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Best Workplaces™ in Financial Services and Insurance: Company Culture Creates Competitive Advantage

 Best Workplaces™ in Financial Services and Insurance: Company Culture Creates Competitive Advantage

Best Workplaces Company Culture

Great Place to Work® is pleased to announce the 2018 list of Canada’s Best Workplaces™ in Financial Services and Insurance. To be eligible for this list, organizations must be Great Place to Work Certified™ in the past year and work primarily in the financial services industry. We determined the BEST based on employee responses to our Trust Index Survey.



Financial services and insurance is an industry in transition. Customers expect 24/7 mobile applications but are not yet willing to let go of in-person service. Company-wide, legacy systems are making way for more nimble and sophisticated technology. Consumer debt is high but interest rates are expected to rise. A recent The Globe & Mail article highlighted the multitude of challenges faced by this industry, with cyber-security topping the list for 2018.

We asked CEOs at the Best Workplaces™ in Financial Services and Insurance about the most important issues facing their organizations and how they expect to navigate these challenges. Topping the list for most CEOs was a commitment to developing their company culture to create competitive advantage in the market.

Developing company culture is not just about offering better perks and benefits. It’s about creating a compelling, shared vision for all employees, offering systems of support and empowerment so that employees are motivated to bring their best to work each day and fostering a sense of team spirit so everyone is rowing in the same direction. There is no “one size fits all” solution. Each organization must find its own path.

Here’s how the Best Workplaces™ in Financial Services and Insurance have created strong company cultures that give them their competitive edge:

Creating a Shared Vision

Capital One associates attend a full-day, off-site event to focus on their business strategy for the year ahead, their mission and their progress against long-term goals. This day is a special one led by the President of their Canadian business, and gives associates opportunity to learn, ask questions, hear from guest speakers, and network with leaders and peers. This day is centred around associate development, and their mission and values. It’s designed to celebrate the tremendous achievements of the prior year, provide insight into the current state of the business, and offer growth and learning opportunities for everyone who attends. Associates are also given the opportunity to personalize their experience by choosing breakout sessions and speakers that reflect areas of interest for them.

Prospera Credit Union hosts an annual, themed, all staff event with the purpose of celebrating the past year, reviewing what they've accomplished and reconnecting with their values and their colleagues. They provide a catered meal, prizes and structured values-based activities for friendly competition and teambuilding. The event has over 80% participation, with extremely high staff feedback, and is supported with videographers, DJs, photographers and an event planning team to ensure that staff can fully participate.

Encouraging Personal Best

Dun & Bradstreet has an innovative program called Sustainable High Performance (SHP) which demonstrates their investment in team members as people (not just employees) that have priorities, cares and responsibilities outside of their professional work. The SHP program educates team members on a number of different strategies that can be employed to optimize mindset, recovery, movement and nutrition - all with the intent of bringing your best self to work and at home. There are monthly events and information sessions centered around health, fitness, and wellness to promote optimal work-life balance.

Mercedes Benz Financial Services makes the transition of becoming a parent an easy experience through their maternity benefits program. They deliver baby gift baskets to new parents and a $500 reimbursement for new strollers, cribs, car seats, or any other parental necessities. New parents benefit from a maternity/parental leave top-up equal to 80% of their weekly gross salary. For parents not taking maternity or parental leave, they offer one week off at 100% pay to spend with their newborn.

Fostering Team Spirit

Diversity is one of BMO’s core values. Their Learn From Difference (LFD) program is a multi-year initiative to build inclusive leadership capability among BMO’s people managers and employees, and has contributed significantly to fostering an environment where people feel valued, respected and heard. The core LFD e-learning has been completed by over 80% of managers, 97% of whom felt this learning could be applied to their everyday work, and is in the process of being rolled out to all employees. Today, more of their people than ever before feel BMO is a workplace that embraces inclusive values and practices.

At NestWealth, every Friday they do a family style lunch with the team, a chance to slow down a little bit and take time laugh, joke and catch up with each other. They also use a performance tool called 15/5, where anyone in the company can give a public "high five" to anyone who went that extra mile. The person at the end of the week who has the most "high fives" has honour of selecting the Friday team lunch – which is much coveted in the office!

Nine steps to creating a world-class culture

Great Place to Work® has identified nine cultural practice areas that can help any organization transform their workplace culture from good to great. Our research shows that high-trust cultures are high performance cultures. Contact us today to learn how you can get started.

Think your organization is a great workplace?

Register today to become Great Place to Work Certified™. Get recognized for the outstanding culture you’ve built or let us help you create a more productive work environment. Or attend one of our free live webinars to learn more.

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About our lists

Great Place to Work® publishes a series of Best Workplaces™ lists based on feedback from more than 300,000 employees at Great Place to Work Certified™ organizations across all industries in Canada. Employees complete an anonymous Trust Index© survey, answering questions about how frequently they experience behaviors that create a great workplace, including, the transparency of communication, degree of collaboration, quality of benefits programs, opportunity for professional development, and support for work-life balance. If 7/10 employees respond positively to the survey, the organization becomes Great Place to Work Certified™ for one year. Results from the survey are highly reliable, having a 95% confidence level with +/- 5% margin of error.

About Great Place to Work®

Great Place to Work® 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 The Globe & Mail (Canada) and Fortune magazine (USA). Great Place to Work® provides the benchmarks, framework, and expertise needed to create, sustain, and recognize outstanding workplace cultures.

Follow GPTW online at www.greatplacetowork.ca and on Twitter at @GPTW_Canada

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