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Best Workplaces™ in Manufacturing: How They Compete for High-Tech Talent

 Best Workplaces™ in Manufacturing: How They Compete for High-Tech Talent

Best Workplaces

Great Place to Work® is pleased to announce the 2018 list of Canada’s Best Workplaces™ in Manufacturing. To be eligible for this list, organizations must be Great Place to Work Certified™ in the past year, have manufacturing operations in Canada and at least 90% of employees working in the organization must agree their workplace is safe. We determined the BEST based on employee responses to our Trust Index Survey.


According to a recent study by RBC Economics, manufacturing currently accounts for about 10% of Canadian GDP. Though this number has seen a decline in the past 50 years, largely due to off-shore production and a growing service sector, Canada is producing more goods than ever before and manufacturing is still an excellent long-term career path for many Canadians.

An increasing number of manufacturing plants are integrating the newest technology into their operations, such as artificial intelligence, 3-D printing and the internet of things. These advancements have improved productivity to be sure, but they have also created a demand for more advanced technical skills in the industry, both in the office and on the shop floor.

Recognizing they are now in competition with the tech sector for talent, the Best Workplaces™ in Manufacturing offer a top-notch employee experience, including professional development, workplace perks and plenty of time for team building and fun.

At the Best Workplaces™ in Manufacturing, 87% of employees agree their workplace is great, and 85% say they want to work there a long time.

Top Notch Training

All employees at Mercedes Benz Canada, regardless of status or tenure, attend a 3-day, Brand Immersion seminar in Alabama. Employees are given the opportunity to visit the company museum to learn more about their history as inventor of the automobile, their assembly plant to see how selected vehicles are made, and Barber Motorsports Park to drive and experience their amazing AMG performance vehicles.

At Rittal Systems, employees enjoy frequent online training delivered to their desktop. Micro-learning (learning modules delivered in bite size pieces) is facilitated with articles, videos and brain challenging exercises and games to ensure all employees have regular and easy access to professional development. Rittal employees also have the opportunity to attend relevant industry and peer networking events to keep up to date with latest trends and highlights.

Recognizing Excellence

To recognize employees for their contributions, BASF has introduced a new way for managers and employees to recognize each other for going above and beyond. Each recognition has points attached, that can be used to buy merchandise and experiences, with up to a $2500 value!

At Phoenix Contact, employees who go the extra mile can be nominated by managers or peers for company-wide recognition. Recognized employees are rewarded with something they value, ranging from paid dinners out with their family to gift cards to additional paid time off.

Nutritional Benefits

At Kicking Horse Coffee, Wednesdays are a favourite day because no one has to worry about packing their lunch. Their in-house meal magician prepares delicious, healthy lunches for everyone to enjoy. These lunches are so popular that the company plans on expanding this program to 5 days a week in the coming year!

At LMI Technologies, employees enjoy a catered buffet lunch every Tuesday, which could include sandwiches, salads, pizza, Greek, Italian, BBQ and Indian food. Staff look forward to these lunches as they provide an opportunity for employees to socialize over great food and build team spirit.

Health and Wellness

Wellness is an important part of the culture at Quadra Chemicals, and their vision is to improve the health and wellbeing of all employees’ lives. They have established a comprehensive Wellness Plan which encourages work-life balance for all Quadra employees by pursuing an active and healthy lifestyle. The plan reimburses employees up to $600 annually for fitness memberships, as well as provides health assessment tools and Employee Assistance Program support.

3M recognizes that employee health and wellness benefits must go beyond a 'one size fits all' approach. Their Flexible Benefits Program provides employees and their families with automatic core benefits at a basic level of protection. Flex credits can then be used to cover the cost of additional benefits including medical and dental coverage that reflect an employee's lifestyle, health priorities, and family needs.

Work Hard, Play Hard

A longstanding tradition at Vermilion is to celebrate the Calgary Stampede, the world's largest outdoor rodeo, held each year in July. To celebrate Stampede, employees are treated to barbeque buffet lunch, refreshments throughout the afternoon, tickets to the Calgary Stampede grounds and to an afternoon at the rodeo (this event is held during the work week and the office is closed). Company-paid transportation is provided for those who require it.

At SC Johnson, employees, retirees and their families have access to the company resort throughout the year located on Lake Joe in the heart of Muskoka. This resort has 8 cottages complete with water access. Employees can enjoy, fishing, tubing, campfires, snowshoeing, hiking or simply relaxing. It is the company's goal to ensure that as many employees and their families have an equal opportunity to enjoy the resort.

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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®

GPTW (www.greatplacetowork.ca) 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 on Twitter at @GPTW_Canada

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