OMERS, Cisco, Keg Restaurants among top 50 employers for 2015

Canadian employees more engaged than global average: Survey

Cisco Canada, OMERS and Keg Restaurants are among the 50 Best Employers for 2015, according to Aon Hewitt, based on data from nearly 350,000 employee and leader surveys from 259 organizations.

The primary requirement for being recognized as a top employer is creating and sustaining a highly engaged workforce. According to Aon Hewitt's definition, employees are engaged when they "say, stay and strive": they speak positively about their employer to others, are committed to staying with their current employer, and are motivated by their organization's leaders, managers, culture and values to "go above and beyond" to contribute to business success.

The survey also measures how well organizations perform in six key areas that influence engagement: employment brand, leadership, performance (how well an organization manages, recognizes and provides opportunities for employees), “the work” (how well an organization equips employees to do their jobs); company practices (leadership development, HR practices, etc.) and “the basics” (including supporting work-life balance).

The Best Employers are really pulling away from the pack when it comes to employee engagement — particularly in employment brand, leadership, performance and “the work” — according to Neil Crawford, partner and leader of Aon Hewitt's Best Employers in Canada study.

Good HR practices and encouraging a good work-life balance are “table stakes” for employees -- necessary but not sufficient to driving engagement. The real gains come from having a reputable employment brand, strong leadership, a commitment to providing recognition and opportunities, and the ability to help employees work better."

High engagement

Canadian employee engagement, at 65 per cent, is higher than the global and U.S. averages (both at 61 per cent), found the Aon Hewitt survey. However, strong employee recognition and providing employees with the right tools to be productive on the job remain challenges to greater engagement.

The average employee engagement at Aon Hewitt Best Employers was 77 per cent, roughly on par with 2014's 78 per cent. (The average for other organizations was 58 per cent.)

Overall, employee satisfaction with most work environment areas was strong, and in several areas — employment brand, collaboration and people/HR practices, for example — satisfaction scores were at 70 per cent or higher, compared with an average of 65 per cent for engagement.

However, employers were given low marks in a handful of areas that remain challenges to better engagement overall, said Aon Hewitt. On recognizing employees beyond pay and benefits, for example, average satisfaction among those surveyed stood at 56 per cent.

On enabling work, the average satisfaction score was just 59 per cent.

"Six years after the global recession, many businesses continue to be risk- and spending-averse," said Crawford. "More is expected from the average employee every day. The slow uptick in business spending on productivity-enhancing tools and processes may be feeding the perception that companies could be doing more to help employees get their work done efficiently. Again, this is an area where we see Aon Hewitt Best Employers pulling away from the pack, and it provides a good opportunity for other companies to focus their efforts and improve engagement."

The 50 Best Employers in Canada of 2015


Aecon Group

Gowling Lafleur Henderson

Allstate Insurance Company of Canada


ATB Financial

Island Savings

Banque Nationale (BN)

Ivanhoe Cambridge

Bennett Jones


Birchwood Automotive Group

Keg Restaurants

British Columbia Automobile Association (BCAA)


Cadillac Fairview

LUSH Fresh Handmade Cosmetics

Canadian Apartment Properties REIT

Maritime Travel

Canadian Western Bank

Marriott Hotels of Canada

Chubb Insurance Company of Canada

McDonald's Restaurants of Canada

Cisco Canada


Clark Builders

Mouvement Desjardins

Concept Group

Novotel Canada

The Co-operators


Davis Automotive Group

Open Road Auto Group

Delta Hotels and Resorts

PCL Constructors

Earls Restaurants

Purdys Chocolatier

Edward Jones

SAP Canada


Starwood Hotels and Resorts Canada

Farm Credit Canada

Stewart McKelvey

Federal Express Canada

Stikeman Elliott

Flight Centre Canada

TD Bank Group

G&K Services Canada


Geo. A. Kelson Company

Westminster Savings Credit Union

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