SOURCE: Aon Hewitt

Aon Hewitt

November 10, 2016 08:00 ET

Canada's Best Employers get high marks for employee engagement; beat the world in key workplace metrics

The 2017 Aon Best Employers in Canada Study identifies 79 leaders in workplace excellence

TORONTO, ON--(Marketwired - November 10, 2016) - Aon Hewitt, the global talent, retirement and health solutions business of Aon plc (NYSE: AON), today released the results of its 2017 Aon Best Employers in Canada Study, which found that 79 companies, including 39 large organizations with more than 400 employees, set the mark for engaging employees, demonstrating effective leadership, building a performance culture and leveraging the strength of their employer brand. Those results are based on the opinions of almost 680,000 employees across approximately 200 Canadian organizations.

On a worldwide level, employees at Aon Best Employers in Canada rank their organizations higher than the Aon global average on collaboration (77% versus 66%), empowerment (78% versus 68%), support for new ideas (66% versus 55%), continual learning (68% versus 57%) and career development (65% versus 54%).

The organizations on this year's list are distinguished not just for being named an Aon Best Employer in Canada -- the country's premier benchmark for assessing the quality and performance of workplace excellence using global standards -- but also for achieving outstanding results among their Canadian counterparts.

"It's clear that achieving Aon Best Employer status can be a significant indicator of organizational success in terms of results," said Neil Crawford, Partner and Canada Talent Practice Leader at Aon Hewitt. "Our global research has shown that Aon Best Employers enjoy higher operating profits and sales growth than the average organization. Plus, they have a third less staff turnover and more internal promotions than their counterparts. On a more granular scale, we can see why: highly engaged employees are more effective and efficient in maintaining productive customer relationships, while engendering the kind of positive work culture that all stakeholders -- from other employees to customers and suppliers -- can feel and appreciate."

Among Platinum-level Aon Best Employers in Canada, an average of 80% of employees are engaged, meaning that they speak positively about their employers, are committed to staying and are willing to go "above and beyond" to contribute to business success. Only seven percent of employees describe themselves as disengaged, versus the Canadian average of 15%. High engagement -- and perhaps as important, very low levels of disengagement -- are key, as disengaged employees are nearly twice as likely to leave an organization as their engaged counterparts.

Now in its 18th year, the Aon Best Employers in Canada study has identified several organizations that have long set the bar high for workplace excellence. In fact, this year's award winners include 44 organizations that have been named Aon Best Employers for more than five years -- and 13 that have made the mark for over a decade.

Focussing on employees' professional development and personal well-being has been key to Marriott Hotels of Canada's long tenure as an Aon Best Employer in Canada. "We are honored to be named a 2017 Canadian Best Employer by Aon Hewitt for the 12th year in a row," said Don Cleary, President for Marriott Hotels of Canada. "Our associates are truly our greatest and most valued asset, and we are dedicated to their professional development and personal well-being. We strive to be true to the principle established by our founder, J. Willard Marriott, to always take care of our associates, as they in turn will then always take care of our hotel guests. This recognition shows that Marriott still takes this to heart. It makes me enormously proud of our company and our team of associates in Canada." Its parent company, Marriott International Inc., is also currently the only employer to hold the title of Global Aon Best Employer.

Our research also shows that Aon Best Employers that are high-growth organizations are more likely (+16%) to focus on organizational and HR effectiveness programs than average organizations are, and are also two times more likely (56%) to focus on culture than average growth firms (28%). These organizations also focus on customers, and have a deep understanding of their needs - and how the organization is uniquely capable of delivering on them. Aon Best Employers listen and create meaningful conversations with their customers, which results in higher-than-average customer service scores.

The Co-operators, a national insurance co-operative, has been an Aon Best Employer for 14 years. "Having a highly engaged workforce is extremely important to us, and we see the benefits it brings in terms of the quality of work that comes out of people who are highly motivated, passionate and willing to go the extra mile to help achieve our goals," says Kathy Bardswick, President and CEO, The Co-operators. "As a co-operative, we have a distinct culture rooted in our co-op values, which is reflected in our commitment to learning and development, our collaborative spirit and our approach to supporting Canadian communities. The confidential employee surveys provide valuable information on an annual basis that helps us identify our strengths and areas we can improve as an employer."

Aon's Best Employers in Canada for 2017
The following Aon Best Employers in Canada award recipients list appears in the December issue of Canadian Business magazine,, and in the upcoming December 7 edition of La Presse.

Platinum award recipients  
Aecon Group Inc. Farm Credit Canada
Allstate Insurance Company of Canada Federal Express Canada Ltd.
ATB Financial Intact Financial Corporation
Bennett Jones LLP Keg Restaurants Ltd.
Birchwood Automotive Group Libro Credit Union
Canadian Apartment Property Real Estate Investment Trust (CAPREIT) Maritime Travel
CIMA+ Partenaire de génie *Marriott Hotels of Canada (*Global Aon Best Employer)
Cintas Canada Limited MNP LLP
Clark Builders Mouvement Desjardins
Cossette Communication Inc. OpenRoad Auto Group Ltd.
Davis Automotive Group Ltd. PCL Construction
Dilawri's CROWN Auto Group Polygon Security Inc. (Viking, Fireflex, SCS)
Edward Jones SAP Canada Inc.
EllisDon Corporation Stikeman Elliott LLP
Equitable Bank The Co-operators
Gold award recipients
Banque Nationale (BN)  LoyaltyOne, Co.
BBA Inc.  Purdys Chocolatier
Brookfield Residential Properties Inc.  Skyline Group of Companies
Colliers International  TD Bank Group
Gowling WLG (Canada) LLP   

For the list of our 2017 Aon Best Small and Medium-sized Employers in Canada award recipients, download the news release.

About the Aon Best Employers in Canada Study
The methodology behind the Aon Best Employers in Canada Study reflects more than 20 years of learnings and best practices from Aon Best Employer and employee engagement studies conducted all over the world, relying on data collected in more than 150 markets from over 5,000 organizations in 68 industries, including over 735,000 employees and more than 600 companies of all sizes in Canada. Using the stringent global standards developed for Aon's Global Best Employer Program, each participant's employee survey scores on engagement, leadership, performance culture and employment brand were assessed against Aon Hewitt's Canadian Survey Database and the opinions of Canadian employees. Organizations who score in the top 25% of the Canadian database achieved the Platinum level, while those who score in the top third achieved Gold level.

About Aon
Aon plc
(NYSE: AON) is a leading global provider of risk management, insurance brokerage and reinsurance brokerage, and human resources solutions and outsourcing services. Through its more than 72,000 colleagues worldwide, Aon unites to empower results for clients in over 120 countries via innovative risk and people solutions. For further information on our capabilities and to learn how we empower results for clients, please visit:

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