Employee engagement and a strong reputation: you can't have one without the other, says Aon Hewitt/Queen's School of Business Research Study

TORONTO, Dec. 5, 2012 /CNW/ - It's no coincidence that the top 35 organizations identified as 2013's Best Employers in the Greater Toronto Area (GTA) also have the most highly engaged employees. Employee engagement and reputation are directly linked, according to recent research conducted by Aon Hewitt, the global human resources and outsourcing solutions business of Aon Corporation (NYSE: AON), and Queen's University School of Business.

"Organizations with the strongest reputation also have the most highly engaged employees, a finding that holds true no matter the size of the organization," said Neil Crawford, Aon Hewitt's study leader. "Our study bears out the notion that engaged employees offer organizations a competitive advantage, not just in the ability to attract and retain talent, but also in terms of driving reputation with customers and other stakeholders."

Average employee engagement was 77 per cent among the organizations identified as 2013's Best Employers in the GTA. For the best rated small and medium organizations, average employee engagement was slightly higher at 80%. (For a complete list of Aon Hewitt's Best Employers for the GTA, see the chart below.)

"Employee engagement drops to an average of less than 67% for employers who did not make it to the Aon Hewitt's Best Employers list," noted Einar Westerlund, Director, Project Development at Queen's Centre for Business Venturing at Queen's School of Business. "This underlines how important employee engagement is to an organization's overall reputation, and may offer a roadmap to those firms who wish to drive improvements in reputation and other key metrics of success."

Employee engagement is not simply having happy or loyal employees, noted Aon Hewitt's Crawford. "A highly engaged workforce translates into lower turnover, less absenteeism, greater employee productivity, increased customer satisfaction and higher revenue growth. It will also help an organization attract and retain talent."

The Aon Hewitt/Queen's research study measured employee engagement through three areas - say, stay and strive:

  • Say:   Employees speak positively about the organization
  • Stay:  Employees have a strong desire to be a member of the organization
  • Strive:  Employees exert extra effort to do the best job possible to contribute to the organization's  overall success

"Human resources can be a dominant competitive lever for businesses today. With talent scarcity projected to continue well into the future, it is critical that employers understand what it takes to attract and retain the people needed for success," added Crawford.

To learn more about the Best Employers studies and register online to participate, visit the Best Employers Web site at www.hewitt.com/bestemployerscanada.

About Queen's Centre for Business Venturing (QCBV)
Based at Queen's School of Business, Canada's leading business school, QCBV's mandate is to be the leading and definitive source of knowledge and expertise in the creation, leadership and management of new ventures. Further, it strengthens and helps build Canadian SMEs by focusing its efforts on serving the broader SME community through research, providing advisory services and support, and creating and delivering innovative curriculum. QCBV administers the annual Best Small & Medium Employers in Canada study. We are dedicated to increasing the odds of success for Canadian organizations and their leaders. Please visit www.bsmestudycanada.com.

About Aon Hewitt
Aon Hewitt is the global leader in human resources solutions. The company partners with organizations to solve their most complex benefits, talent and related financial challenges, and improve business performance. Aon Hewitt designs, implements, communicates, and administers a wide range of human capital, retirement, investment management, health care, compensation and talent management strategies. With more than 29,000 professionals in 90 countries, Aon Hewitt makes the world a better place to work for clients and their employees. For more information on Aon Hewitt, please visit www.aonhewitt.com.

About Aon
Aon plc NYSE: AON is the leading global provider of risk management, insurance and reinsurance brokerage, and human resources solutions and outsourcing services. Through its more than 62,000 colleagues worldwide, Aon unites to empower results for clients in over 120 countries via innovative and effective risk and people solutions and through industry-leading global resources and technical expertise. Aon has been named repeatedly as the world's best broker, best insurance intermediary, reinsurance intermediary, captives manager and best employee benefits consulting firm by multiple industry sources. Visit www.aon.com for more information on Aon and www.aon.com/manchesterunited to learn about Aon's global partnership and shirt sponsorship with Manchester United.

Best Employers in the Greater Toronto Area 2013
(400 or more employees)

Rank   Organization     Rank   Organization
1   Cisco Systems Canada     19   Novotel Canada
2   EllisDon Corporation     20   Gowling Lafleur Henderson LLP
3   Bennett Jones LLP     21   Delta Hotels and Resorts
4   Marriott Hotels of Canada     22   Aecon Group Inc.
5   Chubb Insurance Company of Canada     23   G&K Services Canada Inc.
6   McDonald's Restaurants of Canada Limited     24   National Bank
7   Flight Centre     25   Allstate Insurance company of Canada
8   Keg Restaurants Ltd.     26   Golder Associates Ltd.
9   Edward Jones     27   GlaxoSmithKline Inc.
10   LoyaltyOne Inc     28   Earl's Restaurants Ltd.
11   PCL Constructors Inc.     29   Amex Canada Inc / Amex Bank of Canada
12   Hatch     30   Dillon Consulting Limited
13   The Co-operators     31   Procter & Gamble - Market Development Organization
14   SAP Canada     32   Miller Thomson LLP
15   Stikeman Elliott     33   The Cadillac Fairview Corporation Limited
16   Starwood Hotels and Resorts Canada     34   Morguard Corporation
17   OMERS Administration Corporation     35   Fraser Milner Casgrain LLP
18   TD Bank Group        

Best Small & Medium Employers in the Greater Toronto Area 2013
(50-399 employees)

Rank   Organization     Rank   Organization
1   Arrow Professional Services     14   TIC Travel Insurance Coordinators Ltd.
2   iGATE Global Solutions Ltd     15   Furlani's Food Corporation
3   Intelex Technologies Inc.     16   Gibraltar Solutions Inc.
4   Achievers     17   Wakefield Canada Inc.
5   IHG     18   Vital Insights Inc.
6   Intuit Canada     19   SOCAN - Society of Composers, Authors and Music Publishers of Canada
7   Klick Inc.     20   Pinchin Environmental Ltd.
8   OPTIMUS I SBR Inc.     21   Phonak Canada
9   CAAT Pension Plan     22   Ryan ULC
10   C.S.T. Consultants Inc.     23   CWB Group - Industry Services
11   peopleCare Inc.     24   Mitsubishi Motor Sales of Canada, Inc.
12   Geo. A. Kelson Company Limited     25   MasterCard Canada
13   99 bottles Inc. o/a beerbistro          



For further information:

Media Contacts:
Alexandre Daudelin  │  +1.514.982.4910  │  alexandre.daudelin@aonhewitt.com

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