Manitoba's Top Employers


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M anitoba has a lot to be proud of. As the Managing Editor of Mediacorp Canada Inc., the organization that hosts the annual Top 25 Employers competition in each province, Richard Yerema has noticed the strength of Manitoba's workforce. This has remained a constant over the years of the competition, Yerema says. "One of the things I like about Manitoba is the diversity of its industries. There isn't any one field that dominates. This paints a very nice picture of the province's economy. That's the kind of economy that weathers storms better than others," he said. "The stability of the number of employers is very strong." Manitoba also has a strong showing in its support for new parents, says Yerema. "We've seen a lot of change in maternity and paternity benefit top ups. All but five of Manitoba's Top 25 employers have support for parents who are going on leave," he said. "There's solid support across the board for ongoing education and financial savings as well." Now entering its ninth year, Manitoba's Top Employers is an annual competition organized by the editors of Canada's Top 100 Employers. This special designation recognizes the Manitoba employers that lead their industries in offering exceptional places to work. A blue-ribbon academic advisory board helped to develop the selection criteria for the annual competition. The distinguished panel members, were drawn from universities across Canada and had each written or edited a major human resources textbook in Canada. "We look at employees from a number of different categories — the health of the organization, the physical workplace, health and family benefits, time off, performance management, support for training and development, and community involvement," Yerema said. "Our objective is to shine a light on these employers and make what was unknown known. This lets the job seeker approach employers with more information." He says that these categories have been a staple of the competition from the beginning. "This isn't a happiness index. It's a catalogue of practices, but we certainly want to know how these employers engage their employees," said Yerema. "These awards provide a snapshot of what it's like to work in Canada in 2014." The regional competitions, along with the national Top 100 Employer awards, were originally designed as a way to assist employees. "Twenty years ago we wanted to provide employer information to people who were on the outside looking in. It's very important to approach employers with as much information as you can," Yerema said. "With the help of these awards, you can discover what might be important or what might be missing as you develop a career plan for yourself." The awards have actually inspired organizations to become better employers, he adds. "In terms of offering people better benefits, we've seen organizations change and move forward because of this program. One of the hallmarks of this program is that we publicize the reasons for the judges' selections," said Yerema. "Benefits that do extremely well in the competition, like maternity top up, we do track from year to year. We have over a decade's worth of data, so we can see the changes the companies make in real time." Being named one of the province's Top 25 Employers has a number of benefits, Yerema says. "From a marketing and recruiting perspective, it's beneficial. Re-application rates for these awards can be extremely high — up to 98 per cent," he said. "We have expanded our lists over the years to reflect the growing number of applications. Any organization is free to apply." As the lists started with just 10 employers, the program has definitely grown over the years. "Lists such as these help you paint a picture where you can explain what's going on in any given province in terms of employment," said Yerema. "There's a very nice employment scene in Manitoba. You do see variations across the country. Regional differences do exist." Top 25 Employers reflect strength of Manitoba's workforce By Holli Moncrieff For the Free Press 2 MANITOBA'S TOP 25 EMPLOYERS 2015 "Our objective is to shine a light on these employers and make what was unknown known."

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