We’re getting used to celebrating remotely (some might say, we’re pretty good at it), but we’d much rather be doing it the old-fashioned way: raising a glass in a room full of purpose-driven folks from the many other organizations that share our commitment to creating great places to work. Instead, we’re toasting you from our living rooms.
Although this isn’t our first time on the list, we’re always learning more about what it means – and what it takes – to be a great place to work. This year offered rich lessons. To be a great place to work now requires us to zoom in to understand and empathize with employees’ personal wellbeing and zoom out to consider the social, cultural and economic systems we all live in.
We’ve seen how employees who work from home can be productive, but data shows they are also experiencing increased stress, worry and burnout due to things like health and job concerns, social disconnectedness, social injustice, childcare strains and uncertainty about the future. For the first time, Gallup’s research shows that employee engagement and wellbeing are no longer reciprocal and additive; they have become disconnected from each other. If we are not directly asking our employees – even if they are highly engaged – about their mental health and wellbeing, we are likely missing the full story.
We learned from our research that the pandemic has been harder on some people than others. Though we may be navigating the same storm, each of us is in a different boat. The circumstances of the pandemic have amplified existing inequities related to gender, economic status, race and other intersecting elements of our identities. According to a recent report, women who are Black, Indigenous and people of colour are among the most severely affected by the pandemic, and will likely continue to be after the pandemic is over.
A year ago, we saw just how agile and resilient organizations and employees can be in response to massive change. Now, we’re seizing the opportunity to think about how we want to move forward, as we redesign our workplace for the hybrid experience. We’re asking ourselves (and the companies we work with) important questions about organizational culture: what do we want to keep, rework and let go of to create new models of working that centre equity, belonging and trust?
Our placement on the Best Workplace in Canada list reminds us of what we want to sustain and nurture: the creativity, connection and trust of our employees. In this challenging and uncertain year, we’re proud to find ourselves in a field of like-minded companies putting their employees at the centre. To all the other organizations building great places to work with us or alongside us: cheers.
About Great Place to Work
Great Place to Work (GPTW) is the global authority on high-trust, high-performance workplace cultures. Through proprietary assessment tools, advisory services and certification programs, GPTW recognizes the world’s Best Workplaces in a series of national lists including those published by Fortune magazine (USA) and The Globe & Mail (Canada). Great Place to Work provides the benchmarks, framework and expertise needed to create, sustain and recognize outstanding workplace cultures.
The 2021 Best Workplaces in Canada list is compiled by the Great Place to Work Institute. The competition process is based on two criteria:
- Two-thirds of the total score comes from confidential employee survey results.
- The remaining one-third comes from an in-depth review of the organization’s culture.
This year’s list received over 400 registrations and over 80,000 employees participated in the 2020 Best Workplaces in Canada survey, rolling out to impact over 300,000 Canadian employees.