergencies. KIRBY SKINN-JONES, UNION GAS UTILITY SERVICES MANAGER

These are boots-on-the-ground, makes-things-happen kinds of jobs. Kirby Skinn-Jones,

Utility Services Manager

“These are boots-on-the-ground, makes-things-happen kinds of jobs,” says Skinn-Jones. “It’s great work for anybody who likes to troubleshoot, solve real-world problems and make sure customers have what they need. And while you always have to keep safety in mind, every day is different, which just adds to the appeal.” A focus on Women in Operations is one of many ways that Union Gas demonstrates an all-encompassing commitment to diversity and inclusion. It’s a fundamental yet evolving value that today embodies all the differences

among employees, including life and work experiences, perspectives, cultures, race, gender, sexual orientation, religion, national origin, age, or disability. “Our aim is to build a positive work environment where employee differences are valued, where employees are empowered and diverse communities are connected throughout our organization,” says Mike Shannon, Vice President, Distribution Operations. To achieve this, Union Gas has a broad range of programs and policies designed to attract, retain, engage and advance the careers of a diverse workforce. The company, for instance, sponsors employee-led resource networks such as its Cross Cultural Awareness Network, Business Women’s Network and the Alliance for LGBT employees. It also engages with non-profit partners like the research-intensive women’s

organization Catalyst and the Canadian Centre for Diversity & Inclusion to keep abreast of best practices. At the same time, Union Gas strives to maintain positive relations with the 400-plus communities in northern, southwestern and eastern Ontario where it provides about 1.4 million residential, commercial and industrial customers with affordable natural gas. This includes a long-standing commitment to building mutually beneficial relationships with the province’s Indigenous people. Shannon says that diversity in turn provides many benefits to Union Gas. “Diverse employees bring varied skills, experiences and perspectives that help us achieve superior business results,” he adds. “Diversity makes us stronger now and will help us meet our future market needs.”

This last point is key, as Union Gas is on a capital expansion of historic proportions. Based in Chatham, Ont., the company already has the largest underground gas storage facility in Canada and maintains 69,000 km of pipeline. It is investing $2 billion in some 14 complex projects, in progress or planned by 2019, to expand that infrastructure to provide affordable natural gas to Ontario customers. For her part, Skinn-Jones has taken advantage of a number of the opportunities that Union Gas offers. As an undergraduate studying chemical engineering at the University of Waterloo, the Wingham, Ont., native interned during her work terms for a total of 16 months before joining the company full-time in November 2014. With the recent promotion to her current role, she’s about to take a course the company provides for new managers. In all, Union Gas has created an environment where she feels totally supported by management, her colleagues and her team. “There’s a strong sense of community,” says Skinn-Jones, adding, “When a company is loyal to you, it’s easy to be loyal to the company.”

2,245 272 14,352 46.4

full-time staff in Canada jobs available last year job applications last year average employee age


Good Energy Starts Here. Embracing diversity makes us stronger. United, we are shaping careers and the future of energy in Ontario. See more of the Union Gas story at uniongastop100.com


( 2017 )

University of Waterloo: Call it the university of innovation


artha Foulds arrived at the University of Waterloo in May, 1999, to assist with its annual Canada Day celebrations. The event is a big deal, attracting more than 60,000 people from Waterloo, Ont. and the surrounding communities, and Foulds had been sent to help as part of her community college internship. “Once I got here,” she says, “I didn’t want to leave.” Now Director of Planning in the Faculty of Engineering, Foulds readily admits that “my career path hasn’t been direct.” “You have an opportunity here to try different things,” she says. “There are larger organizations like the registrar’s office that might provide a different environment than, say, a smaller academic department, all under the same employer. I couldn’t have followed this path anywhere else.” Why would we want to measure ourselves against something that’s already been achieved? Why aren’t we exploring what hasn’t been done before? Marilyn Thompson,

Associate Provost, Human Resources

In an institution that set out from its first days in 1957 to be different, Foulds’ employment experience is not unique. Thousands of others share similar experiences. With almost 36,000 full- and part-time students, the University of Waterloo has earned a reputation as the country’s top innovation university.


Supporting an entrepreneurial culture and relationships with the world beyond its campus, Waterloo operates the largest equity-free startup incubator in the world, the Velocity program. It also administers the world’s leading post-secondary cooperative education program and is one of seven Canadian universities ranked in the global top 200 in the Times Higher Education World University Rankings. Meanwhile, President and ViceChancellor Feridun Hamdullahpur is one of 10 university presidents and the only Canadian invited by the UN to join the HeForShe IMPACT 10x10x10 initiative, a global campaign to advance gender equity throughout the world. As part of the initiative, Waterloo is committed to increasing the participation of women in faculty and leadership positions and to increasing female enrolment in

Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) disciplines. “Every time I read about another accomplishment at the university, I think about the team behind it,” says Marilyn Thompson, Associate Provost, Human Resources. “Our faculty, staff and students make us what we are.” Thompson had no intention of leaving her home in Newfoundland when the university recruited her in 2014. But she’d never encountered an environment like Waterloo’s. “I’d reached the VP level in my career, so I knew about planning and implementing programs,” she says. “But we do things differently here. “Every organization talks about benchmarking, for example. But that’s not our goal. Why would we want to measure ourselves against something that’s already


Canada’s Top 100 Employers

been achieved? Why aren’t we exploring what hasn’t been done before?” Innovation informs the way that Thompson and her team develop and apply HR programs and strategies. “What should I expect as a new employee at a place founded on innovation?” she says. “What should we be doing for people we’re here to serve? The onus is on us to deliver.” As it does in its academic pursuits, the university leads the world in applying best employment practices. Waterloo administers an award-winning program for employees to develop and reinforce inclusive behaviours and skills, for example. Its wellness and healthy-workplace programs emphasize mental health. “We ensure people are valued,” says Thompson. “We make it not just OK to talk about mental health, we make it part of the conversation.” The same imaginative forces that drive programs such as these prevail throughout the university. “There’s an energy to this campus,” says Martha Foulds. “I’ve now been doing the same job for seven years, but it’s never the same job from one year to the next. I continually work with new people, new ideas. I can’t get bored.”

4,990 147 25,032 58%

full-time staff in Canada jobs available last year job applications last year of managers are women

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Canada's Top 100 Employers (2017)  

Official magazine announcing the 2017 winners of the Canada's Top 100 Employers competition. Published in The Globe and Mail on November 7,...

Canada's Top 100 Employers (2017)  

Official magazine announcing the 2017 winners of the Canada's Top 100 Employers competition. Published in The Globe and Mail on November 7,...

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