In the words of employees
Fifty Best Canadian Employers between 2005 and 20091
Top Five Leading Organizational Practices
In the Words of Employees
You may have heard about the Top 100 Canadian Employers2 or the Top 50 Canadian Employers3 or the Top 25 Manitoba Employers4 lists. In an effort to put a human face on all the numbers that appear on those lists, this short article, charts a sampling of employee voices of the Top 50 Canadian Employers between 2005 and 2009. In relation to being the ‘best’, what do they consider important?  What can we learn from the feedback delivered by employees themselves? 
1.  Leadership 
  1. “I would tell organizations to have the courage to let go and let their people do their jobs. It’s an extremely hard thing to do. You really have to lead from behind. You have to be more modest”
  2. “Our leaders are in the trenches, and they don’t see themselves as part of a hierarchy; they make sure we understand the decisions and that we buy into them”
  3. “If we’re not doing what management needs us to be doing, they will come right out and tell us – and help us get where we need to be”
  4. “Get out of the way and help the other person become a leader”
  5. “I realized that our philosophy and way we treated our people really constituted a sustainable competitive edge. You never stop talking about it, and you make sure your leadership is following up on it”
2. Values
  1. “I’ve never come across a large group of diverse people who are all committed to the same thing, and who all have relatively the same outlook on their profession and how they treat people. And senior management believe it themselves”
  2. “It is about living your values”
  3. “What we talk about is values…The values we want to live and breathe by are communicated on a daily basis”
  4. “The biggest thing is that employees want to have value in their work – they want to feel part of something bigger”
  5. “We shifted from what was easy, to what was right”
  6. “When I joined the bank, I thought banking was about numbers. But with TD, banking is about people. We believe in happy employees”
3. Coaching for Success
  1. “They pull out your great potential”
  2. “I’m a woman who wants a career and a family, and I was concerned this might jeopardize my career. But I don’t worry about that here; the managers know my goals, and we worked out a game plan together”
  3. “…people…trip up and fall initially when you give them responsibility. The key is not to kill them, but to support them and see how they shake out…you give them all the information they need, when they need it, and you say, ‘Let’s go’”
  4. “…employees at every level were clamoring for more room to grow in their careers. As a result, the organization implemented a mentoring program”
4. Culture of Recognition
  1. “Someone always gives us recognition when we do something extra. They expect us to do overtime, but they also appreciate it and thank us. A little ‘thank you’ goes a long way”
  2. “Some individuals are uncomfortable with public recognition, so we’re cautious about who we recognize publicly. Sometimes we just send a handwritten note”
  3. "People here take their cue from senior management, who have been publicly appreciating people for years"

5. Workplace Environment

  1. “I’ve enjoyed it from day one…Every day is different and interesting, and you learn and learn”
  2. “I like it here because it is light on formality and heavy on accomplishment and learning by doing…we all share a common mindset and common goals…”
  3. “Why would I go anywhere else? I ‘m happy here. I can count on one hand the bad days I’ve had in 19 years. I feel like I belong”
Outstanding Workplace Initiative:   As one who is associated with the University of Manitoba, what might you consider important and significant in being an outstanding workplace? What would you need to see and feel in order to claim the name, outstanding workplace, as being your own?   Please take a few minutes to take our short online survey.   Your feedback will help us identify and frame the areas of ‘high priority’. We invite you to read what others at the University of Manitoba are saying. If you have already responded, a huge thank you.