Every year, Mediacorp names Canada’s Top Small & Medium Employers, which are 100 employers with under 500 employees raising the bar in workplace quality, employee satisfaction, and human resource policies.
Excelling in areas like workplace culture, benefits, PTO, employee development, community involvement, and other areas, these employers offer all kinds of insights and lessons to consider applying to your own workplace.
You can read the full results from the competition here, but below are 14 things these top employers are excelling at to attract and retain talent, build a productive and engaged workforce, and support employees both in and outside of work.
Work accommodations and schedules
Offering a variety of work accommodations and schedules, supporting a variety of different employee lifestyles, career stages, and general needs.
- Alida Inc., Vancouver. Customer intelligence software; 290 employees. Adopted a formal and permanent hybrid work program that includes a work-from-home spending account to help employees offset eligible expenses.
- CPCS Transcom Ltd., Ottawa. Transportation consulting; 79 employees. Offers phased-in work options to allow employees nearing retirement to gradually reduce their hours.
- Belliveau Veinotte Inc., Bridgewater, N.S. Accounting; 55 employees. Lets employees work from home when they desire and offers temporary desk stations at all of its office locations.
Paid time off
Offering paid time off for reasons outside of usual vacationing, such as volunteering, taking care of dependents or personal matters, transitioning into a new role, or simply taking a break to recharge.
- CHES Special Risk Inc., Toronto. Specialized insurance; 59 employees. Provides compassionate leave top-up to 100 per cent of salary for up to four weeks when employees are called upon to care for a loved one.
- Birchcliff Energy Ltd., Calgary. Natural gas production; 208 employees. Encourages employees to volunteer and support charitable initiatives with paid time off to volunteer, with no set annual maximum.
- Financeit Canada Inc., Toronto. Consumer financing; 241 employees. Starts new employees with three weeks of paid vacation and offers up to six paid personal days to help employees with work-life balance.
Sourcing and paying for training and development programs to help employees improve their skills and advance their careers.
- Andgo Systems, Saskatoon. Computer software developer; 38 employees. Supports ongoing employee development with tuition subsidies for courses related and not directly related to their current position.
- Croesus Finansoft, Laval, Que. Financial management software; 180 employees. Offers mentoring and leadership development programs for employees interested in advancing their careers.
- Tehama Inc. Ottawa. Software; 65 employees. Supports ongoing employee development with an annual training budget of 3 per cent of salary per employee per year, to a maximum of $5,000.
We also discuss the importance of employee development in our article, 5 Data-Backed Ways To Meet Your Talent Goals In 2023.
Providing employees with personalized health benefits, including mental health support and resources, to help ensure well-being, satisfaction, and productivity in and outside of work.
- Canopy Planet Society, Vancouver. Environmental consulting services; 19 employees. Offers a mental health practitioner’s benefit along with three hours of paid flex time each week for employees to focus on their mental health.
- C.F. Crozier & Associates Inc., Collingwood, Ont. Engineering; 237 employees. Offers a flexible benefits plan to let employees customize coverage to suit their personal needs and includes separate coverage for mental health care.
- Diamond Schmitt Architects Inc., Toronto. Architecture; 268 employees. Encourages employees to adopt healthy habits through health challenges organized by the company’s benefits provider, with redeemable points as rewards.
Supporting employees with family planning by offering benefits such as parental leave and fertility assistance.
- Crown Property Management Inc., Toronto. Property management; 137 employees. Supports employees who want to start a family with a generous subsidy for IVF treatments if needed, to a lifetime maximum of $18,000.
- Dixon Mitchell Investment Counsel Inc., Vancouver. Investment management; 33 employees. Provides maternity and parental leave top-up payments (of varying duration) for all new parents, to 90 per cent of salary.
- Yulu Public Relations Inc., Vancouver. Public relations; 17 employees. Offers maternity and parental leave top-up for new and adoptive parents plus an emergency childcare stipend of $100 a day for five days per year.
Employee groups and company events
Investing in company culture by creating employee-led groups and hosting company events to boost morale, strengthen relationships, and build team camaraderie.
- SilverChef Rentals Inc., Vancouver. Commercial equipment wholesalers; 52 employees. Launched a monthly “Coffee Chats” initiative to pair participants at random with colleagues outside of their department.
- Mawer Investment Management Ltd., Calgary. Financial planning and investment management; 213 employees. Supports an employee committee that organizes events that bring employees together, such as a virtual poker event and a family Halloween celebration.
- Johnston Group Inc., Winnipeg. Insurance and group benefits; 337 employees. Keeps the company connected through a regular newsletter and JGTV, featuring messages from the president, fitness classes, and a biweekly Zoom show.
Offering referral bonuses to incentivize employees to tap into their personal networks and refer qualified candidates.
- Absorb Software Inc., Calgary. Learning management systems; 283 employees. Offers new employee referral bonuses when employees help successfully recruit new employees, from $1,500 to $3,000 depending on the position.
- Black & White Zebra Industries Inc., Vancouver. Public relations agency; 20 employees. Encourages employees to become recruiters for the firm with new employee referral bonuses, up to $1,000 depending on the position.
- Tatham Engineering Ltd., Collingwood, Ont. Engineering; 159 employees. Offers generous referral bonuses for employees to recruit candidates from their personal networks, offering between $2,000 and $5,000 per successful hire.
Helping employees plan for their financial futures by offering retirement planning, Registered Savings Plan (RSP) matching, and other long-term financial support benefits.
- Binary Stream Software Inc., Burnaby, B.C. Computer software; 84 employees. Helps employees plan for the future with retirement planning assistance services, matching RSP contributions, and a share purchase plan.
- Century Group Lands Corp., New Westminster, B.C. Real estate development and management; 82 employees. Helps employees build long-term savings with a defined contribution pension plan and provides retirement planning assistance.
- Noseworthy Chapman Chartered Professional Accountants, St. John’s. Accounting; 60 employees. Provides matching RSP contributions and offers phased-in work options to allow those nearing retirement to gradually reduce their hours.
Work and office equipment
Helping employees transition back to in-office work, and/or providing equipment or office stipends to support remote work and ensure they can do their jobs from wherever they are.
- LeddarTech Inc., Quebec. Sensor technology development; 166 employees. Offers remote work for eligible roles and allows employees to expense up to $1,000 for home office furniture and ergonomic accessories.
- LBMX Inc., London, Ont. Computer software; 74 employees. Offers a $500 home office allowance plus a subsidy to help offset the costs of returning to work, such as parking, public transit, and meals.
- Office Interiors, Dartmouth, N.S. Office furniture and equipment; 82 employees. Encourages employees to maintain their well-being, offering a health spending account of up to $500 and a separate wellness spending account of $350.
Giving back to the community and supporting causes that align with company and employee values.
- ETRO Construction Ltd., Burnaby, B.C. Construction management; 66 employees. Supports employees who get involved with charitable and community initiatives through paid volunteer time (up to two days annually), along with matching charitable donations.
- InvestorCOM Inc., Brantford, Ont. Computer software; 72 employees. Offers a paid day off to volunteer in the community
- R.V. Anderson Associates Ltd., Toronto. Engineering; 381 employees. Supports employees who want to get involved in their local community with paid time off to volunteer, determined on a case-by-case basis.
Paying company success forward and rewarding employees with signing and performance bonuses.
- Trialto Wine Group Ltd., Vancouver. Wine wholesale agency; 19 employees. Lets everyone share in the company’s success with profit-sharing
- Eclipsys Solutions Inc., Kanata, Ont. Information technology services; 46 employees. Lets employees share in the company’s successes through a generous year-end bonus program.
- Open Farm Inc., Toronto. Pet food manufacturing; 43 employees. Offers a number of financial incentives, including signing bonuses for some employees, year-end bonuses for all, and generous referral bonuses.
Creating programs for recognizing and rewarding different kinds of employee contributions and performance.
- Vega, Burnaby, B.C. Nutritional supplement manufacturing; 131 employees. Recognizes exceptional performance with awards in a variety of categories including lifestyle leadership, unsung hero, the breakthrough award, and rookie of the year.
- VERB Interactive Inc., Halifax. Marketing and advertising; 204 employees. Rewards exceptional performance through an employee of the month award, providing recipients with a $1,000 bonus and an engraved trophy.
- Mysa Smart Thermostats, St. John’s. Programmable smart thermostats; 104 employees. Builds recognition into its day-to-day culture through a Master of the Week award, given to an employee who goes above and beyond.
Regularly seeking feedback from employees when making policy changes and identifying areas for improvement within the company.
- UV Insurance, Drummondville, Que. Insurance; 182 employees. Maintains a workplace health, safety, and well-being committee and hosted a conference on health to support employees in making healthy lifestyle decisions.
- InvestorCOM Inc., Brantford, Ont. Computer software; 72 employees. takes employee feedback into consideration when determining charitable initiatives to support.
- Fuller Landau LLP, Toronto. Accounting; 134 employees. Worked with employees and managers to formalize a hybrid work model that is designed and tailored to meet the needs of each practice area.
Providing a variety of office amenities, including gym memberships, snacks, and comfortable workspaces, to ensure that employees have everything they need to be productive and happy at work.
- Olympia Financial Group Inc., Calgary. Trust, fiduciary and custody activities, and related IT services; 241 employees. Maintains a number of onsite amenities including child care, a fitness facility, free snacks, and an employee lounge with video games.
- Jayman BUILT, Calgary. Residential housing construction; 197 employees. Encourages employees to keep fit with free access to an onsite fitness facility with treadmills, stationary bikes, elliptical trainers, weights, and fitness classes.
- Bluedrop ISM, St. John’s. Software; 50 employees. Offers a flexible hybrid work program that lets employees work wherever is best, offering hoteling workstations at the head office.
- Hopefully, with these employers in mind, you can start to think of changes to consider making in your own company to level up productivity, talent attraction and retention, and employee well-being.
For more help achieving your biggest talent acquisition goals, get in touch with our expert team of hiring professionals today!
ML6 Search + Talent Advisory is a recruitment and talent advisory firm located in the Greater Toronto Area (GTA). We provide customized solutions to support our clients throughout the employee lifecycle. We help our clients attract and retain talent by advising on people programs, processes, and best practices.