Top Employer Practices


The Winnipeg Free Press recently published a supplement listing Manitoba’s top 15 businesses to work for. They reviewed employers in eight key areas. (1) Physical Workplace, (2) Work Atmosphere and Social, (3) Health Financial and Family Benefits, (4) Vacation and Time off (5) Employee Communications, (6) Performance Management, (7) Training and Skills Development, and (8) Community Involvement. A range of industries were represented – large and small, pseudo government and private. The common thread being that each is considered an industry leader in attracting and retaining employees. For this blog I thought it would be an interesting personal exercise to quickly look at what these companies do that make them stand out and compare them to what my employer does.

Stuff My Employer Does:

  • Leadership training
  • Job sharing
  • Injury prevention
  • Tuition reimbursement
  • Professional dues payment
  • Free retirement planning
  • Family Christmas party

Stuff My Employer Could Do Better:

  • Flexible work hours
  • Corporate citizenship – charity support, community activity participation
  • Career path development
  • Regular celebrations – BBQs, annual events
  • Useful and interactive intranet
  • Employee recognition program
  • Technology benefits – Company supplied laptops, blackberries and cell phones
  • Free employee assistance/counseling
  • Provide challenging work
  • Free flow of information
  • Promote from within
  • RSP plans to help with retirement
  • Open to employee input (even into high level strategic planning)
  • Leadership development

Stuff My Employer Doesn’t Do:

  • Health and Workplace needs assessment of employees with free solutions – weight loss programs, fitness classes, free massages
  • Makes employees feel supported and engaged
  • On-site day care
  • On-site fitness centers
  • Gradual retirement
  • Very flexible work schedules
  • Industry leading benefits
  • Weekly employee involvement meetings to get creative employee input
  • Innovative benefits
  • Give back to the community
  • Bonuses and profit sharing
  • Discounts on home, auto and pet insurance as well as computer purchases and internet access fees
  • Free voluntary flu shots
  • Free financial planning
  • Hire more summer students – allows summer vacations and often supports employees own children
  • Paid day off for birthdays
  • 360 degree leadership training
  • Layout of offices to encourage interaction and in-turn increase productivity
  • Lounge with pool tables and X-box machines. Everyone gets week at Christmas off. A relaxed enjoyable work environment that motivates employees to put forward their best effort
  • Fitness subsidies
  • Work at home option
  • Staff appreciation barbeques
  • Mentorship program and leadership development programs
  • Generous maternity leave
  • Generous parental leave
  • Maternity and paternity leave top-ups
  • Peer-nominated recognition and monetary award
  • Work at home option
  • Company teams
  • Quiet rooms where employees can read and rest
  • Free on-site clubs – yoga, Pilates, hockey and jogging
  • Tournaments, barbeques, team-building spa days
  • Flexible benefits package that can be customized to employee
  • Subsidized home and auto insurance and low-interest home loans
  • Share purchase plans

It was refreshing to see that my employer is doing many of the things the “top employers” are doing. My employer really should think about documenting some of its accomplishments for staff and others to see – to assist with staff moral.

It was also useful to think about other areas that could be improved or developed by my employer – this listing is a simplistic potential start done without too much thought (Done on my Palm T3 while watching TV!). The argument against many of these innovations is that working for a government crown corporation many of these innovative options are not options – but two of the 15 companies highlighted were Manitoba Crown Corporations!

The next opportunity I have to pass on some of these ideas I will. I don’t expect a pool table, quiet room or spa days will be on my employer’s benefits list anytime soon but perhaps some movement towards some of these ideas could assist my employer in creating a more employee friendly optimal work environment which would be good for our organization and in turn add value for the farmers we serve.


One Response to “Top Employer Practices”

  1. 1 Fitness » Top Employer Practices

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