Aon Hewitt Research Identifies Canada's Best Employers of 2011

Canadian Organizations Re-Focus on Employee Engagement as Recession Ends

TORONTO, Oct. 28 /CNW/ -The end of last year's economic downturn appears to have brought employee engagement back to the forefront for many Canadian organizations, according to the 2011 Best Employers studies, conducted by Aon Hewitt, the human capital consulting and outsourcing solutions business of Aon Corporation (NYSE: AON), in conjunction with the Queen's University School of Business. As a result, participation in the annual Best Employers studies increased by 20 per cent over last year. The 2011 lists of the Best Employers in Canada and the Best Small & Medium Employers in Canada (attached) appear in the November 8 issue of Maclean's magazine, available on newsstands today, and the November 4 edition of La Presse.

"Even though participation in the studies increased this year, a number of the organizations that appear on the 2011 Best Employers lists have achieved this status before," said Neil Crawford, Aon Hewitt's national Best Employers studies leader. "These employers didn't waiver in their commitment to sustaining and improving high employee engagement, even during tough economic times. They weathered the recession thanks in large part to a highly productive workforce focused on organizational success. The fact that these employers appear again on the 2011 lists indicates that their employees are still very committed to the organization, despite having more options available to them in a post-recession economy."

There are also close to 20 organizations that have been named Best Employers this year for the first time. "Some of these employers have participated in prior years and have been on the journey to high employee engagement," stated Crawford. "By using the study results to pinpoint exactly where they needed to make changes to their human resources policies, programs and practices, these organizations have been able to boost their employees' engagement. They're now enjoying the benefits of high engagement, including lower turnover, less absenteeism, greater employee productivity, and higher customer satisfaction."

Defining Employee Engagement

Two hundred and fifty-one Canadian employers took part in the 2011 Best Employers studies. Organizations are selected as Best Employers based primarily on survey responses from more than 134,000 Canadian employees at these organizations that gauge their level of engagement.

According to Aon Hewitt's definition, employees are engaged when they "say, stay and strive": they speak positively about the organization to others, are committed to remaining with their current employer, and are motivated by their organizations' leaders, managers, culture and values to go "above and beyond" to contribute to business success. The average engagement score for Best Employer organizations of all sizes was 80 per cent; the average for other organizations participating in the two studies was 59 per cent.

Size, Industry, Location No Barrier to Best Employer Status

Those organizations that appear on the two 2011 Best Employers lists represent a wide range of employers. They come from software, banking, hospitality, retail, pharmaceutical and 25 other industries. They are headquartered across the country, from Charlottetown to Nanaimo. They range in size from as few as 50 employees to more than 50,000. 

"Even though the two studies are geared towards larger and small/medium organizations, our research has determined that size really isn't a factor when it comes to employee engagement," said survey co-ordinator Einar Westerlund, director of project development at the Queen's Centre for Business Venturing. "It's as much a challenge for small organizations to engage their employees as it is for large ones. The approach may vary by company size, but driving employee engagement is still very much related to factors such as frequent, two-way communication with leaders, learning, development and career opportunities, strong performance management, and human resources programs that are not only competitive, but also meet the needs of individual employees and align with the organization's values."

To learn more about the Best Employers studies and register online to participate, please visit the Best Employers Web site at font-style="italic" href="">

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 become the leading and definitive source of knowledge and expertise in the creation, leadership and management of new ventures. It will accomplish this by developing innovative curriculum, providing access to pools of capital to fund new ventures, conducting applied research, brokering and being a hub of SME and new venture knowledge, and by playing a key role with decision-making bodies.  Its focus is to increase the odds of success for Canadian new ventures.

About Aon Hewitt

Aon Hewitt is the global leader in human capital consulting and outsourcing 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 href="">

About Aon

Aon Corporation (NYSE: AON) is the leading global provider of risk management services, insurance and reinsurance brokerage, and human capital consulting and outsourcing. Through its more than 59,000 colleagues worldwide, Aon delivers distinctive client value via innovative and effective risk management and workforce productivity solutions. Aon's industry-leading global resources and technical expertise are delivered locally through more than 500 offices in more than 120 countries. Named the world's best broker by Euromoney magazine's 2008, 2009 and 2010 Insurance Survey, Aon also ranked highest on Business Insurance's listing of the world's largest insurance brokers based on commercial retail, wholesale, reinsurance and personal lines brokerage revenues in 2008 and 2009. A.M. Best deemed Aon the number one insurance broker based on brokerage revenues in 2007, 2008 and 2009, and Aon was voted best insurance intermediary, best reinsurance intermediary and best employee benefits consulting firm in 2007, 2008 and 2009 by the readers of Business Insurance. Visit href=""> for more information on Aon and to learn about Aon's global partnership and shirt sponsorship with Manchester United.

The 2011 List of the Best Employers in Canada

Rank Organization Headquarters Industry
1 Cisco Canada Toronto ON Communications Equipment
2 EllisDon Corporation London ON Construction & Engineering
3 PCL Constructors Inc. Edmonton AB Construction & Engineering
4 CIMA+ Partner in Excellence Laval QC Construction & Engineering
5 McDonald's Restaurants of Canada Limited Toronto ON Hotels, Restaurants & Leisure
6 OpenRoad Auto Group Ltd. Richmond BC Specialty Retail
7 Marriott Hotels of Canada Ltd. Mississauga ON Hotels, Restaurants & Leisure
8 Bennett Jones LLP Calgary AB Professional Services
9 Wellington West Holdings Ltd. Winnipeg MB Diversified Financial Services
10 Farm Credit Canada Regina SK Diversified Financial Services
11 Chubb Insurance Company of Canada Toronto ON Insurance
12 Edward Jones Mississauga ON Diversified Financial Services
13 OMERS Administration Corporation Toronto ON Diversified Financial Services
14 Delta Hotels & Resorts Toronto ON Hotels, Restaurants & Leisure
15 Starwood Hotels and Resorts Worldwide Inc. (Canada) Toronto ON Hotels, Restaurants & Leisure
16 Graham Group Ltd. Calgary AB Construction & Engineering
17 Stikeman Elliott LLP N/A Professional Services
18 BBA Inc. Mont-Saint-Hilaire QC Commercial Services & Supplies
19 The Co-operators Guelph ON Insurance
20 GlaxoSmithKline Inc. Mississauga ON Pharmaceuticals
21 Flight Centre Vancouver BC Hotels, Restaurants & Leisure
22 LoyaltyOne Toronto ON Diversified Consumer Services
23 Scotiabank Group Toronto ON Diversified Financial Services
24 Federal Express Canada Ltd. Mississauga ON Air Freight & Logistics
25 Aecon Group Inc. Toronto ON Construction & Engineering
26 TD Bank Financial Group Toronto ON Commercial Banks
27 Canadian Western Bank Edmonton AB Commercial Banks
28 Co-operators Life Insurance Company Regina SK Insurance
29 Amex Canada Inc./Amex Bank of Canada Markham ON Diversified Financial Services
30 Earl's Restaurants Ltd. North Vancouver BC Hotels, Restaurants & Leisure
31 Meyers Norris Penny Calgary AB Commercial Services & Supplies
32 Dillon Consulting Toronto ON Professional Services
33 ATB Financial Edmonton AB Commercial Banks
34 Island Savings Credit Union Duncan BC Diversified Financial Services
35 Clark Builders Edmonton AB Construction & Engineering
36 Gowling Lafleur Henderson LLP Toronto ON Professional Services
37 G&K Services Canada Inc. Mississauga ON Commercial Services & Supplies
38 Conexus Regina SK Diversified Financial Services
39 ING DIRECT Toronto ON Commercial Banks
40 Ivanhoe Cambridge Inc. Montreal QC Real Estate Management & Development
41 Lush Fresh Handmade Cosmetics Vancouver BC Personal Products
42 Novotel Canada Mississauga ON Hotels, Restaurants & Leisure
43 Keg Restaurants Ltd. Richmond BC Hotels, Restaurants & Leisure
44 BC Biomedical Laboratories Ltd. Surrey BC Health Care Providers & Services
45 Novartis Pharmaceuticals Canada Inc. Dorval QC Pharmaceuticals
46 Bentall LP Toronto ON Real Estate Management & Development
47 HATCH Mississauga ON Construction & Engineering
48 National Bank Financial Group Montreal QC Commercial Banks
49 Coastal Community Credit Union Nanaimo BC Commercial Banks
50 Cintas Canada Limited Mississauga ON Commercial Services & Supplies

The 2011 List of the Best Small & Medium Employers in Canada

Rank Organization Headquarters Industry
1 Protegra Winnipeg MB IT Services
2 I Love Rewards Toronto ON Internet Software & Services
3 Booty Camp Fitness Inc. Toronto ON Diversified Consumer Services
4 RL Solutions Toronto ON Software
5 ISL Engineering and Land Services Ltd. Edmonton AB Construction & Engineering
6 EPIC Information Solutions Inc. Winnipeg MB IT Services
7 CBCI Telecom Lachine QC Diversified Telecommunication Services
8 Mercedes-Benz Financial Services Canada Mississauga ON Diversified Financial Services
9 O.C. Tanner Canada Burlington ON Commercial Services & Supplies
10 Phonak Canada Ltd. Mississauga ON Health Care Equipment & Supplies
11 Nintendo of Canada Ltd. Vancouver BC Electronic Equipment, Instruments & Components
12 Windsor Family Credit Union Windsor ON Diversified Financial Services
13 Habañero Consulting Group Vancouver BC IT Services
14 Bioniche Life Sciences Inc. Belleville ON Life Sciences Tools & Services
15 (tie) Teshmont Consultants LP Winnipeg MB Energy Equipment & Services
15 (tie) Gibraltar Solutions Mississauga ON IT Services
16 Peel Senior Link Mississauga ON Health Care Providers & Services
17 Unisync Group Mississauga ON Textiles, Apparel & Luxury Goods
18 beerbistro Toronto ON Hotels, Restaurants & Leisure
19 Mennonite Savings and Credit Union Kitchener ON Commercial Banks
20 Wakefield Canada Inc. Toronto ON Oil, Gas & Consumable Fuels
21 Birchwood Automotive Group Winnipeg MB Specialty Retail
22 Greater Edmonton Foundation: Housing for Seniors Edmonton AB Health Care Providers & Services
23 The CWB Group Milton ON Commercial Services & Supplies
24 iQmetrix Software Development Corp. Vancouver BC Software
25 Maple Reinders Constructors Ltd. Mississauga ON Construction & Engineering
26 Benefits by Design Inc. Port Coquitlam BC Professional Services
27 Cruickshank Kingston ON Construction & Engineering
28 DJ Galvanizing Windsor ON Industrial Conglomerates
29 Concept Electric Ltd. Calgary AB Construction & Engineering
30 Terracon Geotechnique Ltd. Fort McMurray AB Construction & Engineering
31 National Leasing Winnipeg MB Commercial Services & Supplies
32 Forensic Technology WAI Inc.  Côte St-Luc QC Software
33 Halogen Software Inc. Ottawa ON Software
34 TIC Travel Insurance Coordinators Ltd. Toronto ON Insurance
35 Vista Projects Limited Calgary AB Construction & Engineering
36 London ON Computers & Peripherals
37 Furlani's Food Corporation Mississauga ON Food Products
38 Wish Mobile Inc. Toronto ON Wireless Telecommunication Services
39 Cybertech Group of Companies Edmonton AB IT Services
40 Holland College Charlottetown PE Diversified Consumer Services
41 Gluskin Sheff + Associates Inc. Toronto ON Diversified Financial Services
42 Getinge Canada Limited Mississauga ON Health Care Equipment & Supplies
43 The Personnel Department Vancouver BC Commercial Services & Supplies
44 The WORKS Gourmet Burger Bistro Ottawa ON Hotels, Restaurants & Leisure
45 Desire2Learn Incorporated Kitchener ON Internet Software & Services
46 MKS Inc. Waterloo ON Software
47 Scott Construction Group Vancouver BC Construction & Engineering
48 SEMAFO Inc. St-Laurent QC Metals & Mining
49 Kingston Ross Pasnak Edmonton AB Professional Services
50 Innovation Place Saskatoon SK Real Estate Management & Development

SOURCE Aon Hewitt

For further information: For further information:

Media Contacts: 
Marcia McDougall, 416-227-5713,
Autom Tagsa, 416-542-5659,
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