<i>Canada's 10 Most Admired Corporate Cultures</i>

75 per cent of executives said cultural fit more important than skills when hiring

Organizations with outstanding corporate culture perform better than other organizations, according to Waterstone Human Capital's Canadian Corporate Culture Study.

"The performance of Canada's 10 Most Admired Corporate Cultures of 2009, in terms of three-year compounded annual revenue growth, has significantly outpaced the S&P/TSX by an average of over 300 per cent," said Marty Parker, managing director of Waterstone Human Capital, an executive search and human capital consulting firm.

"This proves that an outstanding corporate culture has a significant impact on performance, and that culture is an incredibly valuable asset."

Canada's 10 Most Admired Corporate Cultures is compiled based on Waterstone's Canadian Corporate Culture Study, a survey of 500 senior Canadian executives. At the end of the questionnaire, respondents are asked to nominate Canadian organizations they most admire in terms of having a corporate culture that impacts performance.

"This year's data reflects the market correction of 2008," said Parker. "What this tells us is that if an organization's culture is strong, even with a major downturn, it outperforms the majority of its peers. In effect, many of these organizations understand that their corporate culture represents a strategic competitive advantage."

The study found 88 per cent of respondents believe their current leadership has led to the evolution of their organization's corporate culture and 82 per cent of respondents said "leading by example" is a key strategy used to align culture.

When it comes to hiring, 75 per cent of executives surveyed said that cultural fit is more important than necessary skills.

"The reason these organizations are outperforming is because of phenomenal leadership and because of the commitment - from the top - to aligning corporate culture. These leaders are focused on behaviour. And behaviour drives results," said Parker.

Canada's 10 Most Admired Corporate Cultures of 2009, in alphabetical order, are:

• Acklands-Grainger Inc.

• Aviva Insurance Company of Canada

• Ceridian Canada Ltd.

• Corus Entertainment

• Fairmont Hotels and Resorts

• GoodLife Fitness

• Medavie Blue Cross

• Starbucks Coffee Canada

• Telus

• Wal-Mart Canada

Four additional special categories were also awarded for organizations that have achieved exceptional performance in their respective sectors.

The special category award recipients for 2009 are:

• Mount Sinai Hospital (Most Admired Corporate Culture - Public Sector)

• Enbridge Inc. (Most Admired Corporate Culture - Energy and Natural Resources)

• Workopolis (Most Admired Corporate Culture - Best Emerging Organization)

• Whole Foods Market (Most Admired Corporate Culture - The Green Award)

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