Best Employers Studies Help Organizations Assess their Talent Strategies

New Publishing Partners Provide Additional Opportunities for Recognition

TORONTO, April 8 /CNW/ - As the Canadian economy shifts from recession to recovery, organizations that were able to retain their employees during the downturn simply because they had nowhere else to go now run the risk of losing key talent, according to Hewitt Associates, a global human resources consulting and outsourcing company. However, employers with high employee engagement are more likely to keep the people they need to succeed than those with low engagement.

For employers that want to identify the degree of their employee retention risk, a good place to start is one of the Best Employers studies. "One key component of the Best Employers studies is the employee opinion survey, used to determine the level of employee engagement at an organization," said Neil Crawford, a principal at Hewitt and leader of the Best Employers in Canada study. "If employees speak positively about their employer, want to continue working there, and go 'above and beyond' to help the organization succeed, we identify them as being highly engaged. These employees are likely to remain with the organization, despite other career opportunities."

Whether an organization has 50 or 50,000 employees, it can participate in one of the two Best Employers studies to measure employee engagement and benchmark its results against those of other participants. It can then use the study findings to pinpoint exactly where changes in the work environment can have the greatest impact on overall engagement. Employers that have been in business in Canada for at least three years are eligible. Those with between 50 and 399 permanent employees participate in the Best Small & Medium Employers study, while the Best Employers in Canada study is for those with at least 400 employees.

Hewitt announced the launch of the 12th annual Best Employers in Canada study today. In addition, the Best Small & Medium Employers in Canada study, sponsored by Queen's School of Business and the Queen's Centre for Business Venturing in conjunction with Hewitt is now accepting registrations. In both cases, there is no charge to participate and organizations have until the end of May to sign up at

Further Research into Employee Engagement

In addition to providing actionable information to individual study participants, the Best Employers studies present an opportunity to survey over 100,000 employees on current human resources issues. For the 2011 studies, Hewitt has partnered with study sponsor the National Quality Institute (NQI) to examine the links between employee engagement, quality and organizational excellence. The theory that will be put to the test is that employers with high engagement are better positioned to achieve quality and excellence in the workplace.

"The Best Employers studies offer Hewitt and NQI a unique opportunity to delve deeper into our respective areas of interest - employee engagement, quality and organizational excellence - and to better understand the relationships among them," said Allan Ebedes, NQI's president and CEO. "We look forward to sharing the results with study participants and NQI members."

New Publishing Partners, New Lists

The 2010 lists of the 50 Best Employers in Canada and 50 Best Small & Medium Employers in Canada have already been announced. However, participants in those studies have more opportunities for recognition. Profit magazine will highlight organizations on the 2010 Best Small & Medium Employers list in its April 14 issue. A new list that celebrates the best "green" employers, The Green 30, drawn from participants in the two 2010 studies, will appear in the May 3 edition of Maclean's magazine and the May 10 issue of Canadian Business magazine. Both issues will be on newsstands across Canada on Earth Day, April 22. In addition, the Toronto Star will recognize the Best Employers in the Greater Toronto Area (GTA) in June.

Best Employers from across Canada will be named from amongst participants in the 2011 studies in Maclean's and Canadian Business this fall. That list will also appear in La Presse newspaper. The 2011 Best Employers in the GTA list will appear at approximately the same time in the Toronto Star.

"We're delighted to have forged new publishing partnerships, while maintaining strong relationships with existing partners and sponsors," stated Crawford. "All study participants that start the journey to becoming a Best Employer deserve to be recognized when they arrive at their destination. Winning the hearts and minds of employees is not easy and certainly worthy of applause."

About Hewitt Associates

Hewitt Associates (NYSE: HEW) provides leading organizations around the world with expert human resources consulting and outsourcing solutions to help them anticipate and solve their most complex benefits, talent, and related financial challenges. Hewitt consults with companies to design and implement a wide range of human resources, retirement, investment management, health management, compensation, and talent management strategies. As a leading outsourcing provider, Hewitt administers health care, retirement, payroll, and other HR programs to millions of employees, their families, and retirees. With a history of exceptional client service since 1940, Hewitt has offices in 33 countries, including Canadian offices in Toronto, Montreal, Vancouver, Calgary and Regina, and employs approximately 23,000 associates who are helping make the world a better place to work. For more information, please visit


For further information: For further information: Marcia McDougall, Hewitt Associates, (416) 227-5713,

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