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Alberta’s Best Workplaces 2016

We bring you the stories of the nine companies that won Alberta’s Best Workplace Awards this year, from the small communications firm that took all its employees to Barbados last year to the giant school with a therapy dog

Oct 28, 2016

by Alberta Venture Staff

What constitutes a great workplace is, to a certain extent, a matter of personal choice. First of all, a person will naturally prefer a place of employment that specializes in their particular profession: an engine assembly technician is unlikely to enjoy working in a law firm and vice versa, for example. And your personal situation and interests – say if you’re just entering the workforce and still want to travel the world – might be better met with unlimited vacation than a great pension plan.
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North Strategic
Best Overall Workplace, Under 100 Employees
Plus Best Workplace For Benefits, Perks & Incentives

Best Workplace For Volunteerism
& Community Involvement

Best Workplace For The Environmentally Conscious

Rogers Insurance
Best Overall Workplace, 100 To 750 Employees

Best Workplace For Diversity

Best Workplace For Young People

Best Overall Workplace, 750 Or More Employees

OEM Remanufacturing
Best Workplace For Health And Safety

Parkland School Division No. 70
Best Workplace For Training And Development

Beyond that, there’s no single formula for creating a great workplace, but there are trends. One that caught the eye was the increasing use of multi-directional mentorship programs, in which not only do senior staff mentor new people, but younger staff mentor their elders. BioWare and North Strategic stood out for their programs in this area.

Another trend seen among this year’s finalists was how many of them are working from their strengths: the Workers’ Compensation Board, for instance, has excellent health and safety programs, NAIT and SAIT excel at giving employees opportunities for further learning and Talisman Centre, a fitness facility, is great for anyone who wants flexible hours, a free gym membership and workout classes.

But whatever a company’s strengths or however creative they get, there are some things that pretty much anyone would like from an employer: good benefits, the opportunity for advancement, a collegial environment and an all-expense-paid trip to Barbados, for example.

Not surprisingly, all these things and much more are found in the following pages as we celebrate Alberta’s Best Workplaces of 2016.