Winners from our 3rd annual editorial competition
Direct Focus Marketing employees playing pool in the company's lounge

About the Competition


PolyCello employees inspecting equipment and product quality in the company's blown film extrusion lines

Background

Now entering its 4th year, Canada's Top Small & Medium Employers is an editorial competition that recognizes the small and medium enterprises (SMEs) that offer the nation's best workplaces and forward-thinking human resources policies. Canada's SME sector is tremendously important to the nation and is responsible for:

Our 2016 winners were announced in a special magazine published in The Globe and Mail on March 29, 2016. Read the press release issued the same day, announcing this year's winners.

Selection Process

Employers are evaluated by the editors of Canada's Top Small & Medium Employers using the same eight criteria as our national competition:

  • (1) Physical Workplace;
  • (2) Work Atmosphere & Social;
  • (3) Health, Financial & Family Benefits;
  • (4) Vacation & Time Off;
  • (5) Employee Communications;
  • (6) Performance Management;
  • (7) Training & Skills Development; and
  • (8) Community Involvement.

To determine eligibility, the Top 100 editors adopted the SME definition used by Statistics Canada, limiting the competition to private-sector commercial organizations with under 500 employees.


Fusion Learning employees looked back to the past for fashion inspiration during the summer conference

Editorial Partner

The Globe and Mail is our editorial partner on the Canada's Top Small & Medium Employers competition. Each year, the competition winners are announced in a special magazine published nationally in The Globe and Mail. Our editors' detailed reasons for selection are published on our job search engine, Eluta.ca — click an employer's name below to read why each of this year's winners was chosen. Publishing detailed Reasons for Selection is an important feature of our competition: it provides transparency in the selection of winners and "raises the bar" so that other employers can discover and adopt initiatives that work well at other SMEs.


The atrium of Chandos, one of this year's winners

Eligibility Requirements

To be considered a "Small or Medium Enterprise", your company must: (a) have less than 500 employees worldwide, including employees at any affiliated companies; and (b) be a commercial, for-profit enterprise, i.e. non-profit organizations don't meet the definition.

2017 Competition

Applications for our 2017 competition will be available early in 2016. Our 2017 winners will be announced in a special magazine in The Globe and Mail early in 2017.

Editorial Conference

To learn more about the competition, we invite you to join us at the Top Employer Summit, our annual editorial conference on the Canada’s Top 100 Employers project. This event lets you discover the latest best practices from winners, meet competition organizers and editors, and hear inspiring stories from world-class speakers – all presented in a commercial-free format. The conference is Canada’s largest annual event for senior-level HR professionals.

Scalar Decisions employees at the company's 10th anniversary party
Scalar Decisions employees at the company's 10th anniversary party

Introduction

Canada's Top Small and Medium Employers are proving you don't have to be big to be a leader. This year's winning companies offer forward-thinking human resource policies that are competitive with much bigger enterprises. For instance, many small and medium employers offer a share purchase plan available to all employees as well as year-end bonuses; support for long-term savings; and tuition subsidies, often for both work and non-work-related courses. Alternative work options are another popular perk, and nearly half of these companies provide maternity and parental leave top-up payments. Some daring policies are unique to this sector, according to Richard Yerema, managing editor of Canada's Top 100 Employers.

“The SME competition is home to some intriguing programs, such as the unlimited vacation policies at Verafin, Nulogy and Mabel's Labels," says Mr. Yerema. "Work environments and social calendars can also resemble friends and family gatherings, from trips to sunny southern destinations at the Great Little Box Company to summer camping and winter ski trips at Jayman BUILT Group of Companies.”

With Canada's SME sector responsible for over three-quarters of new jobs in the past decade, employment growth is key in choosing the winning companies. Some have grown at an incredible pace this year, such as Kitchener-based robotics manufacturer Clearpath, which increased its overall workforce by 55 per cent, and Pythian Group in Ottawa with the creation of 30 new information technology jobs.

“All of the employers included this year have shown employment stability, with the vast majority showing year-over-year employment growth,” notes Mr. Yerema. “That's comforting in these times.”

2016 Winners

Here are 2016 winners of the Canada's Top Small & Medium Employers competition. Click an employer name to read our editors' full Reasons for Selection:
iQmetrix employees celebrating the grand opening of the company's new office in Winnipeg, Manitoba

Find jobs from Canada's Top Small & Medium Employers