Atlantic Canada’s Top Employers 2013

As transportation makes the world an ever-smaller place, it also enables an increasingly mobile workforce. For those employees who are willing to move (and a significant number of them are), there is no shortage of wellpaying and fulfilling jobs. For Atlantic Canada employers, that means they aren’t just competing against other regional companies for top tier talent—they are being weighed and measured against opportunities that could literally be half a world away.

To come out on top, employers need to look beyond financial remuneration. As Eddie LeMoine notes on page 42, the latest generation of workers is almost as equally motivated by intangibles—being valued and respected, having a voice in terms of corporate strategy.

For more specific direction on how to attract over-achieving employees, look to this year’s list of Atlantic Canada’s Top Employers. Healthy eating options, yoga classes, parental leave, support for adoption and funding for continuing education extend the employee-employer relationship beyond a mere financial transaction. Regular social events, paid volunteer time and flexible work options allow staff to balance work and family commitments. And, in many companies, active retirement planning programs and pension contributions prepare employees for a post-work life.

Why do these employers go to so much effort? Because they realize that these types of benefits aren’t expenditures, they are investments. Their bottom line proves it: energetic, hardworking employees are essential to corporate success.

And the winners are…

Many employers insist people are their most valuable resources. These companies prove it.

Admiral Insurance Services Inc.
Halifax, N.S.
Automobile insurance products and services

  • Year-end bonuses tied to company success
  • Contributes to pension plan
  • Maternity and paternity plans
  • Manages flexible health benefits plan so employees customize coverage and transfer unused credits to salary or savings
  • Participates in dragonboat races and other charitable activities as teambuilding days and to give back to community
  • Holds golf tournament fundraiser for food banks and softball tournament for children’s hospital

Annapolis Valley District Health Authority
Kentville, N.S.
Health and wellness services

  • Onsite fitness facility with high-end exercise equipment for staff, plus meditation room
  • Offers flextime via telecommuting, flexible hours and shortened or compressed work-week options
  • Maternity and paternity leave
  • Encourages employee development through career planning services, leadership training, apprenticeships and subsidizing professional accreditation

Bell Aliant Inc.
Halifax, N.S.
Voice, data, Internet, video communications and business services

  • Share-purchase plan lets employees tie personal financial success to company success
  • Signing and year-end bonuses
  • Maternity and paternity leave
  • Encourages employee development by subsidizing tuition and professional development. Offers financial bonuses for some course completions. Career planning services and leadership training
  • Runs “pioneer volunteers network” to link 7,000 current and former employees who volunteer across Atlantic Canada

Caisses populaires acadiennes
Caraquet, N.B.
Personal and business financial services

  • On-site free fitness facility at head office
  • Supports employee development through subsidized tuition and professional accreditation. Financial bonuses for some course completions
  • In-house and online professional development courses
  • Contributes to retirement plan
  • Plays active role in supporting and celebrating Acadian and Francophone communities through charity event

CB District Health Authority
Sydney, N.S.
Health and wellness services

  • Offers a career in health care on the island to people who want to stay in Cape Breton
  • “Grows its own” employees with tuitionsupport programs for registered nurses, and techs on lab, diagnostic imaging, cardio-pulmonary-neuro and pharmacy for students who will work in the district
  • Free onsite fitness facility, lounge
  • Offers retirement planning and good pension plan
  • Offers flexible maternity leave, flextime, telecommuting and professional development

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About Jon Tattrie

Jon Tattrie is a freelance journalist and writer based in Halifax. He's a board member of the Writers' Federation of Nova Scotia and regularly speaks to universities, colleges and schools on journalism and writing. His debut novel, Black Snow, was published by Pottersfield Press in April 2009. His first non-fiction book, The Hermit of Africville, was released in the summer of 2010.

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