Want a Winning Organizational Culture? Tips From Canada’s Top Employers

Top Workplace Culture Award CeremonyCanadian economists got it all wrong when it came to the job numbers in April 2019. The median economist forecast was for 12,500 new jobs. Instead, the market place rocked it generating 106,500 positions! That’s the good news. The bad news, the national unemployment rate is now 5.7 percent and we haven’t seen it this low since November of 1974.

It’s looking more and more like a candidate market. The challenge of attracting the best talent continues to heat up. And more and more companies are not only recognizing the benefits of a great culture, they are embracing the competitive advantage in a very public way.

Which List are You On?

Best of The Best SealWhile top companies used to be measured by revenues, profits and assets the focus is shifting.  The number of Top Employer Lists is growing every year. One of the earliest competitions was created by Mediacorp 19 years ago with their Canada Top 100 Employers publication.

Today, their list includes top companies both nationally and regionally. They also promote specialty lists like the best place to work for young people. Did you make the 2019 winner list? Forbes also has their annual ranking of Canada’s best employers with their own methodology.

The Gold Standard, The New Standard

There’s no question that the gold standard top employer lists to be on are generated by the Great Place to Work organization. Not only do you get on one of the most recognized lists globally, but your organization actually gets certified through their process. Their lists are numerous including by geography, by industry, best places to work for women, and even the best workplaces for giving back. Another benefit of being certified with GPTW is that you get to benchmark yourself against their database.

Linkedin Social Icon And now LinkedIn has jumped into the fray with their lists. Using data collected on their platform they’ve come up with Top 25 Employers for a number of countries, including Canada. All of this to say the number of winning lists promoting top employers is growing like weeds.

3 Tips to be a Winner

  1. Apply to get on a list. You can’t imagine the number of companies that don’t even have this on their radar. Or maybe, you’re just not that confident in your workplace culture? What does that say? My regional list of Ottawa’s Top Employers lists 3 of the 6 hospitals. Did the other three fail to apply or are they just not keeping up when it comes to culture? Candidates considering a new employer won’t bother to ask the question, they’ll be bypassing them for organizations that have been publicly recognized as a top employer.
  2. Research the criteria for the various awards. I’m not suggesting you cheat the system, but rather find one that complements your situation. Start local for example. If getting this award is the stimulus for improving your culture, it can only be a positive impact for your employees.
  3. Go public. There’s no point in being a top employer and keeping it a secret. One of my clients in Montreal proudly displays its awards: Top 100 Small & Medium Employers, and Career Directory – Best Employers for Recent Grads. And they haven’t just won these awards once, they’re multiyear winners. To people who work there, and to those who are considering working there, these awards highlight their commitment to workplace culture.

Workplace culture is either your greatest asset or your greatest liability. And it’s also your greatest competitive advantage during this time of low unemployment. If you’re curious about whether you have an award winning culture or not, we can help with an assessment of what’s really going on in your organization. There’s no time like today to find the leaks in your productivity pipeline, create the conditions for your people to do their very best work and retain your top talent!

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