Revealed! Best Places to Work in Canada 2024 – HRD Canada’s Top Picks

Best Places to Work in Canada 2024 list showcases organizations excelling in employee satisfaction

Revealed! Best Places to Work in Canada 2024 – HRD Canada’s Top Picks
BY HRD staff 11 Jun. 2024

Human Resources Director’s Best Places to Work in Canada 2024 list showcases organizations excelling in employee satisfaction by focusing on healthy work-life balance, open work environments, updated tech tools, team building, and strong coworker relationships. This year, the highlighted companies stood out for prioritizing their employees’ well-being, creating positive and inclusive cultures that enhance the overall employee experience.

Fidelity Investments Canada, with an impressive 87% employee satisfaction rating, has consistently ranked among HRD’s Best Places to Work. The company prioritizes listening to employees, resulting in a thriving culture of celebration and engagement. Fidelity’s initiatives include a subsidized full-service café, extended health and dental benefits, and strong advocacy for commuting solutions.

Diana Godfrey, Senior Vice President of HR and Corporate Affairs, emphasizes, “We try to put ourselves in our employees’ shoes, and we also lobbied our insurance company to extend health and dental benefits past the age of seventy.”

Excellence in employee engagement

Achieving an 82% employee satisfaction rating, The Peak Group of Companies, headquartered in British Columbia, excels in the home renovation and outdoor living products sector. The company’s culture is built on employee well-being, collaboration, and continuous improvement. Employees benefit from an education reimbursement program, cross-functional collaboration opportunities, and a strong emphasis on employee input. The organization supports charitable activities and fosters a family-friendly environment with hybrid work options.

“We care about our team members’ well-being and believe in prioritizing our people,” says Senior Human Resources Generalist Gloria Lam. “All of our staff have been carefully screened and selected to join us, and I think we all share those similar traits.”

With an overall employee satisfaction rating of 84%, the Town of Whitchurch-Stouffville attributes its thriving culture to its dedicated workforce of over 500 staff. Employees praised the relaxed dress code, strong coworker relationships, and excellent pay and benefits. The town promotes communication and transparency through quarterly town halls and wellness initiatives supporting work-life balance. The staff events committee enhances the work environment, organizing events like the employee appreciation day featuring games, balloons, and a poutine food truck.

Claudette Banks, HR Director, notes, “We run numerous events yearly, and we do it because we want staff to feel like coming to work is fun.”

Innovative work cultures
UNFI Canada, a national natural and organic food distributor based in Concord, ON, received a 77% employee satisfaction rating. The company is dedicated to diversity and inclusion, fostering strong coworker relationships, and maintaining high-quality office spaces. UNFI excels in remote and hybrid work arrangements, philanthropic activities, and comprehensive training programs. Employees appreciate open communication from senior leadership and the organization’s innovative approach to new technology and work practices.

Lyn Morgan, Senior Director of Human Resources, states, “When you’re providing sustenance to people, it’s rewarding, and a lot of us get a sense of satisfaction from the type of organization we are.”

Creative Options Regina (COR) is celebrated for its exceptional workplace culture, emphasizing the importance of inclusivity and employee engagement. COR’s innovative approaches and dedication to their mission foster a unique and supportive work environment.

The Alberta School Employee Benefit Plan (ASEBP) is recognized for its employee-focused initiatives and comprehensive benefits. ASEBP’s commitment to wellness and professional development contributes to its high employee satisfaction and engagement.

ECO Canada excels in fostering a dynamic and supportive work environment, with a strong focus on sustainability and employee growth. Their commitment to professional development and environmental stewardship sets them apart as a top employer.

These organizations represent the best of the best, setting benchmarks for others to follow in creating environments where employees thrive and feel valued. Their dedication to employee satisfaction is not only commendable but also a blueprint for building outstanding workplace cultures in Canada.

Read the full article on the HRD website.

New Affordable Housing Units Open In Regina To Support People With Diverse Needs

Individuals with diverse needs have improved access to affordable and accessible housing in Regina thanks to a joint investment from the governments of Canada and Saskatchewan, the City of Regina, and the National Affordable Housing Corporation (NAHC).

Today, Minister of Social Services and Minister Responsible for Saskatchewan Housing Corporation Gene Makowsky, joined representatives from the City of Regina and the NAHC in celebrating the opening of four new affordable housing units in the Rosewood Park neighbourhood of Regina.

The four, three-bedroom stacked townhome units at Plainsview Estates will provide affordable housing and supports for eight individuals experiencing mental health and physical disabilities.

The tenants of the new units will receive in-home support services and connection to community programs from Creative Options Regina. By combining housing with support services, vulnerable individuals can achieve stability and experience life in the community.

Funding provided for the project includes:

$160,000 from SHC through the Rental Development Program funded through the National Housing Strategy – Saskatchewan Priorities Initiative;
$110,500 from NAHC; and
$100,000 from the City of Regina.

Quotes:

“The federal government is working with provinces to ensure we address the housing needs across Canada,” Minister of Northern Affairs and Minister responsible for PrairiesCan Dan Vandal on behalf of The Minister of Housing, Infrastructure and Communities Minister Sean Fraser said. “Providing Saskatchewanians with access to safe, affordable homes and the support and services they need is a priority, and this is only possible through the hard work and collaboration of all our partners. I am thrilled to welcome these families into their new homes today, and I wish them all the best as they embark on this new chapter in their lives.”

 

“Our government is very proud to be a part of this important project that makes a difference in the lives of people with unique housing needs,” Makowsky said. “These new housing units give residents more than just a safe and affordable place to live; they also offer a support system, a connection to the community and an opportunity for residents to reach their full potential.”

 

“The City of Regina is grateful for the federal and provincial governments’ investment in our city, and we are pleased to partner with them to not only expand housing options for individuals experiencing disability, but also to create a space where they can connect and thrive,” City of regina Mayor Sandra Masters said. “By offering safe and accessible homes along with essential support services through Creative Options Regina, we are fostering a stronger, more inclusive community in Regina.”

 

“Expanding our affordable rentals to persons served by our partners at Creative Options Regina (COR) was an easy decision for the NAHC,” National Affordable Housing Corporation Chief Executive Officer Tyler Mathies said. “COR is well-known for supporting successful independence through in-home living for persons with intellectual disabilities in the community and thanks to this collaboration, eight persons supported by COR now have access to some of the highest quality affordable housing in the province. There is a growing and desperate need for safe, independent supportive living housing in Regina. Thanks to contributions from CMHC, SHC, and the City of Regina, we are demonstrating what is possible when we work together to create new and inclusive solutions to address affordable housing gaps in our community.”

 

“Working together with the National Affordable Housing Corporation has allowed the people we support to secure safe, accessible and most importantly, affordable housing, in a developing neighbourhood where they can experience community and a true sense of belonging,” Creative Options Regina CEO Michael Lavis said. “We are thrilled to partner and collaborate with an organization that shares similar values and are striving to address housing insecurity for people experiencing disability.”

Quick facts:

  • Canada’s National Housing Strategy (NHS) is a 10-year, $82 plus billion plan that will give more Canadians a place to call home.
    • NHS is built on strong partnerships between the federal, provincial, and territorial governments, and continuous engagement with municipalities, Indigenous governments and organizations, and the social and private housing sectors. It was created after consultations with Canadians from all walks of life, including those who have experienced housing need.
    • All NHS investments delivered by the federal, provincial and territorial governments will respect the key principles of NHS that support partnerships, people and communities.
  • In 2019, the Government of Canada and the Government of Saskatchewan entered into an agreement through the National Housing Strategy. The Canada-Saskatchewan Bilateral Agreement will invest $585 million over 10 years, which is cost matched between the federal and provincial governments.
  • All funding provided under the NHS is cost-shared 50/50 by the federal and provincial governments across a broad spectrum of programs. While funding under the Rental Development Program (RDP) may reflect a 100 per cent federal contribution, other programs delivered under the NHS- SP may be 100 per cent provincially funded.
  • The RDP prioritizes funding to develop affordable rental housing for households who are “hard-to-house” in Saskatchewan with incomes under the Saskatchewan Household Income Maximums (SHIM)-Low. The RDP may fund up to 70 per cent of a project’s capital cost.
  • NAHC is a non-profit organization that works with private home builders, government units and other non-profit organizations to facilitate the construction of affordable housing units in Saskatchewan. Since 2020, SHC have worked with NAHC to develop 45 affordable housing units (including this project) in Saskatoon and Regina, through the RDP.
  • The tenants will be receiving support services from COR, an organization that develops personalized support services for people experiencing a wide range of disabilities. They offer in-home personalized supports through their Supportive Living Program and wayfinding supports through their Daytime Program.

Read the full Press Release on the Government of Saskatchewan’s Website.

National Post: Championing a gentle approach to culture

Championing a gentle approach to culture

When Amanda Clarke joined Creative Options Regina (COR) to take on the new role of director of people and culture in 2019, she knew there was something special about the organization. “I discovered I can go to work, have fun, and know at the end of the day know that I am working on something more meaningful,” says Clarke, who is now chief culture officer. COR is a winner in the Canada’s Most Admired Corporate Cultures Awards’ Non-Profit and Broader Public Sector category.

Launched in Regina in 2009, COR serves a distinct role in the non-profit sector. It develops personalized support services for people experiencing disability. Rather than running group homes or placing individuals into programs, COR supports people living in their own homes, where they can discover their own talents and interests, live according to their own values, and strive to reach their personal goals.

What stood out for Clarke from the outset is the culture, she says. “The biggest change for me is the support of the people we work alongside day to day. That makes a huge difference in today’s workplace. While I am not on the front lines, our culture is also about serving our employees, bringing people together in a meaningful way, and building future leaders.”

Since its inception, the organization has embraced the philosophy of gentle teaching as an alternative approach to supporting people with disabilities. This culture of gentleness — which focuses on nurturing, teaching and sustaining the experience of connectedness, companionship and community — is woven into all aspects of the organization, from the people it hires and mentors, to the people supported and their family members.

“Gentle teaching is not just for the people we support, but for everybody,” says Clarke. “At the heart of it all is the connections with people. Our team is making a difference for each other and the lives of the people we support. That’s why we are all very passionate about what we do.”

COR also prides itself on its diversity. Currently, its employees represent upwards of 50 nationalities, many of whom recommend friends and family members to apply. “We have never had to advertise a position,” says Casey Sakires, employee experience advisor. “Our hires have all been by word of mouth. In fact, COR has never posted a frontline caregiver position. In the past year alone, we have received more that 450 applications.”

Diversity is recognized and nurtured in the form of panel discussions, special luncheons and celebrations of festivals near and dear to employees, such as Ramadan, Diwali and Indigenous rituals. As Dhwani Purohit, a team leader, noted, “I was never able to share or experience Diwali in Canada. The way COR has celebrated Diwali — including support with lights, decorations, food and, most amazingly, all the guests participating in traditional dance from my (Gujarat side Garba) — was an experience which I would never be able to share without COR.”

“The events highlighting people’s journeys are eye-opening and educational for everyone,” notes Clarke. “We can see the joy in them being able to share their stories with an audience. It’s the culture that makes it possible. Hiring for fit is integral to sustaining COR’s culture, says Sakires. “A culture that makes people feel safe is so important in building relationships.”Understanding individual personal values and how they align with COR’s values is the primary focus of the first interview, he explains. “We are looking for that value set — in essence people who want to make a difference in someone’s life and be that consistent person for the people we support and serve. Most of the people we do hire don’t have care experience but do have the heart and the values that make COR a success.”

Every new hire’s journey starts with 30 hours of shadowing and up to three months of mandatory training in the fundamentals of gentle teaching, working with people with complex health needs, and learning about critical areas such as mental health support and suicide prevention.

Within the first three months, employees also participate in a full-day orientation led by the CEO and COO to deepen their understanding of the history of COR, and the culture in which it embraces. During onboarding, employees are registered for training programs emphasizing health and safety, including mental health, stress management and coping skills. COR’s train-the-trainer approach delivers over 20 nationally recognized trainings offered in-house to all employees on paid time. COR also offers incentives throughout the year, from bonuses and swag to personalized notes and appreciation days.

In 2023, the organization launched the COR Academy, an initiative that focuses on COR’s renewed vision to influence care more broadly. Through the COR Academy, training and development programs are offered to the broader community, alongside COR employees. The initiative also focuses on individual and organizational mentorship, offering both internal and external mentorship from experienced leaders. “People feel valued when we invest in developing their potential,” says Clarke.

“We are just at the initial stage of developing the academy,” she adds. “There is a lot of potential to reach a lot of people doing a lot of great things. We have an opportunity to influence others in a different way of thinking about care.”

Another critical element of its culture is the health and wellness support. “Psychological support in our field is important,” says Clarke. “Because caregiving is an emotionally demanding role, sometimes they may need to reduce hours or have additional access to mental health resources. We understand that if we treat our caregivers well, we know the people we serve will be well cared for.”

The numbers tell a compelling story. COR’s yearly annual turnover rate has remained between four and 10 per cent since its inception — an impressive feat considering the average for the sector exceeds 35 per cent annually.

COR is also a consistent presence in the community at large. “A great deal of the team’s efforts are spent connecting with community,” says Sakires. He stresses that all charitable programs are employee-driven and based on interest, which drives strong participation and engagement. In the past year alone, COR employees have supported over 20 different non-profit/community organizations.

Community relationships include COR’s 4to40 inclusive employment initiative that works with businesses to champion the inclusion of people experiencing intellectual disability, a joint venture with the University of Regina in supporting diversity, equity, inclusion and belonging (DEIB) strategies of fellow Saskatchewan businesses.

In 2020, COR launched a “Short Breaks” initiative with Inclusion Regina and the City of Regina to address the need for quality programming in a safe, supportive environment for family care providers. The organization also partners with Indigenous educational programs, band offices and cultural groups. In 2021, COR developed an Indigenous culture advisor position, and all employees are enrolled in both Indigenous awareness and diversity training.

“All of these efforts strengthen our diversity and enrich our community connections,” says Sakires. Tara Osipoff, vice chair of the Creative Options Regina board, notes “I’ve witnessed firsthand the profound impact of the gentle teaching practice at COR. It’s a practice that illuminates the culture with compassion and understanding, fostering an environment where both the people we serve and our dedicated employees feel valued, respected and loved. This nurturing atmosphere not only supports growth and healing but also empowers everyone involved to reach their full potential. It’s truly heartwarming to see the difference the gentle teaching philosophy makes through kindness and patience, reinforcing our belief that caring for one another with gentleness is the most powerful tool we have.”

Read the Article on the National Post Website.

Proud to be named a Finalist in the 2024 Paragon Awards: Diversity and Inclusion

The Regina & District Chamber of Commerce (RDCC) marked an important milestone on April 12, 2024 with the 25th Annual Paragon Awards, a celebration of Regina’s most outstanding businesses.

“For the past 25 years the Chamber has recognized exceptional members in our business community and this year’s winners are prime examples of local leaders and innovators who have displayed determination and impressive character in challenging economic times,” said Tony Playter, CEO of the Regina & District Chamber of Commerce.

COR proud to be named a Finalist in the Diversity and Inclusion category.

COR recognized as one of Saskatchewan’s Top Employers (2024)

Big city benefits, an affordable cost of living and time for life beyond the workplace: ‘Saskatchewan’s Top Employers’ for 2024 are announced

REGINA, March 12, 2024 – With its young and dynamic workforce, affordable cost of living and strong economy, Saskatchewan is increasingly identified as an ideal place to build a career with a healthy work-life balance. Employers in the province are responding by taking notice of the leading workplace initiatives and benefits from across the country to entice more people to province’s attractive labour market. The best of these stories were recognized today as Saskatchewan’s Top Employers (2024) were announced by Mediacorp Canada Inc., organizers of the annual Canada’s Top 100 Employers project.

“Saskatchewan has seen a steady increase in new residents, who are attracted to an affordable place where they can put down roots and improve their quality of life,” says Richard Yerema, executive editor at the Canada’s Top 100 Employers project. “Increasingly, your workplace is not limited by geography and Saskatchewan offers the perfect middle ground – literally and figuratively – between both ends of the country. It’s no surprise that people from across the country have identified Saskatchewan as an ideal place to have a satisfying career with a high quality of life.”

Saskatchewan is renowned for offering residents a healthy work-life balance, while providing the advantages of a growing economy. Employers in Saskatchewan have taken notice of the benefits and workplace programs offered elsewhere in Canada to ensure they are competitive nationally. This combination of top-notch benefits and workplace programs along with enviable lifestyle options beyond the workplace has helped this year’s winners attract and retain the talented employees they need to thrive.

“Feeling connected to others and experiencing a true sense of community is a huge part of the draw for Saskatchewan,” adds Yerema. “So many Canadians are searching for a place to live that’s affordable, while still offering the ability to build a fulfilling life outside the workplace. Winning employers in Saskatchewan understand these challenges and are focused on helping their employees achieve those dreams.”

Now in its 19th year, Saskatchewan’s Top Employers is a special designation that recognizes Saskatchewan employers that lead their industries in offering exceptional places to work. Editors at Mediacorp review employers on eight criteria, which have remained consistent since the2 project’s inception: (1) Workplace; (2) Work Atmosphere & Social; (3) Health, Financial & Family Benefits; (4) Vacation & Time Off; (5) Employee Communications; (6) Performance Management; (7) Training & Skills Development; and (8) Community Involvement. The editors publish detailed ‘reasons for selection’ for these criteria, providing transparency in the selection of winners and a catalogue of best practices for employers and job-seekers alike. The competition is open to any employer with its head office or principal place of business located within the province of Saskatchewan.

Founded in 1992, Mediacorp Canada Inc. is the nation’s largest publisher of employment periodicals. Since 1999, the Toronto-based publisher has managed the Canada’s Top 100 Employers project, which includes 19 regional and special-interest editorial competitions that reach millions of Canadians annually through a variety of magazine and newspaper partners, including The Globe and Mail. Mediacorp also operates Eluta.ca, one of Canada’s largest job search engines, used by millions of job-seekers annually to find new job postings and discover what the nation’s best employers are offering.

The full list of Saskatchewan’s Top Employers (2024) was announced today in a special magazine co-published with the Saskatoon StarPhoenix and the Regina-Leader Post. Detailed ‘reasons for selection’ for each of this year’s winners, as well as stories and photos about their initiatives, were released today by the editors and are accessible via the competition homepage.

 

 

Saskatchewan’s Top Employers 2024 Winners

3sHealth / Health Shared Services Saskatchewan, Regina

Access Communications Co-operative Ltd., Regina

Andgo Systems, Saskatoon

Bourgault Industries Ltd., St. Brieux

Canpotex Limited, Saskatoon

Cornerstone Credit Union Financial Group Ltd., Yorkton

Creative Options Regina, Inc., Regina

eHealth Saskatchewan, Regina

First Nations Bank of Canada, Saskatoon3

Group Medical Services / GMS Insurance Inc., Regina

Information Services Corporation / ISC, Regina

ISM, Regina

Lakefield LLP, Saskatoon

Legal Aid Saskatchewan, Saskatoon

MLT Aikins LLP, Regina

Nutrien Ltd., Saskatoon

Ranch Ehrlo Society, Regina

Saskatchewan Apprenticeship and Trade Certification Commission, Regina

Saskatchewan Blue Cross, Saskatoon

Saskatchewan Crop Insurance Corporation / SCIC, Melville

Saskatchewan Indian Gaming Authority / SIGA, Saskatoon

Saskatchewan Polytechnic, Saskatoon

Saskatchewan Teachers’ Federation, Saskatoon

Saskatchewan Workers’ Compensation Board, Regina

Saskatoon Police Service, Saskatoon

SaskEnergy Incorporated, Regina

SaskPower, Regina

SaskTel, Regina

Synergy Credit Union Ltd., Lloydminster

Vendasta Technologies Inc., Saskatoon

Safe, affordable, and inclusive: A blueprint for community-centered housing in Regina

NATIONAL AFFORDABLE HOUSING CORPORATION
FEBRUARY 28, 2024

Creative Options Regina has helped the people they support to find housing for some years now, developing one-on-one relationships with landlords who offer discounts, and they’ve partnered with a group of 10 families who invested in building a condo building for their children that provides supportive living.

“We’re always looking for partnerships, especially ones that are safe and affordable,” says Jessica Fraser, Supportive Living Coordinator at COR. “But that can be tricky — if it’s affordable, it might not be in a safe location. The folks we serve are considered vulnerable.”

COR is a charitable organization that develops personalized support services for people experiencing disability. The organization supports people living in their own homes and helps individuals discover their talents and interests so they can live according to their values and reach their personal goals.

As of publishing their 2023 annual report, they had 30 people living in supported living and 58 people receiving home support. However, Fraser said their numbers and the need for safe and affordable housing have grown since then.

COR first connected with the National Affordable Housing Corporation while working with Inclusion Saskatchewan to help someone living in Regina find housing in Saskatoon. NAHC has been working with Inclusion Sask since 2020 to house people with intellectual disabilities.

So when NAHC had plans to build more townhouse rentals in Regina, connecting with COR again was a natural fit.

Fraser says the partnership with NAHC is unique because the rent is so affordable, and the buildings are brand new in an up-and-coming neighbourhood in the city.

“People are paying affordable rent that aligns with their SAID benefits, so that in itself is a success,” Fraser said.

Community-based

Fraser says the NAHC is a good fit for a partnership because it is “person-centred,” looking at the needs of the individual and asking how to make the community fit the person rather than how to make the person fit into the community.

“They’re really community-based,” Fraser said. “The renters aren’t segregated from the rest of the market rent folks; they get to be part of the community.”

Adina Wilson is the Director of Tenant Inclusion & Support at the NAHC and Real Life Rentals and agrees that creating a sense of community for program participants is critical to its success.

“They’re living in a regular community where they’re accepted, valued and seen as regular neighbours, just like other people in the complex,” Wilson said. “That helps them build self-esteem and helps them feel valued and empowered.”

She also says the program hasn’t only benefited the individuals living there, it has also benefited the community.

“Successful programs like this demonstrate creative inclusivity that encourages understanding, develops better empathy and celebrates the positive contributions all can make; we’ve broken some of the stigmas down with our inclusive housing model,” Wilson said.

“It’s been nice to see community members in the different complexes treating everyone with so much kindness and acceptance.”

Neighbours have asked program participants to pet sit, or water plants and check a neighbour’s unit when they’re away.

“Those are huge things,” Wilson said. “When you have a community that you belong to and feel valued in, it’s really important. … It’s neat to watch that develop naturally and organically because we all need community and human connection.”

It’s also handy for multiple people from the COR community to be living in the same development  — several people COR supported who previously had never met took the opportunity to get to know each other when they moved in.

Building trust

Building solid relationships is vital when supporting vulnerable individuals with complex needs; many have stories of facing barriers or discrimination when it comes to finding housing.

“If they can learn to trust the people around them, it will create better opportunities and chances for success,” Wilson said. “When obstacles and challenges arise, they’ll be more forthcoming about letting us know.”

Wilson has regular communication with the tenants and Fraser at COR. Since Wilson works out of Saskatoon, she especially appreciates having COR staff on the ground with the tenants in Regina.

“We wouldn’t be able to do this in Regina without COR right there,” she said. “When you have a solid partner willing to work cooperatively, it’s very valuable.”

COR and NAHC work together if any issues arise, and Fraser with COR says she feels confident that if there’s a problem, they can figure out a solution together.

“We want this to work, and we want everyone to be successful in their housing,” Fraser said. “We want to say, this person is experiencing a challenge — how can we assist them?”

In one case, two roommates asked for assistance cleaning and organizing their home. The NAHC found a professional organizer to work with them for a few months and provide coaching to develop new cleaning habits and practical skills. After the work was complete, the tenants said they experienced a sense of accomplishment and commented that the help made their home environment more comfortable and enjoyable.

“Partnerships are really about people being able to collaborate and share their ideas and being heard,” Fraser said.

There are currently four units with eight COR clients living in them, and more units for COR will be available with the completion of Hawkstone Estates in late summer or early fall 2024.

“I would love to have more folks living in these homes,” Fraser said. “I would love for all the folks I support to have affordable housing as they expand in Regina.”

This Affordable & Supportive Independent Living- Sector Transformation Model for Individuals with Mental Health Challenges project received funding from the Community Housing Transformation Centre (the Centre); however, the views expressed are the author’s personal views, and the Centre accepts no responsibility for them.

Click to view the full article.

COR Named One of Canada’s Most Admired Award Winners (2023)

Announcing the 2023 Canada’s Most Admired Corporate Cultures™, Canada’s Most Admired CEO™, and Canada’s Most Admired CPCO™ Winners

TORONTONov. 23, 2023 /CNW/ – Waterstone Human Capital, Canada’s leading cultural talent advisory firm, has announced the 2023 winners of the Canada’s Most Admired Corporate Cultures™, Canada’s Most Admired CEO™, and Canada’s Most Admired Chief People and Culture Officer™ (CPCO) program. This national program recognizes best-in-class Canadian organizations, CEOs, and CPCOs for fostering high performance corporate cultures that help sustain a competitive advantage.

“The 2023 Canada’s Most Admired award recipients exemplify how culture drives performance, especially in the face of economic uncertainty and other recruitment and retention challenges,” says Marty Parker, President and CEO of Waterstone Human Capital and Chair of the Canada’s Most Admired™ program. “This year’s winners are leveraging culture to drive growth and success in today’s highly competitive talent market through the acquisition, retention, and optimization of high-performance leaders, teams, and corporate cultures.”

Award winners are recognized in five categories including Enterprise, Mid-Market, Growth, Emerging, and the Non-Profit and Broader Public Sector. New for 2023, Waterstone Human Capital launched the Canada’s Most Admired CPCO™ Awards, which shine a spotlight on CPCOs across Canada who drive the people and talent strategy of their organizations to achieve exceptional growth and performance. The Canada’s Most Admired CEO program has also grown to include a Social Purpose Innovator award, given out in partnership with MacKay CEO Forums.

“This year’s winning leaders and organizations actively craft culture in alignment with their purpose and values every day, and help drive culture as competitive advantage,” says Parker. “On behalf of Waterstone Human Capital and our partners, we look forward to celebrating this year’s winners and the impact culture is having on their success.”

Canada’s Most Admired™ CEOs of 2023

  • Enterprise: Curtis Stange, President and CEO, ATB Financial (Edmonton, AB)
  • Mid-Market: Ratana Stephens, Co-Founder and CEO (Retired), Nature’s Path Foods (Richmond, BC)
  • Growth: Chief Terry Paul, CEO, Membertou Development Corporation (Membertou, NS)
  • EmergingRebecca Kacaba, CEO and Co-Founder, DealMaker (Toronto, ON)
  • Non-Profit and Broader Public Sector: Jennifer Gillivan, President and CEO, IWK Foundation (Halifax, NS)
  • MacKay CEO Forums Social Purpose Innovator: Rob Miller, CEO and Co-Founder, Miller Titerle Law Corporation (Vancouver, BC)

Canada’s Most Admired™ CPCOs of 2023

  • Enterprise: Norm Sabapathy, Executive Vice President, People, Communications and Technology, Cadillac Fairview Corporation (Toronto, ON)
  • Mid-Market: Cheryl Kerrigan, Chief People Officer, BlueCat (Toronto, ON)
  • Growth: Christine Vigna, Chief People Officer, Dejero Labs Inc. (Waterloo, ON)
  • Emerging: Stephanie Silver, VP, People and Culture, North Strategic, Notch Video and MSL Group (Toronto, ON)
  • Non-Profit and Broader Public Sector: Shaun Simms, Chief People, Communications and Strategy Officer, Ottawa Community Housing (Ottawa, ON)

Canada’s Most Admired Corporate Cultures of 2023 – Enterprise

  • AstraZeneca Canada (Mississauga, ON)
  • Bruce Power (Tiverton, ON)
  • Canadian Western Bank Financial Group (Edmonton, AB)
  • Celestica (Toronto, ON)
  • High Liner Foods (Lunenburg, NS)
  • Loblaw Companies Limited (Brampton, ON)
  • Maple Leaf Foods (Mississauga, ON)
  • Purolator (Mississauga, ON)
  • SAP Canada (Toronto, ON)
  • STEMCELL Technologies (Vancouver, BC)

Canada’s Most Admired Corporate Cultures of 2023 – Mid-Market

  • Behaviour Interactive (Montreal, QC)
  • D2L Corporation (Kitchener, ON)
  • East Side Games (Vancouver, BC)
  • First West Credit Union (Langley, BC)
  • G Adventures (Toronto, ON)
  • Interac Corp (Toronto, ON)
  • Massilly North America Inc. (Brantford, ON)
  • Monos (North Vancouver, BC)
  • Odlum Brown Limited (Vancouver, BC)
  • Rümi Powered by ATCO (Calgary, AB)

Canada’s Most Admired Corporate Cultures of 2023 – Growth

  • Big Blue Bubble Inc. (London, ON)
  • Centra Windows (Langley, BC)
  • Det’on Cho Group of Companies (Yellowknife, NT)
  • East Coast Credit Union (Dartmouth, NS)
  • Hazelview Investments (Toronto, ON)
  • HomeStars (Toronto, ON)
  • Igloo Software (Kitchener, ON)
  • Inline Group Inc. (Edmonton, AB)
  • Loopio (Toronto, ON)
  • Xperigo (Markham, ON)

Canada’s Most Admired Corporate Cultures of 2023 – Emerging 

  • Gestisoft Inc. (Montreal, QC)
  • Henderson Partners LLP (Oakville, ON)
  • Iversoft Solutions Inc. (Orleans, ON)
  • Kognitive Tech Inc. (Toronto, ON)
  • Kudos® (Calgary, AB)
  • Numinus Wellness (Vancouver, BC)
  • Pagefreezer (Vancouver, BC)
  • PurposeMed (Calgary, AB)
  • SureCall (Calgary, AB)
  • The Poirier Group (Toronto, ON)

Canada’s Most Admired Corporate Cultures of 2023 – Non-Profit and Broader Public Sector

  • BCAA (Burnaby, BC)
  • Canuck Place Children’s Hospice (Vancouver, BC)
  • Creative Options Regina (Regina, SK)
  • Egg Farmers of Canada (Ottawa, ON)
  • Kids Help Phone (Toronto, ON)
  • NorQuest College (Edmonton, AB)
  • Ottawa Community Housing (Ottawa, ON)
  • Scarborough Health Network (Scarborough, ON)
  • Standards Council of Canada (Ottawa, ON)
  • Vancouver Airport Authority (Richmond, BC)

Awards Celebration

The Canada’s Most Admired Corporate Cultures™, Canada’s Most Admired CEO™, and Canada’s Most Admired CPCO™ awards will be presented at an awards celebration in Toronto on Thursday, April 18, 2024.

For more information, visit: canadasmostadmired.com

Proud Recipient of the Canadian Positive Psychology Association Workplace Well-Being Award (2023)

On November 21, 2023, our team proudly accepted the Canadian Positive Psychology Association Workplace Well-Being Award in the non-profit/charity category! Thank you for recognizing and celebrating our workplace well-being initiatives as we continue to nurture a culture of gentleness in the workplace and strive to influence cultures of support across Canada.

Learn more: https://cppa.ca/cwwa2023/

Nonprofit/charity:

  • Canuck Place Children’s Hospice (Vancouver, BC)
  • Creative Options Regina (Regina, SK)
  • Kids Help Phone (Toronto, ON)

Small public/private sector organizations:

  • Sklar Wilton and Associates (Toronto, ON)
  • PulseLearning (Fredericton, NB)

Large public/private sector:

  • Best Buy (Vancouver, BC)
  • Cenovus Energy (Calgary, AB)
  • Gorman Group (West Kelowna, BC)
  • TransLink (Vancouver, BC)
  • BMO (Toronto, ON)

COR recognized as one of Canada’s Top 100 Employers (2024)

Stronger DNA, constantly changing: ‘Canada’s Top 100 Employers’ for 2024 are announced.

TORONTO, Nov. 17, 2023 – As Canadians increasingly recognize, many of the traditional workplace practices that existed before the pandemic seem destined never to return. The ‘new normal’ at the nation’s best employers is now to be always looking forward, ensuring their organizations stay flexible, adaptable, and focused on constant improvement. That’s the message from the winners of this year’s Canada’s Top 100 Employers competition, announced today by Mediacorp Canada Inc.

“This year’s winners have shown a clear focus on three key pillars: creating new ways of working, anticipating employees’ needs, and focusing on future skills development,” says Kristina Leung, managing editor of the Canada’s Top 100 Employers project. “There’s been a lot of conversation around whether we will ever return to pre-pandemic work norms, but for top employers, there’s no looking back – only forward. The best employers have emerged from the pandemic with stronger DNA and constantly change to improve their workplaces.”

This year’s winners understand that retention and employee satisfaction isn’t something that just happens, but something they actively need to develop and improve. These employers anticipate employees’ needs before they become a necessity and make improvements continuously.

“Winning employers inherently understand that there is no one-size-fits-all solution,” says Richard Yerema, executive editor of the Canada’s Top 100 Employers project. “The best employers have always been adaptable and proactive when listening to what employees need, want and value in doing their jobs.” He adds, “This has been especially important over the past few years, with employees working overtime to manage the challenges and rapid change in work styles, while ensuring their organizations stay relevant and thrive.”

Since the pandemic, there has also been increased attention to health and safety issues in the workplace, particularly around mental health. This heightened awareness has led to new health and safety initiatives for onsite staff as well as employees working on hybrid schedules.

Now in its 24th edition, Canada’s Top 100 Employers is an editorial competition that recognizes employers with exceptional human resources programs and forward-thinking workplace policies. Editors at Mediacorp review employers on eight criteria, which have remained consistent since the project’s inception: (1) Workplace; (2) Work Atmosphere & Social; (3) Health, Financial & Family Benefits; (4) Vacation & Time Off; (5) Employee Communications; (6) Performance Management; (7) Training & Skills Development; and (8) Community Involvement. The editors publish detailed ‘reasons for selection’ for these criteria, providing transparency in the selection of winners and a catalogue of best practices for employers and job-seekers alike.

Founded in 1992, Mediacorp Canada Inc. is the nation’s largest publisher of employment periodicals. Since 1999, the Toronto-based publisher has managed the Canada’s Top 100 Employers project, which includes 19 regional and special-interest editorial competitions that reach millions of Canadians annually through a variety of magazine and newspaper partners, including The Globe and Mail. Mediacorp also operates Eluta.ca, one of Canada’s largest job search engines, used by millions of job-seekers annually to find new job postings and discover what the nation’s best employers are offering.

The full list of Canada’s Top 100 Employers (2024) was announced today in a special magazine published by Mediacorp and distributed in The Globe and Mail. Detailed reasons for selection, explaining why each of the winners was chosen, were also released on the competition homepage.

Canada’s Top 100 Employers 2024 Winners

ABB Canada, Saint-Laurent QC
Aboriginal Peoples Television Network Inc. / APTN, Winnipeg MB Adobe Systems Canada Inc., Ottawa ON
Agriculture Financial Services Corporation / AFSC, Lacombe AB ArcelorMittal Dofasco G.P., Hamilton ON
AstraZeneca Canada Inc., Mississauga ON
Bank of Canada, Ottawa ON
BASF Canada Inc., Mississauga ON
Bayer Inc., Mississauga ON
BC Public Service, Victoria BC
BDO Canada LLP, Toronto ON
Bell Canada, Verdun QC
Boston Consulting Group of Canada Limited, Toronto ON
British Columbia Investment Management Corp. / BCI, Victoria BC
Business Development Bank of Canada, Montréal QC CAE Inc., Saint-Laurent QC
Canada Energy Regulator, Calgary AB
Canadian National Railway Company, Montréal QC Canadian Pacific Kansas City / CPKC, Calgary AB Carleton University, Ottawa ON
Cascades Canada Inc., Kingsey Falls QC CIBC, Toronto ON
Citi Canada, Mississauga ON
Clio, Burnaby BC
College of Physicians and Surgeons of British Columbia, The, Vancouver BC Covenant House Vancouver, Vancouver BC
Creative Options Regina, Inc., Regina SK
Danone Canada, Boucherville QC
Dash Hudson Inc., Halifax NS
Dentons Canada LLP, Calgary AB
Desjardins Group / Mouvement Desjardins, Lévis QC
Diamond Schmitt Architects Inc., Toronto ON
Digital Extremes Ltd., London ON
Employment and Social Development Canada, Gatineau QC
Enbridge Inc., Calgary AB
Export Development Canada, Ottawa ON
EY, Toronto ON
Fidelity Canada, Toronto ON
Ford Motor Company of Canada Ltd., Oakville ON
Fowler Bauld & Mitchell Ltd. / FBM, Halifax NS
FreshBooks, Toronto ON
GHD Canada Holdings Inc., Waterloo ON
Graham Construction, Calgary AB
HarperCollins Canada Ltd. and Harlequin Enterprises ULC, Toronto ON Hatch Ltd., Mississauga ON
Hospital for Sick Children, The, Toronto ON
IGM Financial Inc., Winnipeg MB
Imperial Oil Limited, Calgary AB
Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada, Ottawa ON Inter Pipeline Ltd., Calgary AB
Irving Oil, Saint John NB
Kellanova Canada Inc., Mississauga ON
Keurig Dr Pepper Canada, Montréal QC
Keyera Corp., Calgary AB
KPMG LLP, Toronto ON
Labatt Breweries of Canada, Toronto ON
League Inc., Toronto ON
Loblaw Companies Ltd., Brampton ON
Loopio Inc., Toronto ON
L’Oréal Canada Inc., Montréal QC
Manulife, Toronto ON
Mars Canada, Bolton ON
Mawer Investment Management Ltd., Calgary AB
McElhanney Ltd., Vancouver BC
McMillan LLP, Toronto ON
Medavie Inc., Moncton NB
Medtronic Canada ULC, Brampton ON
Mistplay Inc., Montréal QC
Mondelez Canada Inc., Toronto ON
Nutrien Inc., Saskatoon SK
OpenText Corporation, Waterloo ON
PCL Construction, Edmonton AB
Pomerleau Inc., Montréal QC
Procter & Gamble Inc., Toronto ON
Provincial Credit Union Ltd., Charlottetown PE
Questrade Financial Group, North York ON
Rio Tinto, Montréal QC
Ross Video Ltd., Nepean ON
Royal Bank of Canada, Toronto ON
Samsung Electronics Canada Inc., Mississauga ON
SAP Canada Inc., Vancouver BC
Saputo Inc., Saint-Léonard QC
SaskEnergy Incorporated, Regina SK
Schneider Electric Canada Inc., Mississauga ON
Shell Canada Limited, Calgary AB
Simon Fraser University, Burnaby BC
Sobeys Inc., Mississauga ON
Stryker Canada ULC, Waterdown ON
TD Bank Group, Toronto ON
Teck Resources Limited, Vancouver BC
Toyota Motor Manufacturing Canada Inc. / TMMC, Cambridge ON United Way British Columbia, Burnaby BC
Université de Montréal, Montréal QC
University of New Brunswick / UNB, Fredericton NB
Vancouver City Savings Credit Union, Vancouver BC
Vancouver Coastal Health, Vancouver BC
Verafin Inc., St. John’s NL
West Fraser Timber Co. Ltd., Vancouver BC
World Vision Canada, Mississauga ON
Yukon, Government of, Whitehorse YT

An Empathetic Approach to Workplace Wellbeing: Our Interview with Creative Options Regina

An Empathetic Approach to Workplace Wellbeing: Our Interview with Creative Options Regina

Updated: May 1

CMHA Mental Health Week is all about sharing stories. At Headway, we love sharing stories of how others are making strides to improve mental health in the workplace. Throughout the week, we will be sharing best practises from interviews with experts and leaders working to champion mental health in their organizations. We hope it inspires your team to take action!

In our latest blog, we sat down with Casey Sakires from Creative Options Regina (COR) to learn more about their mental health initiatives and how they are creating a culture of balance and wellness by leading with empathy.

 

Founded in 2009, Creative Options Regina (COR) is a for-impact, charitable organization that develops personalized support services for people experiencing disabilities. They recognize the unique and often emotionally draining circumstances their employees can work under when caring for vulnerable populations day-to-day, leading them to a “care for the caregiver” approach to employee well-being.

We became familiar with COR as a fellow recipient of a Canadian Workplace Wellness Award for excellence in mental health and wellness initiatives. Through our own Headway initiative, we look to shine a spotlight on businesses championing mental health and share best practices to inspire other leaders to take action. We sat down with Casey Sakires, Employee Experience Advisor with COR, to learn more about his company’s balanced approach to wellness and why open, honest dialogue is key to creating a mentally safe environment.

According to Casey, these are some of the initiatives they’ve seen success with:

Judgment-free debriefs.

If someone has had a challenging day, a judgment-free conversation will help them make peace with the emotions inside. Casey mentioned that team members can debrief with anyone they desire from the CEO to directors to coordinators, all judgment-free. This enables a strong support system so employees will not have to suffer in silence and bottle up their emotions which we know can put a strain on our physical and mental health.

Collaboration with community professionals.

COR understands that stress can come from anywhere and prioritizes caring for the caregiver so that they can provide the best care possible for those they serve. This inspired COR to consult with experts in various areas to focus on the holistic health of their supports. For example, finance experts from CPA Saskatchewan, RBC, CIBC, and Leipert Financial conducted sessions to help ease the financial stress that employees were burdened with. It better equipped the teams with financial know-how, and people made real community connections that lived on beyond the sessions, enabling more trust and rapport.

Enabling personal initiatives.

COR takes it upon itself to facilitate well-being in the workplace and enable employees to fulfill their well-being journeys outside of work. To round out the body element of their holistic approach, COR offers employee discounts on gym memberships, yoga classes, and spin classes in collaboration with local businesses. These are done as a fitness bursary everyone can take advantage of to improve their physical health which we know can help ease mental health struggles as well.

When it comes to new learnings, Casey says the shift from in-person to virtual was a learning experience for their team:

When the pandemic hit and the world became unfamiliar, COR learned to rely on its central purpose to guide them. Their central purpose is to ensure people experience connectedness, companionship, and community. They acted through intentional listening and learning directly from employees to better understand their needs and the needs of their loved ones. Knowing what was uniquely important to each member allowed them to respond meaningfully to best support COR employees as they continued to endure the pandemic. During the pandemic and still today, success to COR is knowing that their workforce feels safe and valued, making psychological safety paramount. And while COR managed to stay connected during the pandemic, their employees are glad to be back to interacting more in-person today, as this improves the impact of their wellbeing initiatives that much more.

We want to thank Casey and Creative Options Regina for sharing the ups and downs of their well-being journey. We hope these learnings will inspire your company to consider new ways of working and create a mentally healthier workplace.

Read the full article here.

Designed to inspire action, our Headway Program helps business leaders take the next step toward creating mentally healthy workplaces. Navigating this complex topic can be tough. Our team can help with resources, tools, and a tailored plan based on your unique needs. Email us at headway@sklarwilton.com.