Flexibility, inclusiveness, learning - all business essentials: Ernst & Young

Firm one of the Best Workplaces in Canada for the fifth consecutive year

TORONTO, April 13 /CNW/ - Building a workplace that puts the professional and personal needs of your people first is essential to business success, says Ernst & Young, one of the Best Workplaces in Canada for 2010.

"With a significant demographic shift approaching and baby-boomers retiring, it's becoming increasingly important for companies to attract and retain top talent and develop their leaders," says Fiona Macfarlane, Ernst & Young's Managing Partner, People. "We've always appreciated the benefits of building a shared sense of belonging and putting the growth of our people at the forefront of our corporate culture."

Macfarlane says that fostering a "people-first" culture attracts new talent, raises retention rates and performance levels, and builds commitment to the company's success - all leading to better service for clients. Companies focused on creating inclusive environments where different perspectives and experiences are valued are at a competitive advantage today. Such a culture helps drive innovation and spark new solutions to old challenges, which is vital to thriving in the upturn.

"Regardless of economic circumstances, developing our people remains fundamental to our business strategy," says Macfarlane. "To be successful and deliver the quality of services our clients expect, we need the right people. Without them, we can't grow. We pride ourselves on our client service, but we can only do so by focusing on being the best place for people to build their careers."

Here are some tips for creating a "best" workplace:

Nurture diversity and inclusiveness. Ernst & Young has been recognized for its many initiatives, like an ethnic diversity task force, a gender equity advisory group and networking groups for women and lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender employees and their allies.

Develop your people. EYU is Ernst & Young's global development program, which provides a framework for helping people get the right learning, experiences and coaching to accelerate and maximize their career development.

Encourage volunteering. Community engagement is good for everyone involved; the community benefits, and volunteers develop essential business skills such as leadership and communication.

Be flexible. Ernst & Young's people can work flexibly to pursue their own personal and professional commitments. They are also equipped with technology to enable them to work seamlessly from home.

Communicate. An open-door policy, frequent messages from leadership, recognition, teaching, coaching and mentoring all play a pivotal role in creating and maintaining a people-first culture.

Ernst & Young has also been recognized for a number of other awards, including:

    -   Canada's Top 100 Employers 2010
    -   Canada's Best Diversity Employers 2010
    -   Canada's Top Campus Employers 2009
    -   Progressive Employer of Canada 2009
    -   Alberta's Best Workplaces 2010 (multiple category finalist)

About Ernst & Young

Ernst & Young is a global leader in assurance, tax, transaction and advisory services. Worldwide, our 144,000 people are united by our shared values and an unwavering commitment to quality. We make a difference by helping our people, our clients and our wider communities achieve their potential.

For more information, please visit ey.com/ca

Ernst & Young refers to the global organization of member firms of Ernst & Young Global Limited, each of which is a separate legal entity. Ernst & Young Global Limited, a UK company limited by guarantee, does not provide services to clients.

The Ernst & Young organization is divided into five geographic areas and firms may be members of the following entities: Ernst & Young Americas LLC, Ernst & Young EMEIA Limited, Ernst & Young Far East Area Limited and Ernst & Young Oceania Limited. These entities do not provide services to clients.

SOURCE EY (Ernst & Young)

For further information: For further information: Samantha Goldsilver, samantha.goldsilver@ca.ey.com, (416) 943-3458; Brooke Morris, brooke.morris@ca.ey.com, (604) 899-3597; Marie-Ève Graniero, marie-eve.graniero@ca.ey.com, (514) 874-4313

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