Queen's School of Business Names 2012's Best Small & Medium Employers in Canada

Fifty Organizations Recognized in Annual Study Conducted in Conjunction with Aon Hewitt

TORONTO, Feb. 8, 2012 /CNW/ - Queen's University's School of Business has released its annual list of the 50 Best Small & Medium Employers in Canada. The study is conducted with the assistance of Aon Hewitt, the global human resource consulting and outsourcing business of Aon Corporation (NYSE: AON). This year's list (attached below) appears in the March issue of PROFIT magazine, available on newsstands today.

"We use employee engagement as the standard for determining which organizations are the 'best' employers," said Einar Westerlund, director of project development at the Queen's Centre for Business Venturing, part of the Queen's School of Business. "In this study, feedback directly from employees about their workplace and their work experience enables us to measure how engaged they are."

Employee Engagement Challenges
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 this year's 50 Best Small & Medium Employers was 83 per cent; other participants in the study had an average score of 61 per cent.

"Achieving high engagement isn't easy at the best of times," stated Westerlund. "It's even more challenging in an improving economy when the demand for workers increases and employees have more options. Unless employers have been able to gain a strong level of commitment from their workforce, they will see employee turnover begin to increase." Best Employers research indicates that, in addition to greater employee retention, organizations with high engagement have decreased absenteeism, better employee health and lower job stress, enhanced customer service, and better business results.

Study Requirements
To be eligible to participate in the Best Small & Medium Employers in Canada study, organizations must have been in business in Canada for at least three years and have between 50 and 399 permanent, Canadian-based employees. Employers with 400 or more employees may take part in the companion Best Employers in Canada study. A total of 261 organizations participated in the two 2012 studies.

To learn more about the Best Small & Medium Employers in Canada study and register online to participate, please visit www.bsmestudycanada.com.

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 accomplishes 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 resource 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 www.aonhewitt.com.

About Aon
Aon Corporation (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 61,000 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 http://www.aon.com for more information on Aon and http://www.aon.com/manchesterunited to learn about Aon's global partnership and shirt sponsorship with Manchester United.

The 50 Best Small & Medium Employers in Canada of 2012
Ranking Organization Headquarters
1 Imaginet Winnipeg MB
2 Arrow Group of Companies Scarborough ON
3 Achievers Toronto ON
4 Habañero Consulting Group Vancouver BC
5 Solvera Solutions Regina SK
7 Protegra Winnipeg MB
8 Vigilant Global Montreal QC
9 Nurse Next Door Home Care Services Vancouver BC
10 iQmetrix Regina SK
11 Bull, Housser & Tupper LLP Vancouver BC
12 O.C. Tanner Recognition Company Limited Burlington ON
13 Fusion Homes Guelph ON
14 Northern Lights Canada Oshawa ON
15 Bioniche Life Sciences Inc. Belleville ON
16 Collective Point of Sale Solutions Toronto ON
17 Mercedes-Benz Financial Services Canada Mississauga ON
18 SaskTel International Regina SK
19 Kawartha Credit Union Peterborough ON
20 Wakefield Canada Inc. Toronto ON
21 Assumption Life Moncton NB
22 Sequel Naturals Port Coquitlam BC
23 National Leasing Winnipeg MB
24 FINCAD Surrey BC
25 Nintendo of Canada Ltd. Vancouver BC
26 Gibraltar Solutions Inc. Mississauga ON
27 Intuit Canada Mississauga ON
28 IHG Mississauga ON
29 DORA Construction Dartmouth NS
30 The Sovereign General Insurance Company Calgary AB
31 Lakeside Process Controls Mississauga ON
32 Mennonite Savings and Credit Union Kitchener ON
33 Innovation Place Saskatoon SK
34 Cruickshank Kingston ON
35 Klick Health Toronto ON
36 Cybertech Group of Companies Edmonton AB
37 Naylor Group Inc. Oakville ON
38 Desire2Learn Incorporated Kitchener ON
39 Vista Projects Limited Calgary AB
40 GEF Seniors Housing Edmonton AB
41 BESTECH Sudbury ON
42 Intelex Technologies Inc. Toronto ON
43 North Shore Credit Union North Vancouver BC
44 G Adventures Toronto ON
45 Unitron Kitchener ON
46 McMillan Ottawa ON
47 Peel Senior Link Mississauga ON
48 Furlani's Food Corporation Mississauga ON
49 Geo. A. Kelson Company Limited Newmarket ON
50 The CUMIS Group Limited Burlington ON



For further information:

Media Contacts:  

Sandra Olszowka, 613-533-3119, solszowka@business.queens.ca
Stephen Barrigar, 416-868-5724, stephen.barrigar@aon.ca

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