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’ O S T T N O O P R E O M T P R L E O T Y A E ER R 2015



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Welcome Catarina, tell us what you've saved & win!



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Brooks Brothers




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Enroll for your Brooks Brothers Corporate Membership Card and Save 15% on regular price merch…

Toronto, Ontario 16.57km

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WestJet Vacations: Free Indulgence package** ($79 per person value) includes advanced seat selection, e… Toronto, Ontario 6.37km

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Orlando Vacation

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Visit m0851, where as a preferred customer, you get 20% off all regular priced products.

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Toronto, Ontario 14.65km

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La Vie en Rose







Only for you! Get 20% off your purchase on all regular price and sale merchandise (cannot be combined wi…

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Vaughan, Ontario 8.28km

ClubLink - CCX Golf Loyalty Club

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Toronto, Ontario 17.20km

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Milestones Grill + Bar

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Comfort, Quality, Sleep Inn, Clarion, Econo Lodge Choice Hotels is proud to offer you a discount of up to 20% at participating hotels in Canada. Plus,...

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Avis is pleased to offer members up to 5 - 25% off your next car rental. PLUS, save even more by ta... Last Updated: 03 October 2013

Drive Happy® with Alamo®. Save up to 20% on your next rental & A One Car Class Upgrade


When you're ready to go, Enterprise makes it easy with great cars and great deals, plus a discou...

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National Car Rental®

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Disney World theme park tickets

Calvin Klein, one of the most recognizable brands in fashion, offers you 15% off your next purchase or 20% off your purchase of $150 or more.

Orlando vacation packages (lodging and tickets) Orlando hotels Orlando car rentals Disney World vacation homes Universal Studios theme park tickets SeaWorld theme park tickets

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Orlando dinner shows

Save 15% off your next purchase or 20% off your purchase of $150 or more. Includes sale merchandise. Not valid on purchase of Gift Cards or Internet transactions. PVH associates not eligible.

Cruises Free Orlando vacation coupons

Calvin Klein is one of the most recognizable brands in fashion, whose philosophy of modern, sophisticated, and often minimal designs has remained a staple of fashion for over four decades. print this perkThe clean lines of the brand's designs extend to women's and men's sportswear, suits, dresses, jeans, underwear, suggest a perk report an issue fragrance and accessories.

Globo Shoes

15% OFF food & non-alcoholic drinks*

Category: Apparel, Shoes & Accessories


Lenovo Consumer PCs

Park Hopper 2 days free special is located in Attraction Tickets under "hot specials"

25% off Lenovo Z Series - mainstream entertainment laptops 25% off Lenovo Flex 2 14 and 15 laptops - Mainstream Multimode Laptops 25% off Lenovo U Series laptops - designer laptops/ ultrabooks

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* This offer is valid and redeemable for a 15% discount on a single receipt at Milestones Grill + Bar (excluding alcoholic beverages and taxes). Valid all week Monday - Sunday. Offer cannot be combined with any other specials or promotional offers. Discount does not Think Summer. Think Savings. Think Lenovo apply to corporate events or groups of 5 or more guests. Not valid Lenovo's Affinity program offers you the ability to purchase Lenovo PC products, on accessories and options purchase of gift cards or certificates, with any other discounts, directly from Lenovo at discounted prices. THESE DISCOUNTS COVER LENOVO'S ENTIRE PRODUCT or on prior purchases. Dine-in only. No Cash value. See store for LINE including the best engineered award-winning ThinkPad notebooks. As a valued Affinitydetails. participant further

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Save up to 20% at National Car Rental® Go National. Go Like a Pro.

Last Updated: 31 July 2013

Cirque du Soleil: Totem, Kurios 2014 Save up to 15% on your tickets!

Up to 23% off select Q190 Desktops and Horizon Table PC’s

Save $100 towards any mattress or mattress set of $600 or more. No cash value. Cannot be applied t... Last Updated: 23 January 2014


Last Updated: 02 September 2014

Hospitality is innate in every member of our team. We are welcoming and generous in our care. We put our


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Non-applicable on previously purchased merchandise. Sherway Gardens Mall, 25


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Calvin Klein Underwear (10.8 km)

Affinity offers savings not available to the general public Great food with a twist - something for Our food is familiar with a twist. We are committed to Discounts above and beyond the price on Lenovo home-computing products, including everyone! using Plus the freshest ThinkPad and IdeaPad laptops, desktop PCs, accessories, software and more. receive ingredients and we are proud to celebrate our house-made favourites. We infuse our Outstanding patios monthly eCoupon promotions offering up to an additional 10% menu with innovative food and drink that our Free shipping on web orders Contemporary décor associates are passionate about and our guests love! Award-winning service and support Stylish bar Our knowledge and enthusiasm for our menu is shared Extensive wine list with our guests and their experience is enhanced by DOES LENOVO OFFER PRICE PROTECTION? our foodie pride. Yes. Lenovo offers a 30 day price guarantee. If a lower price is offered on the web site within 30 Our atmosphere is stylish, inviting and welcoming for days, contact the Sales team to be credited the difference. all occasions. We strive to remain unique, different and comfortable. Our décor is contemporary and our music eclectic, fitting to the time of day and the array of Please visit our website: milestones being celebrated. We are unpretentious visit our website and can appreciate conversation-friendly dining. Lenovo has a reputation for providing excellent technical support. We provide a toll-free tech support line that is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week for your Lenovo PC. Our service is genuine and uniquely different. Our team spirit is fueled by each member's personality and this creates a caring friends and family environment that is enjoyed by associates and felt by our guests.


learn more Get 25% off on all regular and sale priced merchandise. Offer valid in store and online.

you are entitled to receive discounts above and beyond the price. Moreover, Affinity customers will frequently receive special eCoupon offers providing a greater discount. At Milestones, we are about inspired food created by



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Last Updated: 21 January 2014

Don’t forget to upgrade your warranty and add accessories to your order..

inspired people. We invite our guests to celebrate their DISCOUNT? everyday-milestones with us, both big and small.

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Dedicated toll-free telephone number and website

20% off A Series tablet – wideview android tablet

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Calvin Klein

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Enterprise Rent-A-Car™

Sports & Recreation has been providing discounts for guests desiring to visit Orlando since 1993. We specialize in Disney World packages which come complete with theme park tickets and accommodations. All of our travel specialist live in Orlando, and this affords us the opportunity to provide better customer service and a little local knowledge as well.


Milestones Grill + Bar

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Need help signing in? Nissan Canada's Vehicle Purchase Program

Welcome to Nissan Canada's Vehicle Purchase Program.As a valued partner of Nissan Canada, you are el…

10% off ThinkPad Yoga - Multimode business Plethora of options and accessories ultrabook Most up-to-date portfolio of products 10% off ThinkPad W540 - Mobile workstations Category: Dining & Food 10% off ThinkPad X240 – Thin and Light 30 day price protection Laptops Direct access to Lenovo's skilled and 10% off ThinkPad X1 - Thin and Light Laptops trained Sales Specialists 10% off ThinkPad X1 Touch - Thin and Light about the perk use the24x7x365 perk locate thesupport perk Technical Laptops


Last Updated: 20 December 2013


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Ensure you find the right PC with Presale support from Lenovo's highly skilled sales specialists.

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WE BUILD DO MACHINES. Visit our new products showcase to see our newest innovations.

Award Winning ThinkPad PCs

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Members can also save 30% on Orlando hotels and prices as low as $90/night on vacation homes. *Tickets must be purchased online to receive free upgrade.

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The Lenovo product line offers the features you need in your choice of elegantly designed, portable, affordable, or even luxury spacesaving packages. From family-friendly All-in-One systems to our cutting-edge ThinkPad laptops. Our PCs come in a variety of shapes and sizes that fit your lifestyle perfectly.



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Mississauga, Ontario 7.00km


Become a new Costco member and enjoy dinner on us!$20 bon appétit E-card* voucher when you becom…


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20% discount on all facial treatments! also... $25 gift Certificates for only $19.99

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WorkPerks® account name SUN & Sun Media Community Network

SAVE $200* on laser vision correction. As a valued corporate member, LASIK MD is proud to offer you and…

Last Updated: 31 January 2014


Apple Inc.

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King City, Ontario 29.31km

Budget is pleased to offer Venngo members like you up to 25% off your next car rental in Canada and ...


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Get Two Days Free! Purchase a 3 day Disney World Park Hopper Ticket and we will upgrade it to a 5 day ticket free. Buy a 5 day ticket and get an upgrade to 7 days. Buy a 8 day ticket and get an upgrade to 10 days for free. *Online Only

Receive special pricing on ClubLink's CCX Golf Loyalty Club.

IN THE MARKET FOR A NEW PC? YOUR TIMING HAS NEVER BEEN BETER! Thinking about a great gift idea or maybe a upgrade to your current office or home PC? You are in the right place at the right time. Lenovo has great pcs with INSTANT SAVINGS OF UP TO 25%. Act now and choose a Lenovo PC that was designed with you in mind. Through September 30th 2014, members can enjoy great savings from Lenovo®. Save up to 25% on select PCs. Checkout your Lenovo® Page for details.

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©Copyright 2014 Venngo Inc. All rights reserved. WorkPerks® is a registered trade-mark of Venngo Inc. All other trade-marks are the property of their respective owners. here are just a few of the most recently updated perks...


West Mall Unit 1009B

Etobicoke, Ontario Globo is a one stop family shop that offers M9C a large 1B8 variety of great value footwear and accessories show map through a wide selection of brands.

Calvin Klein Underwear (12.1 km)


Vaughan Mills Shopping Centre, 1 Bass Pro Mill Drive Unit 632 Vaughan, Ontario L4K 5W4

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Calvin Klein (12.7 km) Vaughan Mills, 1 Bass Pro Mills Drive Vaughn, Ontario l4K5W4

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Calvin Klein Underwear

Square One Shopping Centre, 100 City Centre Drive Unit 2-116 Adidas

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Heartland Top-Siders Town Centre, 775 Britannia Road Sperry

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Sorel RBC Plaza, 200 Bay Street Unit UC 131

Toronto, Ontario M5J 2J1


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Calvin Don Mills Klein Shopping Centre, 15 Marie Labatte Road Units F001/F001A

Toronto, Ontario M3C 0J1


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Toronto, Ontario M2J 5A7


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Tommy Hilfiger Fairview Mall, 1800 Sheppard Avenue East

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Calvin Klein

Skechers Toronto Premium Outlets, 13850 Steeles Ave West Suite # 424

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The North Face

Rideau Centre, 50 Rideau Street Unit 350


Mississauga, Ontario L5B 2C9 Mississauga, Ontario L5V 2Y1


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Halton Hills, Ontario L7G 5G2


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Ottawa, Ontario K1N 9J7


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Mega Centre Norte Dame, 2452 Autoroute Chomedey

Laval, Quebec H7X4G8


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Carrefour Laval, 3035 Boulevard Le Carrefour Unit J007A

Laval, Quebec H7T 1C8


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Polo Ralph Lauren

Montreal, Quebec H4N 1J8


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Calvin Klein Underwear

4156 St. Denis Street

Montreal, Quebec H2W 2M5


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Quartier Dix30, 9160 Leduc Suite #140

Brossard, Quebec J4Y 0L2


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Marche Central, 999 Rue Marche Central

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Map d


INTRODUCTION What do Canadian Tire Corp. Ltd., Toronto-Dominion

2015 9th Annual Edition


Karen Le,


Editorial Team:

Richard Yerema,


Kristina Leung,

Bank, Candu Energy Inc. and The National Ballet of Canada have in common? They’re all winners of the Greater Toronto Area’s Top Employer competition for 2015, recognized for being great places to work. From retail to banking to nuclear technology to dance, these companies are only a few examples of the incredible diversity in size and industry of the 99 organizations applauded on the GTA list.

As home for many of the country’s national and international head offices, the GTA is the largest of the regional competitions across Canada, rivalling the national list for its competitive nature, according to Richard Yerema, managing editor for Canada’s Top 100 Employers. This recognition, given to employers for their forward thinking in creating the best types of work environments, also gives organizations an edge in attracting and retaining the most talented individuals in their work force. But the real winners in the GTA may be the people living here, surrounded by an incredible range of career possibilities just a short walk, drive or subway ride away. – Diane Jermyn


Advertising Sales:

Gottfried Wirth,


Kristen Chow,


Mary Harris,


Amy Wong,


Stephanie Smith,


Sponsor Content Writers:

Berton Woodward, SENIOR EDITOR

Michael Benedict Ann Brocklehurst D’Arcy Jenish

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

p Employee at Campbell Company of Canada, one of this year’s winners. CAMPBELL COMPANY OF CANADA


From retail to banking, from nuclear technology to dance, these companies are recognized as the most progressive among their peers p Dancers at the National Ballet of Canada, one of Greater Toronto’s Top Employers for 2015.


CCENTURE INC., Toronto. Business consulting; 3,623 employees. Manages the Athletic Minded Traveller program for travelling employees that includes reimbursement for use of hotel health clubs. AECON GROUP INC., Toronto. Building construction; 8,449 employees. Provides leadership training and mentoring for high-potential employees. AMEC AMERICAS LTD., Oakville. Engineering; 4,902 employees. Maintains employee-led sustainability committees that participate in a broader steering group and organize initiatives such as battery recycling and in-house composting. ASSOCIATION OF MANAGEMENT, ADMINISTRATIVE AND PROFESSIONAL CROWN EMPLOYEES OF ONTARIO / AMAPCEO, Toronto. Labour unions and organizations; 45 employees.

Encourages healthy, active lifestyles with employee sports teams and a health-club subsidy to $750 a year. ASTRAZENECA CANADA INC., Mississauga. Medicinal and botanical manufacturing; 574 employees. Encourages employees to volunteer their skills and time with the company’s charitable partners through the Endeavour Project.


ASF CANADA INC., Mississauga. Chemical manufacturing; 670 employees. Manages the Simply Dare pioneer excellence awards program to encourage employees to voice their ideas for continuous company improvement. BAYER CANADA, Toronto. Pharmaceutical manufacturing; 1,348 employees. Offers employees generous tuition subsidies for courses taken at outside institutions to a maximum of $7,000.


BLAKE, CASSELS & GRAYDON LLP, Toronto. Law firms; 1,346 employees. Manages a health and wellness program that includes monthly newsletters, lunch-andlearn seminars, exercise classes and annual fitness challenges.

CAMPBELL COMPANY OF CANADA, Toronto. Food production and manufacturing; 719 employees. Offers flexible work arrangements, including telecommuting, shortened or compressed work weeks, and reduced summer hours.

BMO FINANCIAL GROUP, Toronto. Banking; 27,285 employees. Created a Diversity Renewal Council to help refocus efforts to build an inclusive work environment.

CANADIAN TIRE CORPORATION LTD., Toronto. Retail stores; 85,000 employees. Offers academic scholarships to children of employees for postsecondary education, up to $10,000 a child over four years.


AA SOUTH CENTRAL ONTARIO, Thornhill. Insurance; 1,178 employees. Offers one paid week of special leave to employees celebrating five-year milestones. CAMH / CENTRE FOR ADDICTION AND MENTAL HEALTH, Toronto. Hospitals; 2,276 employees. Starts new employees at three weeks of paid vacation, moving to seven weeks for long-serving employees.

CANDU ENERGY INC., Mississauga. Nuclear technology; 1,164 employees. Participates in the Canadian Nuclear Leadership Program, sending six employees to participate in the week-long development program last year. CAPGEMINI CANADA INC., Toronto. Computer systems design services; 379 employees. Offers tuition subsidies for job-related

5 2015 W IN N E R S ( C O N T. ) courses up to $5,000, formal mentoring and a variety of in-house and online training programs. CAPITAL ONE BANK (CANADA BRANCH), Toronto. Credit card issuing; 622 employees. Offers a subsidy for in vitro fertilization (IVF) when needed, to $15,000. CARSWELL, A DIVISION OF THOMSON REUTERS CANADA LTD., Toronto. Publishing: 897 employees. Provides paid time off for employees to volunteer and matches charitable donations up to $1,000 a year. CATHOLIC CHILDREN’S AID SOCIETY OF TORONTO, Toronto. Child and youth services; 538 employees. Provides up to eight paid days off each year for family leave, which can be used for family medical appointments, daycare and elder care. CENTRAL COMMUNITY CARE ACCESS CENTRE / CCAC, Newmarket. Home health-care services; 629 employees. Helps employees prepare for life after work with contributions to a defined benefit pension plan. CHILDREN’S AID SOCIETY OF TORONTO, THE, Toronto. Child and youth services; 758 employees. Offers generous parental leave top-ups to new dads

and adoptive parents, to 70 per cent of salary for 34 weeks. CIBC, Toronto. Banking; 35,122 employees. Introduced the What If? program to reward employee suggestions for continuous improvement with paid time off. COCA-COLA CANADA, Toronto. Soft drink manufacturing; 5,360 employees. Created the Be Well program to support the physical, financial, emotional and social well-being of employees. COLLEGE OF PHYSICIANS AND SURGEONS OF ONTARIO, Toronto. Professional organizations; 334 employees. Offers compassionate leave top-up to employees who are called upon to care for a loved one, to 100 per cent of salary for eight weeks. CORBY SPIRIT & WINE LTD. / HIRAM WALKER & SONS LTD., Toronto. Liquor and wine production and distribution; 446 employees. Offers flexible work options to new mothers upon their return from maternity leave, depending on their position. CORUS ENTERTAINMENT INC., Toronto. Multimedia production and broadcasting; 1,595 employees. Provides paid time off for employees to volunteer with community organizations.

p Customers outside a Canadian Tire store in Toronto.


ELOITTE LLP, Toronto. Accounting; 8,563 employees. Offers retirement planning assistance, phased-in work options and contributions to a defined contribution pension plan. DIAMOND SCHMITT ARCHITECTS INC., Toronto. Architecture; 145 employees. The company-subsidized social committee organizes outings and events throughout the year. Firm lets employees share in the company’s success with year-end bonuses available to all employees. DURHAM COLLEGE OF APPLIED ARTS AND TECHNOLOGY, Oshawa. Colleges; 760 employees. Established a sustainability committee to promote awareness and understanding, and practise environmental, social and economic sustainability.


LLISDON CORP., Mississauga. Building construction; 1,505 employees. Features a full-service cafeteria, employee lounge and auditorium, and a fully-equipped fitness facility at its new head office campus building. ENTERTAINMENT ONE LTD., Toronto. Motion picture and video distribution; 831 employees. Provides employees with paid time off during the winter holidays.

F p George Brown College, Toronto.


IDELITY INVESTMENTS CANADA ULC, Toronto. Financial investment management; 735 employees. Lets everyone share in the company’s success with profit-sharing, available to all employees.



AMMA-DYNACARE MEDICAL LABORATORIES INC., Brampton. Medical laboratories; 1,954 employees. Provides co-op opportunities for students, in partnership with health sciences schools across the country. GCI COMMUNICATIONS INC., Toronto. Public relations; 30 employees. Offers employees 15-minute chair massages on a monthly basis, bi-monthly meditation sessions and other activities such as mid-day stretches and yoga. GENERAL ELECTRIC CANADA / GE, Mississauga. Motor and generator manufacturing; 7,447 employees. Employees help direct the company’s charitable initiatives through the employee-led GE Community Investment Council. GENERAL MOTORS OF CANADA LTD., Oshawa. Motor vehicle manufacturing; 9,632 employees. Offers young Canadians on-the-job experience through summer student, coop or paid internship opportunities. GEORGE BROWN COLLEGE, Toronto. Colleges; 1,341 employees. Offers new mothers, fathers and adoptive parents the option to extend their maternity or parental leave into an unpaid leave of absence. GOODRICH AEROSPACE CANADA LTD., Oakville. Aircraft parts and equipment manufacturing; 1,007 employees. Contributes to a matching RSP plan or defined contribution pension plan for employees, depending on their position.

6 2015 W IN N E R S ( C O N T. )


ALTON, REGIONAL MUNICIPALITY OF, Oakville. Municipal government; 1,791 employees. Participates in Sheridan College’s work placement program to provide internationally trained professionals with opportunities for Canadian work experience. HOLLAND BLOORVIEW KIDS REHABILITATION HOSPITAL, Toronto. Hospitals; 545 employees. Constructed a 1,900-squarefoot green roof atop the building’s second floor roof and utilizes solar panels on the east penthouse roof. HOME DEPOT OF CANADA INC., Toronto. Retail hardware stores; 12,345 employees. Donated approximately 65,000 volunteer hours to the community last year, and is currently focusing its charitable efforts on addressing youth homelessness in Canada. HOSPITAL FOR SICK CHILDREN, Toronto. Hospitals; 5,506

employees. Offers subsidized membership to onsite fitness facilities, including instructor-led classes in yoga and dance.


NTELEX TECHNOLOGIES INC., Toronto. Software publishers; 212 employees. Organizes an annual company retreat to Muskoka, caters breakfasts every Thursday, summer patio parties and a holiday cookie exchange.


distribution; 1,708 employees. Appointed a vice-president of sustainability and innovation to spearhead environmental awareness initiatives.


ABATT BREWERIES OF CANADA, Toronto. Breweries; 3,000 employees. Participated in the annual World Environment Day facility competition, which engaged employees in activities on water conservation.

PMG LLP, Toronto. Accounting; 6,020 employees. Participated in a campaign to raise awareness of mental health in the workplace, in partnership with the Canadian Mental Health Association.

LAKERIDGE HEALTH, Oshawa. Hospitals; 2,384 employees. Provides tuition subsidies for courses taken at outside institutions, formal mentoring and a variety of in-house and online training programs.

KRONOS CANADIAN SYSTEMS INC., Mississauga. Computer systems design services; 250 employees. Maintains a flexible health benefits plan that allows employees to customize levels of coverage according to personal needs.

LAW SOCIETY OF UPPER CANADA, The, Toronto. Professional organizations; 511 employees. Helps employees transition to retirement with phased-in work options.

KRUGER PRODUCTS LP, Mississauga. Paper products and

LOBLAW COMPANIES LTD., Brampton, Ont. Retail grocery stores; 28,211 employees. Head office features a quiet room for

q A worker inspects bottles on the production line at Labatt Breweries of Canada.

meditation and prayer, a herb garden and market-style cafeteria. LOYALTYONE INC., Toronto. Marketing consulting services; 1,332 employees. Encourages employees to become owners through a share purchase plan.


ANULIFE FINANCIAL CORP., Toronto. Insurance; 10,701 employees. Head office amenities include a cafeteria with healthy and special diet menus as well as subsidized meals. MARS CANADA INC., Bolton, Ont. Food manufacturing; 484 employees. Maintains a pet-friendly policy, including a doggie courtyard for when employees bring their dog to work. MATTEL CANADA INC., Mississauga. Toy manufacturing and distribution; 117 employees. Their Play Patrol committee organizes social activities such as a Valentine’s Day archery event, casino-style holiday party, Mattel Play Day and Barbie Sleepover event. GEOFF ROBINS FOR THE GLOBE AND MAIL

7 2015 W IN N E R S ( C O N T. ) MCCARTHY TÉTRAULT LLP, Toronto. Law firms; 1,450 employees. Developed a national student curriculum for summer and articling students to ensure consistent learning across the firm. MEDTRONIC OF CANADA LTD., Brampton. Electromedical apparatus manufacturing; 402 employees. Provides free access to a fully-equipped fitness facility featuring instructor-led classes from Pilates to spinning. METROLINX, Toronto. Public transit; 2,705 employees. Provides the convenience of an onsite daycare facility, managed by George Brown College. MILLER GROUP, Markham. Highway, street and bridge construction; 4,014 employees. Contributes to a defined benefit pension plan for employees. MOUNT SINAI HOSPITAL, Toronto. Hospitals; 2,302 employees. Maintains a healthy workplace ambassador committee, responsible for providing employee input on program design.


ATIONAL BALLET OF CANADA, Toronto. Dance companies; 217 employees. In partnership with Ryerson University, manages an onsite degree program specifically designed for dancers.

NOVO NORDISK CANADA INC., Mississauga. Pharmaceutical preparation manufacturing; 280 employees. Created the Women in Novo Nordisk program to support the career development of female employees.


NTARIO MEDICAL ASSOCIATION / OMA, Toronto. Professional organizations; 274 employees. Offers compassionate leave topup payments for employees called upon to care for a loved one, to 85 per cent of salary for eight weeks. ONTARIO POWER AUTHORITY, Toronto. Public utilities; 225 employees. Offers opportunities for students and new grads to gain on-the-job experience with paid internships ranging from three to 16 months. ONTARIO PUBLIC SERVICE/ OPS, Toronto. Provincial government; 61,672 employees. Offers health benefits that extend to retirees, with no age limit.


EEL DISTRICT SCHOOL BOARD, Mississauga. Schools; 14,314 employees. Hired a manager of workplace equity to help foster inclusion within the workplace. PEEL REGIONAL POLICE, Brampton. Police services; 2,814 employees. Hosts an annual Women’s Symposium on Policing to encourage women to consider policing careers.

q Shoppers Drug Mart store in the Eaton Centre in downtown Toronto.

PEPSICO CANADA, Mississauga. Soft drink manufacturing; 4,255 employees. Cultivates an ownership culture with a share purchase plan, available to all employees. PLAN INTERNATIONAL CANADA INC., Toronto. Social advocacy organizations; 200 employees. Partners with community organizations such as JOIN and Spinal Cord Injury Ontario to provide employment opportunities for persons with disabilities. POWERSTREAM, INC., Vaughan. Electric power distribution; 560 employees. Hosts an internal environmental awareness week, with activities and workshops to encourage employees to lead more sustainable lifestyles. PRAXAIR CANADA INC., Mississauga. Chemical and related products manufacture and wholesale; 2,323 employees. Appointed a director of diversity and inclusion to oversee diversity initiatives. PROCTER & GAMBLE INC., Toronto. Consumer product manufacturing; 2,120 employees. Manages an extensive online training program with more than 600 courses available. PWC / PRICEWATERHOUSECOOPERS LLP, Toronto. Accounting; 6,431 employees. Hosted Briefcase Parents sessions at offices across Canada to help employees improve work-life balance. FERNANDO MORALES FOR THE GLOBE AND MAIL


BC, Toronto. Banking; 51,423 employees. Manages an inhouse wellness program called Living Well to encourage employees to adopt healthy lifestyles. RIOCAN REAL ESTATE INVESTMENT TRUST, Toronto. Real estate investment trusts; 665 employees. Offers new employees up to five paid personal days off throughout the year. ROGERS COMMUNICATIONS INC., Toronto. Cable and subscription programming; 24,721 employees. Recently established the Rogers Youth Fund to help young Canadians overcome barriers to education. RYERSON UNIVERSITY, Toronto. Universities; 2,682 employees. Offers the convenience of an onsite daycare called the Ryerson Early Learning Centre.


AMSUNG CANADA, Mississauga. Communications equipment manufacturing and distribution; 426 employees. Provides opportunities for students to gain on-the-job experience through co-op placements. SAP CANADA INC., Toronto. Custom computer programming services; 2,311 employees. Offers signing bonuses for some employees, referral bonuses to $5,000, and yearend bonuses for all employees. SCOTIABANK, Toronto. Banking; 32,002 employees. Created Ideas in Action, a reward program for employees to share suggestions to increase productivity or reduce costs, offering up to $10,000 for ideas.

SENECA COLLEGE, Toronto. Colleges; 1,279 employees. Supports employees who are new mothers with maternity and parental leave top-up payments, to 93 per cent of salary for 52 weeks. SHOPPERS DRUG MART INC., Toronto. Retail pharmacies; 1,403 employees. Helps cultivate high potential employees through mentoring, career planning services and leadership training. SIEMENS CANADA LTD., Oakville, Engineering services; 4,582 employees. Offers subsidies for tuition and professional accreditation as well as bonuses for some course completions, up to one month’s salary.

8 2015 W IN N E R S ( C O N T. )

weeks, and a telecommuting option.

SIGMA SYSTEMS CANADA INC., Toronto. Computer systems design services; 100 employees. Offers signing and year-end bonuses for some employees and referral bonuses up to $2,500.

SUNNYBROOK HEALTH SCIENCES CENTRE, Toronto. Hospitals; 5,270 employees. Encourages employees to leave the car at home with the installation of large secure bike cages at four separate locations on the campus.

SOUTHLAKE REGIONAL HEALTH CENTRE, Newmarket. Hospitals; 1,788 employees. Maintains an employee wellness committee to promote physical, psychosocial, financial and spiritual wellness – events include an annual Stressfest health and wellness fair.


STATE STREET CANADA, Toronto. Investment banking; 1,060 employees. Offers alternative work arrangements including flexible hours, shortened and compressed

TD BANK GROUP, Toronto. Banking; 44,068 employees. Worked with the University of Toronto’s Rotman School of Management to develop the Rotman Back to Work program

AKEDA CANADA INC., Oakville. Pharmaceutical preparation manufacturing; 216 employees. Offers parental leave top-up to adoptive parents and a generous subsidy to help cover the costs of adoption, up to $15,000.

q Head office of TD Bank Group, King and Bay Streets, Toronto.

for women who have been out of the work force for more than eight years.

exercise equipment, shower facilities and instructor-led classes.

TORONTO INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL / TIFF, Toronto. Motion picture promotions and distribution; 187 employees. Offers free passes to the TIFF as well as access to film screenings and lectures throughout the year.

UNITED WAY OF GREATER TORONTO, Toronto. Social advocacy organizations; 195 employees. Established a diversity and inclusion team, responsible for helping the organization improve its overall diversity and inclusion strategy.

TORONTO, CITY OF, Toronto. Municipal government; 22,853 employees. Provides students and new grads with opportunities for paid internships, co-op programs and summer student roles.

UNIVERSITY OF TORONTO, Toronto. Universities; 9,019 employees. Manages onsite daycare facilities at each campus location as well offering a generous offsite daycare subsidy, to $2,000 per child.


NILEVER CANADA INC., Toronto. Consumer product manufacturing; 1,372 employees. Offers free membership to an onsite fitness facility at head office, with state-of-the-art


OLKSWAGEN GROUP CANADA INC., Ajax. Automobile wholesalers; 292 employees. Offers generous tuition subsidies for job-related courses, to $7,000. FRED LUM FOR THE GLOBE AND MAIL

9 2015 W IN N E R S ( C O N T. )


ILLIAM OSLER HEALTH SYSTEM, Brampton. Hospitals; 2,921 employees. Offers employees opportunities to connect with their CEO over informal meals through the Lunch with the President and Breakfast with the President programs. WORLD VISION CANADA, Mississauga. Social advocacy; 464

employees. Rewards exceptional performance with a flexible bonus, which can be taken as cash, payment toward an employee’s pension or personal days off.


E.COM INC., Newmarket. Software publishers; 35 employees. Provides an employee lounge equipped with television, video games, foosball, table hockey and table tennis.

q Ontario Public Service staff take part in an environmental awareness event.

XEROX CANADA INC., Toronto. Computer equipment manufacturing; 3,133 employees. Manages a company-wide Day of Sharing program with paid time off for employees to volunteer with their favourite charitable organization.


MCA OF GREATER TORONTO, Toronto. Individual and family services; 1,326 employees. Provides maternity and parental leave

top-up payments to employees who are new mothers, fathers or adoptive parents, to 80 per cent for 26 weeks. YORK, REGIONAL MUNICIPALITY OF, Newmarket. Regional government; 3,056 employees. Features a nap room for employees who need a quick break during the busy day. Compiled by Diane Jermyn. Special to The Globe and Mail. ONTARIO PUBLIC SERVICE




n the tough review process, the editors at Mediacorp Canada look at how each employer compares with other organizations within their own industry. So despite the exceptionally broad range of industries in the GTA, the competition really comes down to a battle among peers to determine which have the most progressive programs.

Judging includes a detailed review of the employer’s operations and human resource practices in action. Initiatives such as those centred on diversity, innovation and the environment are noticeably evolved in the top organizations. Competition focuses on the same eight key areas used for judging in

the national competition of Canada’s Top 100 Employers: 1) physical workplace; 2) work and social atmosphere; 3) health, financial and family benefits; 4) vacation and time off; 5) employee communications focused on how employers capture employee feedback; 6) performance management; 7) training and skills development

and 8) community involvement. A distinguished academic advisory board drawn from universities across Canada oversees the selection criteria. Each panel member has either written or edited a major human resources textbook in Canada. – Diane Jermyn

q Employees at Corus Entertainment Inc. watch The Wiggles at “Corus Feeds Kids,” a national children’s health and nutrition initiative.



AstraZeneca’s focus on patients, science reaps rewards


t the Mississauga offices of AstraZeneca Canada Inc., a series of striking images tells the stories of Canadian patients, many of whom are benefitting from the biopharmaceutical company’s medicines. Among others, there’s Gary, a photographer, who has been treated for prostate cancer and severe coronary thrombosis, and Deanne, a young mother, who is living with asthma.

“These patient stories help remind us of our central purpose as an organization,” says Greer Hozack, executive director of human resources and corporate communications at AstraZeneca Canada. “It’s what helps differentiate us as a company—we have a values-based culture and unrelenting focus on putting patients first and following the science.” Not only do patients appear on posters, they also come into the company to share their health care journey of learning to live with a disease. After a breast cancer patient recently spoke at an employee town hall, there wasn’t a dry eye in the room, according to Hozack.

“Our purpose is very simple – the patient. It’s what unites and inspires us to continually strive for excellence.” – Carlo Mastrangelo, Communications Director

“She thanked everyone for any role they played in bringing a key medicine to life. People leave those sessions reminded of why they work at AstraZeneca and the important mission we have,” says Hozack, who used to be a nurse


before returning to school to study business. “Whatever your role in the company, we make sure that we’re connecting you to the science.” “Each of us could have chosen a different career path or industry,” says communications director Carlo Mastrangelo. “But we have chosen a very noble path in health care. At the heart of everything we do is improving the lives of millions of people across Canada and around the globe.” As well as patients, AstraZeneca regularly brings in top health care professionals to speak about how disease areas like diabetes, asthma and oncology are evolving. “It’s important for us to understand the challenges our customers and patients are facing day-to-day, as well as for them to see some of the exciting





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breakthroughs we’re making at AstraZeneca and what this will mean for patients,” says Mastrangelo. “Our purpose is very simple – the patient. It’s what unites and inspires us to continually strive for excellence,” he says. Another important factor that both Hozack and Mastrangelo say distinguishes AstraZeneca is its commitment to making a difference in the community. The company has a robust volunteer program that supports employee volunteerism and

Proud to be one of Greater Toronto’s Top Employers

fundraising activities. This includes matching charitable donations and providing employees with annual paid days off, on which they can choose to volunteer in a capacity that is most meaningful to them. On top of this, employees come together to volunteer as teams. Across the country, many volunteer and collaborate on their annual Community Connection Day to make a difference in support of youth activities. This is often carried out in in partnership with Boys and Girls Clubs of Canada.



BASF finds formula for family-friendly workplace

hen Judy Finlayson returned from a maternity leave to her job as a senior law clerk at BASF Canada, her elder daughter was just starting school. “I was able to make sure she adjusted well to kindergarten as I adjusted to working full time,” she says. It’s one of the perks of working for a family-friendly company and one of the things Finlayson especially values about her job.

For BASF Canada, helping employees to obtain that coveted work life balance is part of its strategy to attract top talent and create working conditions that allow staff to perform at their best. Flexible hours and allowing telecommuting two days a week, when feasible, are an important part of that policy.

“We really try to encourage both managers and employees to have a good, open discussion to see if we can make telecommuting work.” – Francois Paroyan, Director of HR & General Counsel

Finlayson works from home every Tuesday and, from time to time, on other occasions. “I get up at 5:30, sit down at my computer and get a lot of work done. I don’t have the distractions of the office.” Having sorted through the email and crossed items off her to-do list, she can then take time, as she did last Halloween, to help her daughters into their costumes, and drop them at school and daycare, along with their special holiday cupcakes. “We really try to encourage both

managers and employees to have a good, open discussion to see if we can make telecommuting work,” says Francois Paroyan, director of human resources and general counsel, as well as Finlayson’s boss. Since the policy was first instituted in 2008, he says the results have been very positive.

While Paroyan doesn’t have a fixed day to work from home, he regularly takes advantage of the policy’s flexibility, attending his sons’ hockey games and meetings at their schools. “He’s an extremely busy man, pulled in a million directions so that’s nice to see,” says Finlayson. Paroyan’s daughter took part in one of the company’s most unique benefits, the BASF Global Family Program, an international exchange where a child can stay with the family of a BASF employee in another country and vice-versa. BASF even covers the flight and insurance. Paroyan said his daughter had a fantastic time in Belgium and his family thoroughly enjoyed returning the favour. As the head of human resources, one of Paroyan’s current tasks is overseeing the company’s new diversity and inclusion efforts. Launched in 2013, the program aims to foster an open and inclusive environment where all employees can perform at their best. It also ensures that BASF Canada includes everyone in its quest to employ the best people in the market and meet the demographic challenge of retiring baby boomers. By encouraging senior level employees to get global experience (the current president of BASF Canada worked in Spain and Turkey before coming to Canada) and understand different cultures, the company has something of a head start. But it felt it needed




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to do more to attract people with different backgrounds, skill sets and experience. “If we can really harness that diversity, we feel we’ll come up with better solutions for our customers,” says Paroyan. In its initial phases, the diversity initiative has involved developing a road map, surveying employees to discover the make-up of the company, and setting up a diversity and inclusion council composed

of employees from different groups. Educating the Canadian leadership team and hiring managers is next on the agenda. In her role in the BASF compliance department, Finlayson deals regularly with a wide range of topics including diversity, ethics and the company code of conduct. “It’s nice to be part of a company that emphasizes important values rather than just sales figures,” she says.


Blakes professional development goes beyond the law


s one of Canada’s top business law firms, Blake, Cassels & Graydon LLP knows the importance of keeping employees engaged and motivated. So much so that Blakes is prepared to challenge standard training and personal development practices to create what its director of professional development, Carla Swansburg, calls “a culture of learning that is pervasive in pretty much everything we do.” “We have a scholar in residence, Peter Hogg,” says Swansburg, “which is not only unique, it speaks to how seriously we take internal development and learning – for everyone from legal assistants to senior partners.”

“Blakes really has a culture of caring. We don’t just want to be great lawyers. We want to be great professionals and great people.” – Wayne Woodard, Head of Professional Development & Training

To complement the robust professional development calendar -- which includes technology training, substantive legal programs and issues of general interest to lawyers -- the firm launched the Blakes School of Business several years ago. Its programming covers not only core business and leadership skills (as opposed to strictly legal skills), but also soft skills such as resilience and emotional intelligence. Everyone from economists to psychologists is brought in for presentations open to all staff.


Mary Jackson, chief of human resources, says the firm thinks about professional development in different, sometimes unpredictable, ways with a goal of “actually building relationships between people.” The concept hit home for Blakes participants who attended a recent diversity conference. “It was about how to have a dialogue and thinking about the way we talk to each other, because we want people to be able to come to work as they are,” says Jackson. “Blakes really has a culture of caring,” says Wayne Woodard, head of professional development and training. “We don’t just want to be great lawyers. We want to be great professionals and great people. The focus is to give employees opportunities to grow and the tools they need to be successful.”



full-time staff in Canada

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One way to accomplish this is to make it possible for busy employees to feel that they are able to have a social impact. Recently, for example, Blakes hosted representatives from the “160 Girls” Project. Blakes was invited in January 2013 to take part in the ground-breaking initiative headed by the not-for-profit organization, the Equality Effect, which had developed a legal test case (“160 Girls”) that aimed to bring about the enforcement of Kenyan rape laws, and shed light on the serious issue of rape in that country. Blakes provided funding to the project and its lawyers contrib-

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tuition subsidy, training courses

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uted pro bono legal advice. All told, some 40 people helped out in various ways, including, most recently, by hosting the training of Kenyan police officers brought to Canada to work with Toronto police representatives in October. “Those kinds of projects really mean a lot to people within the firm,” says Jackson, adding that pro bono work done by Blakes lawyers covers many different areas and is as valued as billable hours. “We’re very liberal on approving investments in the community that our people feel passionately about.”



Driving a caring culture at CAA South Central Ontario

osh Lakien may only have been at CAA South Central Ontario for a little over a year, but he knows what he likes about it. To begin with, he likes being known as an “associate”. That’s what every employee is called at Canada’s oldest and largest automobile association, which advocates on behalf of the motoring public and provides a range of services to its nearly 2 million members. “It’s just a neat, differentiating thing that we do here,” says Lakien, who is Manager of Membership Marketing. “You have different people who are at different stages of their career, but we’re all associates of the same organization.”

“We work very hard here and we’re very successful, but we also appreciate family and personal time.” – Josh Lakien, Manager of Membership Marketing

He also likes the sense of mission that a not-for-profit outfit provides. “What impressed me the most is that in every decision we make, we think, is it right for our members? How’s it going to keep them safe and protect them? The money we make is invested back in our members. I’d never been in an organization that had that mindset. It was always about how to get the biggest margin.” And he likes the attention to work-life

balance. “We work very hard here and we’re very successful, but we also appreciate family and personal time. There’s flexibility and an understanding of personal commitments.” In fact, Mary Duncan, Vice-President of Human Resources, considers workplace flexibility one of the Thornhill, Ont.-based organization’s biggest attractions. “We’re a very caring culture, and we strive to ensure that for our associates, family is first, and then comes work,” she says. “So if I have an elder or child care issue, I don’t have to hesitate—I can be honest with my manager, and I’m given the flexibility to go deal with it.” Depending on their work area, associates may also be able to work from home, do a compressed work week or participate in job sharing. The work areas are remarkably varied. They include membership and automotive services, whose call centre associates dispatch the inde-






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pendent roadside assistance crews and handle member inquiries. In the club’s 34 retail stores, sales people often have a background in travel planning, as do the folks who oversee the club’s travel services. CAA’s inhouse home, auto and travel medical insurance requires a host of actuarial, claims and underwriting experts. And there are the corporate teams ranging from government & community relations to risk management. As you’d expect, every associate gets free membership in the auto club (although lots of employees take transit, says Duncan). There are also strong professional development programs and tuition subsidies. But the most

CAA South Central Ontario is proud to be one of Greater Toronto’s Top Employers for the sixth year in a row. ™ Making bad days good. And good days better. is a trademark of CAA South Central Ontario. ® CAA and CAA logo trademarks owned by, and use is authorized by, the Canadian Automobile Association. (0993-11/14)

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notable benefit may be the extra week of paid “bonus leave” –plus an actual bonus—that an associate gets at every five-year milestone of service. Employees also say they love the annual Associate Appreciation Week, which includes events, sports, online competitions, idea-sharing— and senior management serving coffee. “We’re a highly engaged culture, according to our surveys,” says Duncan. “And there’s also excitement, because we’re growing significantly. We’re re-energizing the brand. The corporate culture is livelier and more engaging, and certainly changing. We’re more of a Tier One culture now and able to attract Tier One players.”

Making bad days good. And good days better.™ 2014-11-11 3:21 PM



Christine Sinclair, MLSE and Canadian Tire

hen neighbours gathered in Toronto’s High Park to rebuild an award-winning children’s wooden playground destroyed by arson, Canadian Tire Corporation’s Sarah Van Lange was among the hundreds of volunteers, spending most of her weekend on site. “I didn’t live in the area, but I wanted to help out,” says Van Lange. “It’s what we do at Canadian Tire when disaster strikes.”

The company, which includes a financial services division, a petroleum unit, CT REIT and a retail segment made up of Canadian Tire, FGL Sports and Mark’s, donated $50,000 to the rebuild, twice as much as any other corporate donor. And when Toronto’s public outdoor skating rinks were scheduled to close last winter, Canadian Tire came to the rescue with a $135,000 contribution that allowed the rinks to remain open an additional 18 days, including March Break and take advantage of the continuing cold weather.

“We want our employees to connect everything they do at work with our customers and the community.” – Doug Nathanson, Senior VP & Chief Corporate Strategy & HR Officer

“Community building is in our DNA,” explains Doug Nathanson, Canadian Tire Corporation’s Senior Vice President and Chief Corporate Strategy & Human Resourc-

es Officer. “Providing a sense of community, both external and internal, is essential to attracting new and dynamic employees.”

Clearly, the company’s 85,000 personnel have bought into the concept. Energized by Canadian Tire’s recent emphasis on staff engagement, employees are donating both time and money in record numbers to back company-supported community ventures. While Canadian Tire and hockey have been synonymous for decades, the company last year strengthened its connection to sport and country last year when it became a Canadian Olympic and Paralympic Team partner. It further extended its sports reach by becoming the official retail partner for Maple Leaf Sports & Entertainment (MLSE), owner of the Toronto Maple Leafs, Raptors and Toronto FC. On the charity side, Canadian Tire’s registered charity, Jumpstart, has also agreed to join forces with the MLSE Foundation as part of the corporate partnership. The two company charities will co-operate on community initiatives in the city that will get more kids active and support families who have financial challenges in accessing organized sport and recreation. To date, Jumpstart alone has removed the financial barriers for some 800,000 kids. In Toronto, Jumpstart recently doubled the number of community centres offering Learn to Play Soccer programs. And it signed up Canadian women’s soccer superstar Christine Sinclair to be a Canadian Tire Jumpstart ambassador. Meanwhile, Canadian Tire employee contributions, after being matched by the company, raised more than $1.5 million for Jumpstart this year. That’s


30,000 1,600 staff volunteer hours last year

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enough funds to help more than 15,000 kids get in the game. Says Nathanson: “Charity and sports are part of life in Canada, and our people rally behind these connections.” They also rally around the new “Life in Canada Depends on Us” employee engagement campaign. “We want our employees to connect everything they do at work with our customers and the community,” Nathanson says. “Every transaction impacts someone’s life, and when people realize that, it gives their work more meaning. Our employees get that.” Among the many employee tangible



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benefits: a discount on purchases across the company’s retail banners and post-secondary scholarships offered to children of employees. But for Van Lange, it’s about working for an “amazing company that cares about my professional development.” It’s not only that. “I’m proud to work for such an iconic retail brand that has successfully adapted to the times,” says Van Lange. “When I was growing up, we would fight over who would first read the weekly Canadian Tire flyer. Every time I go into a store now, it reminds me of the good times I had as a child.”

Canadian Tire Corporation is proud to be one of Greater Toronto’s Top Employers.



Mission possible: CAMH transforming lives

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

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

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

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

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

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




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

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



Collegiality defines working at the College

he welcoming and stimulating atmosphere at the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Ontario makes it an extremely popular place to work. Last year, some 10,000 people applied for just 50 jobs at the College, the body responsible for regulating the medical profession in the public interest. The acceptance rate was 0.5 per cent, making it easier to gain admission to Harvard University, which takes just six per cent of its applicants. Says Keven Reay, the College’s associate human resources director: “We hire only the best.” And to keep the best, the College emphasizes collegiality. “It’s all about the workplace environment,” Reay says.

“What’s special is the people and atmosphere.” –Nanci Harris, Manager in the Practice Assessment & Enhancement Department

“What’s special is the people and atmosphere,” says Nanci Harris, one of the College’s two managers in its practice assessment and enhancement department. “I’ve worked in several other places but what stands out here is the friendliness and collegial atmosphere. People are passionate about what they do. The work can be stressful, but there’s still lots of warmth and laughter.” Adds Harris, a trained nurse and librarian: “We are constantly challenged. We are given incredible autonomy, and our initiative is appreciated and rewarded.”

Mark Sampson, who is in charge of the College’s social media strategy and website, agrees. “This is an amazing place to be,” he says. “The work is really important, the people are super committed and everyone is incredibly collaborative.” Sampson adds that the College’s “meaningful, purposeful role” as public watchdog over doctors inspires a dedicated staff and contributes to a shared workplace resolve. “People’s ideas are taken seriously,” he says. “The environment is stronger and healthier than anywhere else I’ve been. You can’t put a price tag on that.” The College also supports staff well-being, both personal and professional, for its 350 employees. It subsidizes the cost of onsite lunchtime and evening yoga, Pilates and exercise classes. Before starting the workday, staff can join on-site meditation sessions.

The commitment to employee health includes an annual wellness day, combining exercise, nutritional advice and related product displays. At one of those wellness days, after trying a sample, Harris picked up the habit of drinking nutrient-rich wheatgrass juice. “It gives me an extra-energy hit,” she says. On the education and skills improvement side, the College will assist an employee’s tuition costs. “You can craft a career here,” Harris says. “It’s a real opportunity to grow.” Reflecting the caring profession it oversees, the College encourages charitable activities by employees. “My boss supported me when I needed a day off to volunteer for an adult literacy event,” says Sampson, a novelist in his non-working hours.






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The staff chooses a different charity every three years to support in fundraisers and other activities. Many employees even donate their long-term service awards to the designated charity. Reay says that public recognition of the College as a desirable workplace combined with the stimulating atmosphere and employee testimo-

nials account for the high demand for its few openings and an annual turnover rate of less than four per cent. “We don’t have to spend much on recruitment,” he says. For Harris, the College is a “place to make a life for yourself.” So much so that, the 53-year-old adds, “I plan to retire here.”

Fulfilling careers, work that matters Q u a l i t y p r o f e s s i o n a l s • h e a lt h y s y s t e m • p u b l i c t r u s t


A sense of community at Durham College


o Don Lovisa, president of Oshawa-based Durham College of Applied Arts and Technology, there is one statistic that says it all about working at his institution. The turnover rate among non-retiring employees is an astonishingly low 1.5 per cent a year. Everybody else just stays.

Why? Some might point to the generous compensation package. There’s a defined-benefit pension plan, a rarity these days. New mothers on maternity and parental leave can get a top-up to 93 per cent of salary for fully 52 weeks. Tuition reimbursement is substantial.

“We truly believe we have a family-like culture. There is a heart to the organization.” –Don Lovisa, President

But that’s not it, says Lovisa. The real reason: “We truly believe we have a family-like culture. There is a heart to the organization.” At a recent employee recognition event—complete with a Hollywood-style red carpet—people were asked what keeps them at Durham College. “Consistently, the answer was ‘the people’,” says Lovisa. “It is the way that we work together, the way we support each other, the way we share our common set of values. And that goes a long way to creating a good environment not only to work in, but for our students.” The president gets warm confirmation from Mary Pearce, administrative coordinator in the college’s School

of Skilled Trades, Apprenticeship & Renewable Technology (START) and winner of an Employee Award of Excellence this year. “This is a great place to work,” she says. “It’s very friendly and respectful. It’s a family-type atmosphere.”

Pearce knows the college well: she joined in 2000 after working there as a work-study student while taking business administration and information technology. “It has offered a lot of opportunity for me,” she says. “The college is really good at providing professional development.” Starting off at the student help desk, Pearce moved on to student IT support, did a year in the Office of the Vice-President, Academic, and applied for her current post in 2007. Along the way, she completed a BA in sociology at Trent University’s Oshawa campus, mainly through evening courses, and had half her tuition reimbursed by Durham College. Her children also had a tuition reimbursement from the college. Now, as a number of other staffers do, she is also teaching part-time, offering a course in computer basics to hospitality students at the Whitby campus where she is based. The college lets her make up the hours in her day job as needed. “It’s been very flexible,” she says. Durham College has another potential advantage for employees seeking variety in an educational workplace. The Oshawa campus also hosts the University of Ontario Institute of Technology, and the two institutions share several operations. The college provides information technology and facilities services to the university, while the university oversees library services for both. This means that Durham College employees may end






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up working with people from the university, and vice versa. “There are advantages for employees, for students and for the community,” says Lovisa of the integrated system. Durham College itself is one of Ontario’s fastest-growing, with a student body that has risen by 57 per cent in the last five years. Lovisa

says those students are supported by a staff that is committed to helping them – and each other – on a very personal level. “It’s all part of the feeling that you’re part of a community,” he says. “It’s not one big thing. It’s all the little things that are done by individuals every day that create this family-like culture and make it such a great place to work.”



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Fidelity focuses on values and employee growth

t Fidelity Investments Canada ULC, they like to stress active listening. Management listens to employees. Employees listen to their colleagues. There’s even a campaign called “I’m All Ears”, built around one of the company’s key values— partnership and collaboration. “I’m All Ears is not just about managers listening to employees, but peers listening to each other,” says Nancy Lupi, vice-president, human resources. “The hope is that we can learn to listen for ideas that might innovate, that might move the business forward.”

“The difference at Fidelity is we allow people to hold other people accountable when they see behaviour that is contrary to those values.” – Nancy Lupi, Vice-President, Human Resources

In addition to spotting ideas, Fidelity, a leading mutual fund firm, wants to make sure employees are heard in terms of any workplace concerns, especially in an industry that competes hard for talent. Managers meet one-on-one with their staff weekly or biweekly, senior management hold regular forums to get staff feedback, and there are regular divisional meetings with the president, including a q and a session.

“We want to make sure that employees feel appreciated and that their creativity is harnessed,” says Lupi. As part of this continuous improvement process, employees who put forward ideas that get implemented are rewarded financially.

Like most companies, Fidelity has a set of values that employees learn from day one—integrity, commitment, partnership and balance. “The difference at Fidelity,” says Lupi, “is we allow people to hold other people accountable when they see behaviour that is contrary to those values.” Partnership is a good example, she says. “When you have this value, it means all views must be heard. No one owns the end product. The expectation out of the gate is, you must be a good partner.” Commitment is a key value, too. For employees, it means carrying out their work with enthusiasm and passion. For the firm, it means commitment to employees. The Toronto-based company is a subsidiary of Boston-headquartered Fidelity Investments, one of the world’s largest providers of financial services. The highly competitive compensation package includes performance bonuses and a range of health and wellness benefits. Commitment to employees also means strong emphasis on professional development and career guidance, as Dave Bushnell can attest. Now a regional vice-president for sales, he joined in 2005 in a junior sales capacity. “I’m probably a textbook example of what Fidelity can do for people,” he says. “I’ve been the beneficiary of a firm that really believes in developing its staff.” That means a lot of training and internal promotion. Bushnell says all four


246 million 13,000 steps taken, staff wellness event



Boys & Girls Clubs weeks, starting top rate, annual children helped vacation allowance retirement funding

of his supervisors have taken a close and supportive interest in his career. “I like to say that when it comes to bosses, I’m batting 1,000 in a game where most people would settle for a .250 average.” He has also benefited from courses ranging from sales technique—including how to give a proper handshake—to public speaking.

What Bushnell especially likes about Fidelity is its stress on meritocracy. “We’re a culture that rewards you for what you do,” he says. “We look at results—you don’t need to navigate the corporate culture the way you might at other firms. If you come to this firm and you want to work hard, to learn and to grow, this is just the dream place to work.”

Outstanding employees make us a top employer. ADV_18236_GTA_Top_Employer_Ad_Final.indd 1

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Investing in employee education to grow in your career


ichard Chee-A-Tow has spent his entire career at Gamma-Dynacare Medical Laboratories, which is based in Brampton, Ont., but he has never found himself short of challenging work or interesting opportunities. “I’ve had the privilege of staying with the same organization and having seven or eight different jobs,” says Chee-A-Tow. He started in 1987 as a technologist in a hematology laboratory and was responsible for analyzing blood samples and looking for indications of diseases such as leukemia and anemia. Today, Chee-A-Tow is a continuous improvement professional who is responsible for streamlining processes to achieve operational efficiencies at walk-in clinics and labs across the country.

“Every one of our employees can put in place an individual development plan.” – Pierre Belanger, Vice-President, Human Resources

Gamma-Dynacare is one of Canada’s largest laboratory services and solutions providers. The company operates 200 Patient Services Centres in Ontario, Quebec, Manitoba and Saskatchewan that serve some 10 million patients and 15,000 healthcare professionals. Services offered through the patient centres include blood collection, urinalysis, allergy testing and electro-cardiograms. Gamma-Dynacare also operates ten laboratories–four in Ontario, four in Quebec and one each in Manitoba and

Alberta – where samples are tested.

The company employs about 1,200 people in the GTA–1,000 of them full-time and the balance part-time– and they include lab technologists, clinical lab assistants and professional couriers, as well as a range of corporate support staff in sales, marketing, IT, finance and human resources. Gamma-Dynacare encourages its employees to grow, diversify and develop, says Pierre Belanger, vice-president of human resources. “Every one of our employees can put in place an individual development plan,” Belanger says. “It’s supported by an online career path and training tool that allows employees to see every position available within the organization and what the skill requirements are for a specific position.” The company offers employees online and face-to-face educational opportunities. Gamma-Dynacare’s e-learning management system is stocked with well over 400 courses that can be accessed at the convenience of the employee 24/7. The company has also invested heavily in 60 certified internal trainers who are subject-matter experts and are encouraged to transfer their knowledge to others within the organization. Gamma-Dynacare’s support for education extends to the children of employees. Every year the company awards up to 15 scholarships, ranging in value from $1,250 to $2,000, to students entering or studying at post-secondary institutions and over the past 15 years has paid out approximately $250,000. Employees can also apply for financial support if they are pursuing a professional designation that requires study at an outside institution. Chee-






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A-Tow earned a clinical research associate diploma from the Michener Institute of Applied Science and Technology. He attended classes part-time over three years, sometimes working evenings when required courses were offered during the day. “Gamma-Dynacare supported me thoroughly,” he says. “We have tuition re-imbursement available for employees if there is a strong business case

Providing Information. Impacting Lives. Caring for People. Find out more at:

for external training.” A majority of the company’s employees are women and Gamma-Dynacare endeavours to offer as much flexibility as possible in working hours to accommodate family responsibilities. Where possible, employees can opt for flexible start and finish times, a shortened work week or a compressed work week.



Home Depot builds a strong team of people

ragica “Draga” Orescanin is about as happy in her work at Home Depot of Canada Inc. as anyone you could find. She fled Croatia with her husband and daughter in 1992, as the former Yugoslavia was breaking up, and came to Canada. After a series of jobs, she was hired at Home Depot six years ago on a temporary basis to work in seasonal, handling the garden area. “After three months, they saw my results, they saw that I was responsible, and they gave me a permanent job in seasonal,” she says. “They could see I was a hard worker and took care of my customers.”

“We have a very diverse workforce, and hire people who are enthusiastic, who are interested in developing their knowledge and expertise, and who have good technical know-how in home improvement.” – Shane Ward, Director, HR Centralized Services

Which she does, with zest. “I’m very happy in my department,” she says. “I treat it like it’s my house. Customers come looking for me—‘is Draga in today? I need Draga.’ I listen to them carefully and help solve their problems. When I see my customers leave happy, I feel very proud.” Spotting that kind of talent has become an art at Home Depot, which employs 29,000 associates at its 181 stores across the country.

“The key to our success is finding people who are results oriented, collaborative and respectful,” says Shane Ward, Director, HR Centralized Services, who is responsible for retail staffing. “We have a very diverse workforce, and hire people who are enthusiastic, who are interested in developing their knowledge and expertise, and who have good technical know-how in home improvement.” A significant part of the retail workforce is made up of older, skilled ex-tradespeople, such as former contractors, plumbers and electricians. “They’re the kind of people we want,” says Ward. “Sharing their knowledge and expertise creates a very positive experience for our customers. But we also find they love to work with our younger associates and help them understand the intricacies of plumbing, electricity and the like.” To support associates, Home Depot provides health benefits to part-time and salaried employees. And full-time associates who are age 70 and over are eligible to continue their full-time benefits, rather than the more common cap of 65 at other companies.


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Home Depot also believes in investing time in its people, to the tune of 1 million hours of training per year for its associates. At regular in-store staff meetings, sessions can range from learning more about various parts of the store to team-building and leadership training, as well as building sales skills. “We need associates to be results-oriented,” says Ward. “Sometimes that’s natural in an individual and sometimes it’s learned.” Even so, sales results are just one of the elements associates are recognized for. Supervisors and colleagues are encouraged to call out demonstrations of the company’s values, which include giving back, taking care of people, and respect for all. Associates can receive orange Homer badges that include a small financial bonus, and are linked to opportunities for

“Every day means making a difference.” That’s the power of our people at the Home Depot. We are committed to diversity as an equal opportunity employer.

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larger-scale recognition each quarter. Associates might receive a badge for doing something extra for a customer, or supporting or teaching colleagues. Home Depot is also known for its strong volunteer program, Team Depot, which engages associates across Canada in hands-on service projects to benefit community partners. A key focus is to support organizations working to put an end to youth homelessness. Volunteer projects can include sprucing up shelters, renovating transitional homes and helping with landscaping. “We’re proud to roll up our sleeves and help out our local communities,” says Ward, who does a lot of volunteering himself. After all, helping people is something that Home Depot associates, like Draga Orescanin in seasonal, know a lot about.


At Kruger Products, developing staff through their career


an Touseant joined the Mississauga head office team of Kruger Products L.P. four years ago and received a warm welcome that he remembers to this day. “We have a great orientation program,” he says. “You have the opportunity to meet many of the key leadership and you receive a proper introduction in order for you to understand how the company operates.” And that was only the start. “We have a program called Kruger University,” says Touseant, who is Director of Business Development, selling consumer products to key retailer customers. “It teaches new employees about the company, what we produce and how we manufacture it. It also details our corporate vision, mission and values.” Kruger Products’ major stakeholder is Kruger Inc., a private, diversified, Montreal-based company. The remaining shares are held by KP Tissue, Inc., a TSX-traded entity, and its business is limited to holding an interest in Kruger Products.

“We identify those people who show the most potential and we like to stretch them to see what they are capable of doing.” – Serge Reynaud, Vice-President, Human Resources

Kruger Products is the leading manufacturer of tissue paper products in Canada. It produces consumer brands including Cashmere Bathroom Tissue, SpongeTowels Paper towel and Scotties Facial Tissue. The Away From Home division manufactures a variety of tissue papers destined for use in hotels, schools, hospitals and other out-of-home venues. It employs about

120 people in a range of positions at its Mississauga head office and close to 1,600 at its Canadian plants in Ontario, Quebec and British Columbia. “I’ve worked for a number of large multinationals,” says Serge Reynaud, vice-president of Human Resources, “and I know we have a truly extraordinary culture at Kruger Products.” The company is deeply committed to developing its employees and provides them with a multitude of opportunities to diversify their skills or to advance both vertically and horizontally within the organization. “The employee performance review is the foundation of it all,” Reynaud says. ‘We identify those people who show the most potential and we like to stretch them to see what they are capable of doing.” Some employees are assigned to special projects which enhanced responsibilities. Others are offered team lead positions. The company will also support employees returning to school to complete MBAs or to acquire professional certifications in

Canada’s Leading Manufacturer of Quality Tissue Products for Household, Industrial and Commercial Use






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such areas as finance and accounting, and Kruger Products picks up the tab.

and seeing where you’d like to go with your career,” he says.

The company has a number of other employee development programs. One is Straight A’s, which stands for attitude, aptitude and action. This program takes small groups of 10 colleagues from different business units and roles and focuses on both personal and professional development. The program also involves course work as well as one-on-one sessions with a coach.

Kruger Products is committed to ensuring that its employees achieve a reasonable work-life balance. “We treat our employees like adults,” says Reynaud. “They know the work that needs to be done and it doesn’t matter whether they do it from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. or from 7 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. We understand that family is important.”

Touseant recently participated in a newly-launched mentorship program in which employees have an opportunity to learn and grow under the guidance of a mentor within the organization. “It is a great program for challenging yourself

The company and its employees also support a number of charitable organizations, including the local food banks, the Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation and the Movember Foundation. “There’s always something going on at our office to support a charity. It is in the Kruger culture,” says Touseant.



Lakeridge Health embarks on a journey of excellence

akeridge Health, a leading community hospital in Ontario, went through a strategic planning exercise in 2010-11 that has proved to be a catalyst for change and the start of a journey toward excellence.

“We studied high performance organizations in health care and outside health care and found that you need a really engaged staff to deliver excellent service,” says president and chief executive officer Kevin Empey. “We set two goals – to be the healthiest hospital workplace in the province and the safest – safe for patients and staff. Those goals drive all our strategies.”

“We set two goals – to be the healthiest hospital workplace in the province and the safest – safe for patients and staff. Those goals drive all our strategies.”

doctors and nurses to physiotherapists, occupational and respiratory therapists as well as pharmacists, psychologists and dieticians. Lakeridge Health has created inter-professional practice teams in all its units to ensure that these professionals work together as seamlessly as possible to deliver top-notch patient care. “Our team meets every day to review all our patients and to ensure that we all connect with each other and work as a team,” says Mary-Kim Marrin, a registered practical nurse with the in-patient mental health unit. “Psychiatrists, nurses, occupational therapists, physiotherapists and social workers all work together to deliver quality patient care.”

– Kevin Empey, President & CEO

In the wake of the strategic planning exercise, Lakeridge Health created an Advanced Leadership Foundations program – ALF for short. Every manager in the organization had to complete it – including the president. “It doesn’t matter whether you’re a manager in purchasing or emergency, you need to have certain fundamental skills to engage your team and deliver excellent care, ” says Empey.

Lakeridge Health serves the rapidly growing Regional Municipality of Durham and is steadily expanding its services and hiring new employees to keep pace. And the organization promotes engagement through its two-day orientation program for new hires. Every new employee, from housekeepers to doctors to senior executives, goes through it and Empey personally kicks it off with a presentation outlining the organization’s strategy.

The organization is currently engaged in a national research program to develop a psychological health and safety standard that will ensure managers are equipped to recognize emotional or stress-related issues among employees. “Being a healthy workplace is about more than not getting physically hurt. An awful lot of people are under stress, from working shift work to home life responsibilities,” says Empey. “Managers have to learn how to identify and help anyone on their team facing challenges.”

Major health care systems like Lakeridge Health employ a remarkable array of professionals – from

As one way of engaging staff, Lakeridge Health overhauled its rewards and recognition program. An em-






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ployee survey revealed that the staff disliked the old program that focused on year-of-service pins, so staff were engaged in designing a more meaningful approach. They created a President’s Award of Excellence which goes to an individual or team that makes an outstanding contribution to quality of care and improving the workplace. Award winners receive a certificate, each member gets a watch and the team receives $1,000 which is typically used for such things as training on the use of new equipment.

Quality patient care and an excellent hospital experience is the underlying goal of all these initiatives and it is embedded in the culture at Lakeridge, says Marrin, who speaks from experience as an employee and a patient. “I had a serious illness and spent time at several Lakeridge Health sites,” she says. “The nurses were really great. I got better and pursued my dream of becoming a nurse and that passion for the patient brought me back here when I graduated. We really do care and really want to make a difference.”

We know that on the hardest of days, healing comes in all forms. Excellence - every moment, every day.



Working at the Law Society, no dull days

t’s hard not to find your job interesting at The Law Society of Upper Canada, according to the people who work there. “You never know what the next issue is going to be,” says Juda Strawczynski, counsel to the Law Society’s director of Policy. “It could be anything. In policy, it’s a mix of where society is heading and where politics might be heading.” The Law Society is the regulator of the legal professions in Ontario, overseeing more than 47,000 lawyers and 6,000 paralegals. It’s the largest law society in Canada, based at historic Osgoode Hall in downtown Toronto. Its mandate includes investigation of complaints and discipline, licensing of lawyers and paralegals, professional development and competence, as well as facilitating access to justice. It provides a variety of related ancillary services that support this mandate and keep the operation functioning well.

“It’s our duty to represent and reflect the public interest in regulating the profession” – Robert Lapper, Chief Executive Officer

Given that mandate, the Society employs a lot of trained lawyers, but they are by no means the only people who work and thrive there. A wide variety of skills, including administration, adult learning, finance, communications and technical specialties in many fields, are reflected in the work done by the 500-plus Law Society employees Women, says Lapper, make up 68 per cent of employees, 67 per cent of management and 64 per cent of senior management. “Well over 50 per cent of new entries to the professions are women. The Law Society has worked hard to develop










programs to retain women in the professions, so we reflect that goal within our workplace as well.” And for everyone, Lapper agrees, it’s interesting work. In recent times, the Law Society has reached out to the Aboriginal community in terms of access to justice. It gets involved in human rights issues that impact the profession. And it has developed a pilot project to provide an alternative to articling as a path to lawyer licensing, the first such program in Canada. “Our governors, known as Benchers, are a diverse and engaged group of people, and our staff work hard to support them and to assist in working with the professions and stakeholder communities on issues that arise,” says Lapper. “This work, both in terms of being supportive and of dealing with some real problems, can




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be absolutely fascinating. It keeps our people challenged on a daily basis.” Strawczynski certainly feels challenged. He enjoys policy work that ranges from monitoring new legislation for its impact on lawyers to studying the way law firms might be legally established in the future. Formerly in private practice, Strawczynski says he felt fortunate to take advantage of the Law Society’s “progressive” parental leave program when his second child was born. “I returned from the paternity leave re-

freshed and was able to participate in a career opportunity—a secondment to the Federation of Law Societies of Canada.” He now spends about half his time on federation work. Mentorship has been very important to him since he arrived in 2011. “It’s a warm, supportive, collegial culture,” he says. “What’s truly amazing about this place is how everyone is both brilliant and supportive. I’ve been astounded by how many people I’ve been able to learn from, both in Policy and across the organization.”



Proud to be named a Top Greater Toronto Employer for nine years. One of the many reasons to build your career at the Law Society.



lay is a big part of work at Mattel Canada. The home of Barbie, Monster High and Fisher-Price never seems to forget it’s a child-focused company. To start with, “there are toys everywhere,” says Mignonne Braganza, associate manager, customer marketing. “It’s a fun environment to be in.”

Playing to win at Mattel Canada

There is also an employee-run “Play Patrol” that organizes social events such as a casino party, Valentine’s Day archery and a Play Day in which the whole staff goes curling, say, or bowling. In work time, staff from all departments tend to get involved when the Mattel crew puts on a fun kids’ event at Walmart or Toys“R”Us. They even got to test out a Barbie Sleepover at the office (in truth, just a few daytime hours—but in their pajamas).

“It’s a fun environment to be in” – Mignonne Braganza, Associate Manager, Customer Marketing

And the idea of play infuses the corporate culture. “Our rallying cry internally is Play to Win,” says Sanjay Luthra, vice-president and country manager for Canada, “and we underline the word ‘play’. ‘Win’ is there, but we say first and foremost we should have fun in whatever we do. “That’s why all of our values – whether it’s Play to Win, Play Fair, Play to Grow, Play with Passion or Play Together – all have the high-

light on play. That’s critical.”

In Canada, the 100-plus employees are concentrated mainly in sales, marketing and distribution, based in Mississauga, Ont. Braganza monitors customer buying trends through reams of analytic data – “I’m definitely a numbers person,” she says.

Yet she didn’t start in that role. In 2003, she came in as a two-week temp, then got asked back to stay. From administration, she moved on to customer service, then into customer marketing. All along she had support from Mattel through in-house and external courses and training. The company provides up to $8,000 in tuition subsidies for job-related education. “I’m one of many,” says Braganza. “Mattel encourages cross-departmental moves and cross-functionality.” In fact, she adds, the play-together culture is such that “It’s never been ‘my department, your department’. We do it all together. It’s very different from any other place I’ve worked at.” Luthra agrees that providing cross-functional exposure for staff is crucial. “At least 20 per cent of the organization has advanced through those cross-functional moves in the last three years,” he says.






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Mattel also offers high international mobility if an employee wants it. Luthra points to his own case, starting out in sales in Mumbai 14 years ago, becoming head of Mattel India, moving on to Poland, first as country head, then as head for Eastern Europe, and finally taking on Canada’s developed market. “It was always an open dialogue,” he says. “It was always about my career and my opportunities.”

even asked on a career questionnaire about specific cities they might like to work in. “Canada has exported more talent across the world than it has imported because we attract some of the best people,” says Luthra.

The same opportunities are there for working-level people, who are

At home in Mississauga, the heart of the operation has to be the cafeteria.

Along one wall, staff have posted their individual goals in a cloud of red paper airplanes that advance as they reach milestones on the way. And then there are the Mattel games left out for employees to relax with. The most popular? Play-to-win UNO.


Doctors’ orders to OMA staff: Be well


he Ontario Medical Association does not require doctor’s notes. When employees are sick, the OMA wants them to stay home and get better, which is the same advice it gave other employers last winter. The OMA told them it was a waste of health resources to ask for notes when people are only off sick for a day or two. “I think the profession felt it was an unreasonable imposition on physicians,” says CEO Ron Sapsford, who served as Ontario’s deputy health minister before joining the OMA.

“In the same way physicians like to have healthy patients, we want the staff of this organization to be healthy.” – Ron Sapsford, Chief Executive Officer

Despite having no set number of sick days and using the honour system, the OMA has a lower than average absentee rate, according to Sandra Zidaric, executive director of human resources. “People really appreciate being treated with respect,” she says. As the representative of Ontario’s physicians, the OMA provides leadership and advocates for the health of Ontarians and an accessible, quality health care system. Among other things, it analyzes and creates health care policy, supports practice change focused on improving quality, efficiency and the patient experience, and provides physicians with specialized products and services. With a staff of almost 300, the association has a diverse staffing


mix ranging from economists who research health care trends and data to lawyers, accountants, insurance and medical records experts. And, yes, there are even a few doctors. While illness is expensive for employers, Sapsford says a “marginal investment” in health and wellness benefits can really help companies’ bottom lines. “In the same way physicians like to have healthy patients, we want the staff of this organization to be healthy,” he says. Along with a benefits package that covers the old standards such as drugs and dental, the OMA also has a lunchtime running group, an in-house weight watchers group, smoking cessation programs, showers for the runners and commuting cyclists, and a health and wellness reimbursement that can be used to buy items such as a gym membership or fitness equipment to use at home. One hundred and forty of its 250 employees, including Sapsford, who describes himself as a gym fan,



of staff use health # of staff flu shots & wellness benefit given annually take advantage of the fitness perk. Every year, the organization runs an on-site flu clinic with one of its own physicians giving the jabs. Employees who give blood get half a day off, and participation in the Gift of Life organ donation program is encouraged. Recently, the OMA has taken part in the Canada-wide campaign to support mental health in the workplace. “We can do much to help remove the stigma and to help employees with mental health problems,” says Sapsford. OMA’s health and wellness program is constantly evolving with some major changes introduced last year, according to Zidaric. At the


are making health care better.



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request of employees, for example, dental coverage was expanded to include major restorative work. Other non-health-related benefits include subsidies for tuition and professional accreditation, maternity, parental and compassionate leave top-up payments. As a 25-year veteran of the organization, Zidaric’s had plenty of opportunity to take advantage of its perks and benefits over the years, but what really keeps her motivated is the job itself. “People understand the work they do here actually makes a difference in health care in Ontario,” she says. “And I think that’s really rewarding.”

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.


RioCan offers big-company benefits, small-company feel


he story of RioCan Real Estate Investment Trust has attained a kind of mythological status within the Toronto business world. A middle-aged lawyer at a crossroads decides on a midlife career change, leaves the law behind and starts up his own company. He figures he can do a better job than his clients in the real estate business. As it turns out, RioCan CEO Ed Sonshine was right. Twenty years later, the company he founded is now Canada’s largest publicly traded REIT. And its entrepreneurial roots nourish a corporate culture designed to make employees feel as if they have a stake in their company as they go about their daily work.

“If you can get everybody excited about their role, you have a winning formula.” – Ed Sonshine, Chief Executive Officer

“People in the real estate business say success is determined by location, location, location, but it’s the people that choose the location and bring that location to its ultimate potential,” says Sonshine. “People are key.” Sonshine has two main priorities for employees. One, he wants them to feel as though they are looking after their own money while they are on the job. And two, despite working for a big company, he wants them to feel like entrepreneurs. To accomplish this, he and other managers strive to keep their employees involved and engaged. When strate-

gies change, it’s critical, he says, to get employees to buy in and support all new projects and goals. “If you can get everybody excited about their role, you have a winning formula.”

As an example, Sonshine cites the company’s new venture into rental residential real estate as groundbreaking within the industry. Although this may be a new challenge for its employees, RioCan aims to develop people from within the company and is confident that it will succeed. Offering experienced employees career opportunities and challenges is just one of the ways RioCan maintains its low turnover. Sonshine is confident employees will gain the knowledge they need to thrive in in this new environment. While developing these skills may take time, Sonshine remarks, “We have all the time we need as we’re building new buildings, which won’t be ready for a couple of years.” At age 67, he plans to stick around for the opening of the residential buildings, yet, at the same time, he’s succession planning for both himself and other senior management. On the job, Sonshine keeps a close watch on the day-to-day activities, scrutinizing everything from leases to the marketing budget. Does this make him a micromanager? “Some people think I am,” he laughs. “But I don’t do it every day. I pick my spot and drill down.” Vice President of Human Resources Stuart Baum describes RioCan as “a big company with a small company feel. It’s really the best of both worlds,” he says. Employee benefits are those of a large organization while the leadership is approachable and communications are open.





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Baum describes RioCan as a meritocracy where promotions, new career challenges and increased pay are all realistically attainable. And he says it’s a company that understands work life balance.



maximum tuition subsidy

“This is an environment that’s energetic, creative and fun,” says Baum. “Every day presents a new challenge and opportunity to contribute to the success of such a great organization.”

Culture of Excellence



Putting people first at Ryerson University

yerson University is known for its strong emphasis on innovation and entrepreneurship, which has helped power its fast-rising status among Canada’s leading post-secondary institutions. But there may be another secret to its success – what the university calls its “People First” culture.

To explain it, Ryerson President Sheldon Levy points to the time the university’s top administrative official had a conflict between an important campus meeting and a school event for her child. “She chose the event for her child, and made it very clear that that was a good decision, not a guilty decision,” says Levy. “She walked the talk of saying that family really is ultimately the priority, and we make decisions for people ahead of the institution.”

“The ability to hire, recruit and retain people has been fabulous. Right now, we are the place to be.” – Sheldon Levy, President

People First is designed to promote employee engagement as well as foster inclusion, diversity and equity in the workplace. Levy believes it has helped draw some of Canada’s top academic and staff talent to Ryerson, which has been on a roll in recent years. In the latest Maclean’s magazine ranking of universities by reputation, Ryerson rose by four spots, to eighth in the country. Recently its Digital Media Zone was ranked by a Swedish organization as the No. 1 university-affiliated business incubator in Canada – and fifth in the world. “It’s an exciting and dynamic work environment,” says Levy . “It’s an institution that is building a great

reputation. The ability to hire, recruit and retain people has been fabulous. Right now, we are the place to be.” The university has taken full advantage of its urban setting in downtown Toronto to transform the way it works, including a move into part of the former Maple Leaf Gardens, construction of innovative spaces like the Ryerson Image Centre, and turning its Gould Street home base into a pedestrian thoroughfare. “We put a lot more attention to public spaces than private spaces,” says Levy. “We said, a community will work better when we pay more attention to where we intersect with each other. The emphasis on meeting places rather than private places has made a huge difference.” All of this appeals very directly to Jen Gonzales, Ryerson’s director of student life. ”One of the reasons I stay at Ryerson is People First,”


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she says. “It’s a fast, progressive environment here. Change can happen. And that’s part of what they mean by People First – it’s taking people’s ideas, putting them into action and making sure we have a safe working environment.” A lot of Ryerson’s buzz comes from the new public spaces, she says. “The pedestrianization of Gould Street was a huge milestone for us, in terms of people being able to find a space in the middle of campus to connect,” she says. “Really, it gave us a campus. There are patio tables where people eat lunch in summer, and there’s a



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farmer’s market from spring to fall.” She also appreciates Ryerson’s “pretty wonderful” benefits package, particularly the alternative medicine option. “I’m a very holistic person,” she says, “and I use it for my naturopath and my massage therapist.” Most especially, in her six years at Ryerson, Gonzales has found its culture “very vibrant,” she says. “It’s filled with people who are very passionate. And people say ‘hi’—it feels a lot smaller than it actually is. It’s a true community in the middle of downtown Toronto.”



Embracing innovation at Samsung Canada

his fall, more than 200 employees at the Mississauga, Ont. headquarters of Samsung Canada were spread across a series of meeting rooms, brainstorming intensely. The topic was close to their hearts: how can we use technology to make a better future for patients, staff and parents at Toronto’s renowned Hospital for Sick Children? Given Samsung’s product lines in Canada – including TVs, mobile devices, home appliances and more – the Samsung employees had a lot to suggest to their Sick Kids partners. Kids love screens, for instance – how about tablets in every room to entertain them? Parents like to stay with their children – can we find space for washer-dryers and kitchenettes just for the parents? Or for kids immobile in bed, what might we do with virtual reality?

“There are so many high-performing and passionate people here.” – James Di Pede, Senior Sales Manager, Digital Appliances

“It was extremely dynamic,” says Mark Childs, Samsung Canada’s chief marketing officer. “These sessions created a library of ideas that we will be following up with. Our hope is to bring some of them to fruition.” To Childs and human resources & corporate affairs director Christine Greco, the Sick Kids meeting showcased what sets Samsung apart as an employer. Greco notes the Sick Kids partnership arose after Lee Kun-Hee, group chairman of South Korea-based Samsung Electronics, gave employees worldwide a cash award where half went to the individual and half for charity. Samsung Canada’s employees chose to support children’s hospitals in their


three locations – Toronto, Vancouver and Montreal – going beyond just the monetary gift. “We have a value at Samsung called co-prosperity,” says Greco. “It’s really about long-term engagement with our partners.” Living Samsung’s brand and values is central to working there. “The brand vision of accelerating discoveries and possibilities is core to the DNA,” says Childs. “We embrace technology, we embrace innovation.” And they embrace brainstorming – even their newly renovated offices are designed to promote collaboration and informal discussion. The company also has what it calls three pillars – build trust, work smart and think hard. “We believe these pillars will lead us to a truly creative culture,” says Greco.

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and tell their colleagues what they experienced with the product. “So it’s learning and sharing and expressing your passion for the product and for the brand,” says Greco. As you might expect, there are Samsung TV screens everywhere, as well as a tablet on every meeting room door and big-screen video conferencing inside. Everyone uses Samsung smartphones. And an employee-purchase website offers substantial discounts on Samsung products.

As a senior sales manager for digital The brand connection shows up again appliances, James Di Pede appreciat quarterly all-employee meetings, ates the creative culture. “There are so where Samsung products are given T:8” many high-performing and passionate away to staff. The winners have people here,” he says. “When you’re to come back to the next meeting

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in an environment like that, it’s pretty amazing what you can achieve.” A lot of the brainstorming, Di Pede says, goes on via the in-house electronic messaging system, including with headquarters in Korea. Since joining in 2008, he has been to Korea five times, and was able to collaborate on product changes that he and his team advocated, such as a smaller-width refrigerator, to suit the Canadian market. “Samsung is very cool that way,” says Di Pede. “If you believe in something, you can typically get it done.” The whole atmosphere, he says, “just makes coming to work something you look forward to.”




Commitment and professionalism drive Seneca College


laine Fenner, manager of student success at Seneca College, is based at its sprawling Newnham campus, where Toronto’s Finch Avenue meets Highway 404. From there, she helps support the college’s 26,500 full-time students and 70,000 part-time registrants. Fenner has been with the college for 21 years. What does she like about the place? “Just walking through the halls, there’s a great energy and buzz around the campus all the time,” she says. Bernie Beaulieu, executive director of human resources for the college, is based at its Markham campus, a multi-storey former office building 10 km up the 404. From there, he helps support the college’s more than 4,000 employees.

“People are very engaged and passionate about what they do – that struck me as soon as I walked in the door.” – Bernie Beaulieu, Executive Director, HR

Beaulieu has been with the college for just a few months. What does he like? “People are very engaged and passionate about what they do,” he says. “That struck me as soon as I walked in the door.” Across the Seneca network, people seem to feel the same way about the place – it has a very upbeat atmosphere and a lot of commitment. One of Canada’s largest colleges, Seneca has six campuses in Greater Toronto and Peterborough, and another four storefront-style locations in the GTA that reach out to local communities. Fenner, who has a physical education degree, started as a co-op student in

the athletic department in 1993, then joined on contract and later full-time. She moved on to co-op education and finally to student success. Throughout, she had strong support from Seneca in her professional development. “I was able to take courses at Seneca that helped me hone my skills and move up, and I also earned my master’s in adult education through Nipissing University,” she says. The tuition for her master’s courses, taught in the evening on Seneca’s King campus and in Barrie, was covered 50 per cent by Seneca, and she was also able to get the time she needed to attend. “It was a great help,” she says. Like other Ontario colleges, Seneca offers benefits that include generous maternity and parental leave and a defined benefit pension plan, plus extra time off around the Christmas period, when post-secondary institutions close. But those are


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not the real drivers for Fenner. She says she loves her job, working mainly with young people, and the collaborative culture, in which she’s able to easily connect with people in other departments. But Seneca also has a social side, she notes, with regular potluck lunches and fun activities. Still into fitness, she has joined Seneca teams for the CN Tower climb and dragon-boat racing. “It’s not a place to just put in your seven and a half hours and go home again,” she says. “If you’re looking for connections, there’s lots of opportunities here.“

We're proud of our people – extraordinary, passionate and dedicated.



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Beaulieu, who has worked at another educational institution as well as in the private sector, praises Seneca’s top-quality facilities and its excellent technology. “We could not be competitive in offering this experience to our students without staff having the technology they need, “ he says. “The IT support is superior to anything I’ve seen.” Overall, Beaulieu is impressed with Seneca’s “very professional” environment. “Everyone is very driven in terms of making the student experience as rich as they can,” he says. “They really do care. They live up to our tagline, Because it matters.”

…six years and counting.



Feel, look and live better at Shoppers Drug Mart

mployees who want to bolster their personal and professional growth at Shoppers Drug Mart have at least 2,500 opportunities. That’s the number of free, online courses offered by Shoppers Drug Mart University, an award-winning e-learning library whose offerings range from soft skills such as leadership training to the more practical such as pharmacy-related technical competencies. “It’s just one part of our commitment to growing and developing talent internally,” says Darren Ratz, the retailer’s senior vice-president of human resources. Employees can conveniently access the vast e-learning library at their own pace either at work or at home. “Whether one gets a certificate or not, these courses can help advance one’s career,” says Ratz.

“If you exhibit the right skills, you will move up in the organization – the prospects are tremendous” – Laurie Lucente, Director, IT Pharmacy Portfolio

There are other staff development supports such as subsidies for pursuing professional accreditation, financial bonuses and tuition subsidies for outside course completion and an MBA Assistance program. One Shoppers employee who benefited from these offerings as well as other company professional development programs is Laurie Lucente, who has risen through the management ranks in her 14 years at the company. “Shoppers is definitely prepared to invest in your career,” says Lucente, who started in customer service management and now is director of the IT pharmacy portfolio. “If you’re ambitious and prepared to advance, they believe in you.”

She adds: “If you exhibit the right skills, you will move up in the organization. The prospects are tremendous, and our culture encourages growth.” (Now that Shoppers is a separate and distinct operating division in Loblaw Companies Limited, even more career opportunities may open up.)






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Lucente also credits the company’s informal and formal mentoring program for helping navigate corporate shoals. “Now, I mentor others and not just in my own area,” she says.

something that management takes seriously. There are annual employee surveys and semi-annual all-employee meetings where staff can ask questions of senior management.

To meet employee health and insurance needs, the company has devised a plan that allows individuals to customize coverage that works best for them. They can allocate company benefit dollars among drugs, dental, health and insurance to reflect their requirements. “If someone has a family member with large drug needs, you can shift the balance in that direction to ensure you are covered,” explains Ratz.

One survey finding led to a recent overhaul of the company’s internal communications, replacing an aging system with a new cloud-based Going Mobile and Going Google virtual structure that allows, among other things, for remote access when travelling or at home.

The customized coverage resulted, in part, from employee input,

Clearly, people are hearing about the Shoppers work environment. Last year, some 42,000 people applied for fewer than 400 jobs. “That’s a reflection of our brand strength,” says Ratz. “We’re one of the top retail names

in the country, we’re continuing to grow and we have a vibrant feel.” But there’s another compelling reason why people want to be part of the Shoppers Drug Mart organization, supporting a network of independently owned and operated stores that fill more than 100,000,000 prescriptions per year, as well as supplying healthcare and beauty products. Says Ratz: “People want to do good work that makes a difference in people’s lives. Our goal is to make people feel, look and live better. That’s pretty special.” Lucente agrees. “It’s really cool to be on the side of the fence where you are actually delivering a service for the customer. We know we are making a difference.”

Thank you to all employees for taking ownership and finding more ways to care. @shopperscareers



Work in a family environment at Sigma Systems

very Thursday afternoon, a member of the Sigma Systems management team, sometimes even the president, pushes a cart through the office and hands out free ice cream. Among the treats: HäagenDazs bars, ice-cream sandwiches and frozen yogurt. “It’s a chance for executives to interact with and talk informally with the whole team,” says company President and COO Tim Spencer of the decade-old tradition. With only some 100 employees in its Toronto head office, this global provider of complex software solutions for the communications sector nurtures a family atmosphere. “I love it here because of its smaller size,” says Michelle Preston, who is in charge of the company’s North American human resources. “Management listens to employee feedback,” she adds. “You really feel you’re making a contribution to the success of the business every day.”

“We care about the causes our staff cares about.” – Tim Spencer, President

Indeed, the company recently completed an internal rebranding exercise that produced a new set of employee-generated values, coined the Sigma Way. “This was not your typical top-down process,” Preston says. “We encouraged everyone to participate through workshops and focus groups. It was awesome.” Employees also recommended that management create an online global recognition program for people who excel at any of the five corporate values. They got their

wish, along with a modest award for those singled out for attention.

Ice cream isn’t the only homey gesture in the company’s downtown Toronto offices as well as for its approximately 400 global employees. Every Wednesday morning, Sigma Systems provides a free continental breakfast, and every day there are fresh fruit and drinks. Staff often take home leftovers at week’s end and convert them to a new foodstuff over the weekend. “Pretty well every Monday morning, someone brings in freshly baked banana bread,” says Preston. “Just like in a family.” Sigma System is magnanimous in other ways. New employees are entitled to full health benefits on the day they start. There are generous profit-sharing and stock-option plans in this privately held operation. As well, if you recommend someone for a vacancy and that person is hired, you get a referral bonus of $2,500.

And as a 19-year-old high-tech company whose employees have to keep on the cutting edge to remain competitive, outside professional development costs are almost always 100-percent covered. Indeed, Sigma Systems budgets about $25,000 per month to ensure its people have the knowledge to meet their clients’ needs and to continue to grow professionally.






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“You have to create opportunities for employees to learn in their jobs and through training,” Spencer says. “I take a week every year for professional development and encourage my executive team to do the same.”

especially for its youth. Monthly employee fundraisers are matched by the company. “It’s important to give back,” Spencer says. “It shows we care—and that we care about the causes our staff cares about.”

Sigma Systems employees are generous in their own right. Through the charity Free the Children, they are helping a small village in northern India build a sustainable community,

As well, employees can donate a day’s pay in return for an extra vacation day off or they can get paid for time spent away from the office on charity work.

In addition to the family atmosphere, there is another compelling reason to work at Sigma Systems. Citing clients such as Bell, Rogers and Telus in Canada and Time Warner and Microsoft globally, Spencer says, “You get to work with cool technology and cool clients. You get to work on the latest communications, media and broadband-based services that your family will use in the years to come. Now, that’s cool.”



State Street promotes volunteerism and inclusiveness

tate Street Canada has a youthful workforce – the average age is 35 – and last year they spent 2,876 hours doing volunteer work with 28 charities and that didn’t happen by chance or by accident.

The company actively encourages community outreach and allows employees to take up to two days annually outside their normal vacation allotment to work with a charity, either one of their choosing or one that State Street supports at a corporate level. “It’s part of our holistic approach to engagement and retention,” says Angelo Pugliese, vice-president of human resources. “It’s one of the things that, cumulatively, makes people say ‘This is a good place to work and I like it here.’ We know that if our people are engaged and happy they’ll do a great job servicing our clients.”

“We know that if our people are engaged and happy they’ll do a great job servicing our clients.” – Angelo Pugliese, VP Human Resources

State Street is a business-to-business organization that provides a wide variety of services to institutional clients such as pension funds, mutual funds and hedge funds. Among other things, they handle the accounting when portfolio managers with any of these clients execute trades, they prepare quarterly and year-end financial statements and they assist accountants with yearend audits of client accounts. The company hires graduates out of high school, college and university,

depending on the skill set required, and has an educational assistance plan under which employees are eligible dependent on job role for up to $5,000 annually for continuous education purposes such as upgrading or obtaining a professional designation.

State Street also offers in-house, online learning materials that are suitable for employees at all levels and are designed to improve technical and personal skills. New hires receive training through the Foundations program, existing staff develop their skills through the Enterprise program and there is a three-tier management program for new managers, experienced managers and for managers moving into leadership roles. They are designed to assist employees as they advance vertically within the organization or move to new roles. “State Street is one of those organizations that not only provides you with a host of opportunities to learn new things and develop skills within the job, but gives you the opportunity to become a well-rounded person,” says Susanna Teixeira, who started in an entry level position 15 years ago after earning a bachelor of commerce degree and has advanced to assistant vice-president. She is currently working on a global initiative with colleagues in the corporate headquarters in Boston as well colleagues in the company’s European offices. As well, for the past five years, she has chaired the Toronto office’s community outreach committee, which organizes 12 to 13 charitable events per year. “People sign up for a full day or half a day,” she says. “I see the change in staff when they participate and haven’t done it before. They see the appreciation in people’s faces when they go out and help.”


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State Street also promotes a culture of tolerance and inclusiveness in all its workplaces through the formation of employee-led affinity groups. There some 12 of them in the Toronto office alone representing, among others, black professionals, Muslims and employees of various sexual orientations. Each one drafts its own charter, or set of goals and objectives,

and they organize lunch-time as well as after-hours events. Last year 280 employees belonged to these groups. “They’re there to make sure everyone understands the differences between cultures and to make the workplace a better place to be every day,” says Pugliese.



Giving back to the community – the Takeda way

isitors to Takeda Canada’s head office in Oakville are greeted with a vivid example of how seriously the pharmaceutical company takes its links to the community. Prominently displayed in the entrance lobby is a 2.5-squarefoot, two-panel painting, or diptych, depicting medicinal plants and herbs, representing the corporate theme of Better Health, Better Future. The artist is Kiara Weis, an Honours Art undergraduate at nearby McMaster University and the winner of last year’s Takeda McMaster Art Competition. “Giving back to the community is an important element of who we are,” says Laurene Redding, Takeda’s External Affairs Vice-President. “Supporting young artists at a local institution is a unique opportunity to showcase our caring values in a different way.”

“Giving back to the community is an important element of who we are.” – Laurene Redding, External Affairs Vice-President

Takeda likes doing things differently, especially when its employees are involved. For example, the company provides up to $15,000 for adoption costs, a rare if not unique benefit in both the private and public sectors. Since Takeda already tops up maternity leave to 100 per cent of salary for 17 weeks, it felt it should do something for adoptive parents as well. “We felt it was a matter of fairness and consistency,” explains Takeda’s Human Resources Vice-President Adele Zita. “Even getting the adoption process

started can be very expensive.”

Family is valued in other ways. Takeda readily accommodates employees who need time off to be with children or parents. “We don’t punch the clock,” says Zita. “Our people know what they have to do.” In the summer, the office closes at 1 p.m., allowing for somewhat longer family weekends. As well, there are extra days off between Christmas and New Year’s. Employees’ children are eligible for annual post-secondary study scholarships of up to $1,000 for four years. “But we don’t look at their marks alone,” Zita says. “They should also demonstrate a strong community involvement. It’s part of our holistic approach.” Meanwhile, an employee is publicly recognized monthly for work that best represents corporate values. Nominations come from other employees. “Performance drives recognition,” says Zita, “and recognition drives performance.”

Supporting the community also goes beyond the McMaster Art Competition, where the winner receives an honorarium to cover expenses and hours. Although there are only a little more than 200 employees across Canada, they managed last year to support 43 charities in one way or the other. When there is a tsunami in Asia or flooding in southern Alberta, Takeda employees are quick to organize fundraisers. Staff are also supported in personal charitable efforts. They receive up to five days off annually to volunteer for a cause that is dear to their heart. “We recently granted an employee several days off to help organize the annual walk for multiple sclerosis that she






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participates in every year,” Zita says. But besides the tangible benefits, which include year-end bonuses, Takeda employees are also motivated by their work. “What we do matters,” Zita says. “With the medicines we manufacture, we are helping and supporting people. It’s all about the patient, who could be a family member or neighbour.”

Redding concurs that a caring spirit characterizes the Takeda workplace. “We are making a significant contribution to fighting several diseases,” she says. “We are producing innovative products that can be life changing. The pace of change is phenomenal. We are supporting our community. This is an exciting place to be.”

Takeda Canada Inc.

Better Health, Brighter Future



Challenges and opportunities in building a better city

very year, nearly 1,000 people from around the world compete for one of 17 openings in a distinctive City of Toronto program designed to build a better city. “It’s highly innovative,” says Scott Pennington, who was a successful applicant when the initiative launched in 2009. “There’s nothing like it anywhere in Canada.” The Toronto Urban Fellows program is open to recent Masters or PhD graduates. Fellows receive consecutive six-month assignments in two different City departments. Upon completion, some 60 per cent of the participants end up working full-time

“We want to ensure that all members of the Toronto Public Service learn new skills and methods to provide the services and programs our residents deserve.” – Joe Pennachetti, City Manager

for the City of Toronto. “It’s a way to attract professional expertise and develop future leaders to deliver the services our residents expect,” says Toronto City Manager Joe Pennachetti. When Pennington applied, he was finishing an urban planning master’s degree at the University of Toronto. “I wanted to make a contribution to the city I had grown to love,” says the former Vancouverite who is now a special projects manager for the 2015 Toronto PanAm and

Parapan American Games. “It set me upon my career path. It was a phenomenal opportunity.”

Pennington says Urban Fellows and his subsequent jobs with the City have been fulfilling, largely because municipal services have such a major impact on residents. “I’m always working with dedicated and passionate professionals,” he adds. “It’s not only stimulating and inspiring, but what we do makes a real difference and changes people’s lives.” Urban Fellows is not the only distinctive or unique program offered by the City of Toronto, North America’s fourth most populous city and Canada’s sixth largest government. Its Earned Deferred Leave program is an opportunity to bank a portion of regular pay cheques to finance a six-month or year’s paid leave. Pennington is saving for a one-year volunteer stint abroad.

There are also many opportunities for professional development. Employees can have 80 per cent of their tuition reimbursed up to $1,500 annually for academic courses. And to help meet the challenge of maintaining a 5,200-vehicle fleet, the City pays the cost of a seven-year apprenticeship for employees who embark on an automotive mechanic program. As well, Western University delivers a graduate Diploma in Public Administration Program at a City facility. Each term, 25 professionals are selected for this opportunity. “Our staff are typically focused on delivering success in their own areas, so we want them to gain a broader perspective in terms of governance, operations, finance and public administration,” explains Pennachetti. “Once they see the impact that their programs and services have on


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other divisions and the City at large, they get a better understanding and appreciation of what it takes to make a large city like Toronto work.” He adds: “With so many people living, working and playing in the heart of the city, demands are constantly changing. It’s important to adapt and respond to meet those

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changing needs. We want to ensure that all members of the Toronto Public Service learn new skills and methods to provide the services and programs our residents deserve.” And there’s one other thing. “Working for the City is not just a job,” Pennachetti says. “It’s an honour and a privilege.”

Work for the City you love The City of Toronto is a progressive employer, offering challenging work and the chance to make a difference in the lives of all Torontonians. As part of the Toronto Public Service, you will play a valuable role in delivering quality services to a diverse population of about 2.8 million people. To learn more about joining our great team, visit us online.




William Osler Health committed to staff training

obert Bouchard is a registered nurse with William Osler Health System’s Brampton Civic Hospital and works in a very busy emergency department--one that treats 350 to 400 patients in a typical day. But he manages to keep current on new treatments, medications and other health care innovations thanks to Osler’s commitment to staff training and education. “The hospital invests in us in many ways to make us better professionals so we can deliver quality care and give back to the community,” says Bouchard.

“Keeping our staff trained and supported is a big part of how we ensure that Osler continues to attract and retain the best and brightest.” – Christine Nuernberger, Joint VP of HR & Organizational Development

Osler is one of Ontario’s largest community hospitals and serves a rapidly growing and diverse population of 1.3 million people through its three facilities – Brampton Civic Hospital, Etobicoke General Hospital and the Peel Memorial Centre for Integrated Health and Wellness (currently under construction and slated for completion in fall 2016). “A huge part of being attracted to health care is accepting a vocation and a career that is constantly changing, ever-evolving and fast-paced,” says Christine Nuernberger, Joint Vice-President of Human Resources

and Organizational Development. “Keeping our staff trained and supported is a big part of how we ensure that Osler continues to attract and retain the best and brightest.”

Osler was Shameeza Kassamali’s first choice as a place to work after she graduated with a nursing degree three years ago. She had done a preceptorship or clinical rotation in the emergency department at an Osler hospital during her final year of university and decided it would be an ideal place to launch her career. She started as a ward nurse, but moved to emergency at Brampton Civic as soon as the opportunity arose. “I got to see what emergency was like before I graduated and liked the experience you get and how much support we get,” says Kassamali. “We’re constantly learning new things. We have two registered nurse educators who provide us with a lot of training.” Osler employs in-house educators and trainers to ensure that all its professionals--not just nurses--stay current on new treatments, medications and best practices, says Nuernberger. Some of it takes place in a classroom setting in Osler’s Centre of Clinical Excellence, but a good deal of it occurs on the units. “We’re a busy community hospital and we have to be creative to ensure that our clinical educators bring their experience and knowledge to staff,” she adds. “It can’t just happen in a classroom. Educators are frequently out on the floor doing daily performance huddles or hosting lunch and learns. They offer the type of interactive learning that is very applicable and practical.” Osler also has an online learning






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management system that allows staff to keep current on new developments in their fields at their discretion. This tool also allows Osler to administer and track the delivery of important information for staff, including patient safety and privacy issues. Osler also invests in developing its leaders at all levels. “We offer

educational support both in-house and for staff who are pursuing opportunities outside the organization and can bring new skills back into the workplace,” says Nuernberger. “It’s important that the team is continually building upon their competencies, ready to lead and apply those skills to innovate, problem solve, collaborate and provide patient-inspired care.”

Call for Applications If you are an exceptional employer in the Greater Toronto Area, we invite you to submit an application for next year’s edition of Greater Toronto’s Top Employers. For more information, please visit:


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Greater Toronto's Top Employers (2015)  
Greater Toronto's Top Employers (2015)  

Official announcement magazine for Greater Toronto's Top Employers (2015), published in The Globe and Mail on December 8, 2014.