Canadian HR Reporter

Best Places to Work 2021

Canadian HR Reporter is the national journal of human resource management. It features the latest workplace news, HR best practices, employment law commentary and tools and tips for employers to get the most out of their workforce.

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BEST PLACES TO WORK 2021 SPECIAL REPORT 2 THE range of employee offerings provided by employers across Canada is more than impressive. Gone are the days of basic programs focused on water bottle recognition or posters touting a great culture. Human resources has truly stepped up in rolling out an impressive selection of customizable, nuanced and hard-hitting programs that truly make for the Best Places to Work. Here we speak with three such employers to hear about some of the engaging bene- fits that made them top workplaces. Zurich Canada focuses on engagement, mentoring When Ray Chaaya first joined Zurich Canada in the spring of 2020 as lead for to be one of the most successful programs that people seem to really get excited about" he says. Also popular were virtual volunteering experiences as part of community invest- ment at Zurich Canada. The company partnered with the United Way to help senior citizens isolated by the pandemic. "A lot of our employees were doing things like helping them do online shopping for their groceries, as well as having chats with them every week just so that they were not alone and just to check in on them and see how they were doing," says Chaaya. Another big focus at the insurance company is mentoring, and there are four programs available to employees in Canada: Mentoring@Zurich; Accelerate to support new managers; the Accelerated Development Program (ADP), where participants are matched with senior managers in a speed mentoring event; and the Leadership EngAgement Program (LEAP), where participants are matched with executive leaders in a speed mentoring event. TOP EMPLOYERS FOCUS ON EMPLOYEE SUCCESS employee experience and culture, employee engagement was more about bake sales and small events. But with the pandemic, it "became a business impera- tive to ensure that we still had that sense of culture in this overnight remote environment that happened… to ensure that people still felt like they were part of our community." One of the more popular virtual employee engagement activities proved to be "coffee roulette" to create more informal chatter among colleagues who don't necessarily need to talk together for a business reason. "It's funny, it was one of those programs that didn't involve a lot of work to put together and roll out, and yet has proven CANADIAN WORKERS HAPPY ABOUT WORK EXPERIENCE Source: Argyle "The mentorship program has just taken off… we were overwhelmed with the applications. But we were so excited about the potential opportunity for folks to be involved." Raeleen Manjak, City of Vernon Percentage of workers who say their employer has managed the COVID-19 crisis well 77% Percentage of workers satisfied with their employers 72% Percentage of workers who say that their employer takes care of them 71% Percentage of workers who believe their employer is committed to meeting their expectations 65% Percentage of workers who say that they trust their employer 70%

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