Nearly 10,000 employers were invited to submit applications to the 2019 contest. Winners offer a mix of robust HR practices and community involvement.
"We are seeing more time off for employees to work in the community, more matching funds for their fundraising efforts, more donations in return for employees' volunteer hours – there's more robustness in these programs," says Richard Yerema, managing editor at Mediacorp Canada Inc., which manages the competition.
Yerema's team of editors started by examining the recruitment histories of over 95,000 employers that it tracks for its job-search engine, eluta.ca. From this pool, Mediacorp invited 9,801 employers to submit detailed applications, including a comprehensive review of their operations and HR practices that compares them to others in their industry and region. Employers are graded on eight criteria: physical workplace; work atmosphere and social; health, financial and family benefits; vacation and time off; employee communications; performance management; training and skills development; and community involvement.
The list of winning manufacturers and related suppliers is below, along with their key employee wellness offering:
- 3M Canada (London, Ont.): Annual development month with online training to encourage learning through virtual lessons, videos and panel discussions.
- BASF Canada (Mississauga, Ont.): Two-year rotational professional development program for college students and recent grads.
- Cisco Systems Canada (Toronto): Increased maternity leave top-up payments and parental leave top-up for fathers and adoptive parents.
- Ford Motor Co. of Canada (Oakville, Ont.): Scholarships for employees with university- and collage-age children.
- K+S Potash Canada GP (Saskatoon): PLUS+ time program gives employees 40 hours every year to be used to family appointments, elder care or personal time.
- Mars Inc. (Bolton, Ont.): Mars Ambassador Program gives employees opportunities to work on short-term assignments at international partner companies.
- Nature’s Path Foods Inc. (Richmond, B.C.): Zero-waste target and onsite organic garden for employees.
- PepsiCo Canada (Mississauga): Annual volunteer campaign encourages employees to donate their time to charities.
- Pfizer Canada (Kirkland, Que.): Health benefits extend to retirees, with 100 per cent premiums paid and no age limit.
- Procter & Gamble (Toronto): Annual health risk assessment and mental health awareness events.
- Rio Tinto (Montreal): Training in-house and online with Rio Tinto College, featuring more than 3,000 online training modules.
- Salesforce (Toronto): Feedback app encourages monthly two-way feedback between employees and managers instead of an annual performance review.
- Samsung Electronics Canada (Mississauga): Online “U r Awesome” platform allows employees to nominate, recognize and reward their peers.
- Schneider Electric Canada (Mississauga): Paid personal days used at employees’ discretion to promote work-life balance.
- Toyota Motor Manufacturing Canada (Cambridge, Ont.): Onsite fitness facility, lounge, quiet room, walking trails, sports facilities and community garden.
- Xerox Canada (Toronto): Philanthropy program for financial assistance to non-profit organizations where employees regularly volunteer their time.
Doing good in the community can prove inspiring to employees or potential applicants – particularly young people – who want to feel they are working for a higher purpose than their day-to-day role, says Yerema. And it enhances the employer's reputation in society at large. "But an employer's commitment to the community where it operates must be authentic and genuine," he says. "Today's generation can figure out everything an employer has done in five minutes on their phone – the scrutiny is rigorous and job seekers are more selective."
Community involvement is not the only trend visible in this year's list of Canada's Top 100 Employers. Anthony Meehan, publisher at Mediacorp, notes that the federal government in late 2017 extended maternity and parental leave to 18 months from one year. Meehan says he expects to see more employers follow suit in coming years, as they did when such benefits were first introduced. "As society changes, organizations with an ear to the ground are paying attention and supporting these changes internally," he says.
Employers interested in next year's competition may request an application online. View the full list, which was published in a special supplement to The Globe and Mail, here.