The best Canadian companies to work for in 2014
Companies of all kinds are creating a better business environment in Canada. And, with Canadian companies both large and small setting the bar for what it means to take care of employees and clients, it just goes to show you that not all business has to be big business.
With working relationships in mind, here are some of the top businesses to work for and thus do business with in the Great White North:
Aboriginal Peoples Television Network
One of the top employers for 2013 - 2014 year according to Canada's Top 100 Employers List is the Aboriginal Peoples Television Network out of Winnipeg. The network only has 145 full-time employees, which means every position counts.
Not only does the network believe in a 35-hour workweek tailored to the way employees want to live their lives, the company also offers optional telecommuting.
Likewise, with ongoing training programs as well as comprehensive employee healthcare plans, it's no wonder this company is so highly rated.
Great Little Box Company
When employees love their jobs, clients get the most of out of the company and such is the case with the Great Little Box Company.
The company operates out of British Columbia and, with its 200 full-time employees, manufactures corrugated boxes, displays, and protective packaging.
The box company loves its employees and proves it with an onsite exercise facility, rooftop deck employee lounge, and even lunch break kayaking on the property lake. In addition, the company offers its employees profit sharing options, extended time off, and a free vacation whenever the company meets its revenue goals.
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Although 3M is a worldwide company, it takes both employee and client relationships to heart and nowhere is this truer than with 3M Canada.
With more than 1,800 full-time employees all across Canada, 3M proves time and time again that it's a great place to work as well as do business.
Not only does 3M Canada offer its employees onsite meditation rooms, 3 weeks paid vacation, and 17 weeks of paid maternity leave, the company also sponsors a scholarship program for the children of employees seeking a college education. When employees feel this taken care of, it's no surprise client relationships are so strong.
Bank of Canada
Another one of the top companies in Canada in terms of employee happiness and client satisfaction is Bank of Canada. In fact, the main branch in Ottawa has a membership-free, family friendly fitness zone complete with a climbing wall and basketball courts.
And, with more than 1,200 employees, Bank of Canada makes banking a pleasure because it not only contributes to employee pension plans, the bank also offers flexible work hours and ongoing employee education.
With just more than 200 full-time employees, Stryker Canada is one of the smallest companies on the list, but that doesn't stop them from being a great company to work for and with.
Stryker manufactures surgical equipment and specialty medical products and rewards its employees for all their great work with company share and stock purchase plans, paid training programs, and 8 weeks paid leave for family emergencies.
From one Canadian company to the next, it's plain to see that when employees are happy, business is good.
About the author
Adam Groff is a freelance writer and creator of content. He writes on a variety of topics including personal health, how to make a budget, and business.
Marketing matters: from IBM to Kyndryl
Prior to joining Kyndryl as Chief Marketing Officer, Maria had a 25-year career at IBM, most recently as the tech giant’s CMO where she oversaw all marketing professionals and activities across North America, Canada and Latin America. She has held senior global marketing positions in a variety of disciplines and business units across IBM, most notably strategic initiatives in Smarter Cities and Watson Customer Engagement, as well as leading teams in services, business analytics, and mobile and industry solutions. She is known for her work with teams to leverage data, analytics and cloud technologies to build deeper engagements with customers and partners.
With a passion for marketing, business and people, and a recognized expert in data-driven marketing and brand engagement, Maria talks to Business Chief about her new role, her leadership style and what success means to her.
You've recently moved from IBM to Kyndryl, joining as CMO. Tell us about this exciting new role?
I’m Chief Marketing Officer for Kyndryl, the independent company that will be created following the separation from IBM of its Managed Infrastructure Services business, expected to occur by the end of 2021. My role is to plan, develop, and execute Kyndryl's marketing and advertising initiatives. This includes building a company culture and brand identity on which we base our marketing and advertising strategy.
We have an amazing opportunity ahead at Kyndryl to create a company brand that will stand apart in the market by leading with our people first. Once we are an independent company, each Kyndryl employee will advance the vital systems that power human progress. Our people are devoted, restless, empathetic, and anticipatory – key qualities needed as we build on existing customer relationships and cultivate new ones. Our people are at the heart of this business and I am deeply hopeful and excited for our future.
What experiences have helped prepare you for this new opportunity?
I’ve had a very rich and diverse career history at IBM that has lasted 25+ years. I started out in sales but landed explored opportunities at IBM in different roles, business units, geographies, and functions. Marketing and business are my passions and I landed on Marketing because it allowed me to utilize both my left and right brain, bringing together art and science. In college, I was no tonly a business major, but an art major. I love marketing because I can leverage my extensive knowledge of business, while also being able to think openly and creatively.
The opportunities I was given during my time at IBM and my natural curiosity have led me to the path I’m on now and there’s no better next career step than a once-in-a-lifetime-opportunity to help launch a company. The core of my role at Kyndryl is to create a culture centered on our people and growing up in my career at IBM has allowed me to see first-hand how to prioritize people and ensure they are at the heart of progress in everything Kyndryl will do.
How would you describe your leadership style?
I believe that people aren't your greatest assets, they are your only assets. My platform and background for leadership has always been grounded in authenticity to who I am and centered on diversity and inclusion. I immigrated to the US from Chile when I was 10 years old and so I know the power and beauty that comes from leaning into what makes you different from other people, and that's what I want every person in my marketing organization to feel – the value in bringing their most authentic self to work every day. The way our employees feel when they show up for themselves authentically is how they will also show up for our customers, and strong relationships drive growth.
I think this is especially true in light of a world forever changed by the pandemic. Living through such an unprecedented time has reinforced that we are all humans. We can't lead or care for one another without empathy and I think leaders everywhere have been reminded of this.
What’s the best leadership advice you’ve received?
When I was growing up as an immigrant in North Carolina, I often wanted to be just like everyone else. But my mother always told me: Be unique, be memorable – you have an authentic view and experience of the world that no one else will ever have, so don't try to be anyone else but you.
What does success look like to you?
I think the concept of success is multi-faceted. From a career perspective, being in a job where you're respected and appreciated, and where you can see how your contributions are providing value by motivating your teams to be better – that's success! From a personal perspective, there is no greater accomplishment than investing in the next generation. I love mentoring younger professionals – they are the future. I want my legacy as a leader to include providing value in work culture, but also in leaving a personal impact on the lives of professionals who will carry the workforce forward. Finding a position in life with a job and company that offers me a chance at all of that is what success looks like to me.
What advice would you give to your younger self just starting out in the industry?
I've always been a naturally curious person and it's easy for me to over-commit to projects that pique my interest. I've learned over years of practice how to manage that, so to my younger self I’d say… prioritize the things that are most important, and then become amazing at those things.