31. Vista Projects Ltd.


Engineering and procurement services for the oil and gas sector

Full-time equivalent (FTE) employees: 429

Senior exec: Alex Campbell

Like many companies, Vista offers employees in-house training. Unlike many companies, Vista lets employees set the curricula. This past year, it held 14 training sessions on such staff-suggested topics as stress management and technical writing.

32. Travel Alberta


Tourism marketing

FTE employees: 83

Senior exec: Bruce Okabe

How’s this for an empowerment-booster? In order to drive home how every position affects Travel Alberta’s results, every team member must outline how their own goals contribute to the overall objectives of the organization during the annual performance-planning process.

33. Jayman Group of Companies


Residential construction and land development

FTE employees: 304

Senior execs: Jay Westman and Graham Boyce

Jayman has no interest in employing managers who rule with an iron fist, and has invested heavily in training leaders to manage teams effectively. “It is critical that our leadership team exemplify servant leadership,” the firm says. “Do they listen, and we mean authentically listen? Are they stewards to their teams? Do they remove obstacles and demonstrate a solutions-driven mindset?”

It is critical that our leadership team exemplify servant leadership. Do they listen, and we mean authentically listen? Are they stewards to their teams? Do they remove obstacles and demonstrate a solutions-driven mindset?

34. Innovation Place (Saskatchewan Opportunities Corp.)


Technology parks in three Saskatchewan municipalities

FTE employees: 110

Senior exec: Van Isman

Innovation Place restructured its culture strategy in 2009 in order to deliberately and directly link employee practices with client success. The change has led to a more engaged and committed workforce.

Read: The 4 Things Great Bosses Do

35. Macadamian Technologies Inc.

Gatineau, Que.

Software design and engineering

FTE employees: 108

Senior exec: Frederic Boulanger

Tech and/or process changes are never easy on an organization. Macadamian solicits employee feedback before any changes are made and throughout subsequent rollouts, which smooths transitions and secures buy-in. Lots of training before go-live deepens employees’ confidence in, and commitment to, new programs.

36. Benefits by Design Inc.

Port Coquitlam, B.C.

Employee-benefits services

FTE employees: 85

Senior exec: Mike McClenahan

Benefits by Design “walks the talk” when it comes to meeting employee demand for a healthier workplace. “We have put considerable money and energy into solutions that allow our employees to increase their level of activity throughout their workday, including treadmill desks, standing desks and walking meetings,” the firm explains. “And we are constantly evolving and supporting uptake of our fitness incentive and health and wellness programs.”

Read: How Benefits By Design and Others Hire for Culture Fit

37. GEF Seniors Housing (Greater Edmonton Foundation)


Housing for seniors

FTE employees: 333

Senior exec: Raymond Swonek

A highly engaged staff morale committee—made up of employees from different GEF sites—coordinates special staff events and initiatives that people actually want to participate in. These have included an event to acknowledge long-serving employees, a frozen treat delivery day and even the development of an employee cookbook.

38. Brigil

Gatineau, Que.

Real estate services

FTE employees: 100

Senior exec: France Lefebvre

The little things count at Brigil: a very popular perk is a catering service that brings in breakfast and lunch so that employees do not need to go out. “It is free for breakfast and a lunch costs only $3, which is an unbelievable advantage for employees,” the firm says.

39. Powerline Plus Ltd.


Diverse infrastructure services

FTE employees: 352

Senior exec: Ben Matin

Don’t be a dictator:Generally speaking, we have found that when orders are issued or demands are made, the employees are not engaged and therefore aren’t effective,” Powerline management explains. “Whereas where our employees are engaged on every level with management, it appears that we all have a common goal and, therefore, everyone strives to achieve that goal.”

40. iQmetrix Software Development Corp.


Software for retailers

FTE employees: 250

Senior exec: Christopher Krywulak

Lesson: You need to equip employees with the tools to operate independently. “We have worked to reduce the effect of hierarchy in decision-making. As a result, employees find new, unexpected ways to build the organization and will pursue them without official assignment of duty,” iQmetrix explains. “But we found limitations in how much we can decentralize decision-making and push responsibility to individuals without also sharing tools, coaching and advice to help them be successful. Trust alone doesn’t always work. Sometimes it takes trust and coaching.”

From The Archives: How iQmetrix Turned Its Engagement Scores Around

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