U of T one of Canada's Top 100 employers

Friday, October 15, 2010 - 9:30am
Elaine Smith

The University of Toronto has been named one of Canada's Top 100 Employers for 2011 in the annual competition run by Mediacorp Canada Inc.

This is the fourth time U of T has been named to the list of exemplary employers in the 11 years the competition has been held. It is one of only four post-secondary institutions so honoured for 2011.

Mediacorp, which is a specialty publisher of employment guides and periodicals, invited 12,500 employers across Canada to take part in the competition. U of T was selected from among 2,750 organizations across the country who submitted applications for the competition. Those chosen as among the Top 100 vary widely in size and field of expertise.

Membership on the coveted list is based on eight criteria: health, financial and family benefits; vacation and time off; employee communications; physical workplace; work and social atmosphere; performance management; training and skills development; and community involvement.

Despite challenging economic times, we've seen strong interest by employers in maintaining and improving the working conditions they offer to employees, said Richard Yerema, who is Mediacorp's managing editor of the Top 100 project. Many of this year's winners have learned from past economic slowdowns that you can do lasting damage to an organization by scaling back on benefits that are important to employees.

This is certainly true at U of T, where a commitment to excellence has always extended to the workplace itself. It is particularly gratifying given the current economic climate and the financial constraints such a climate fosters.

We are delighted and proud to receive such recognition, said Professor Angela Hildyard, vice-president (human resources and equity). We have worked hard over last several years to enhance the working environment for faculty and staff, including adding a childcare benefit through negotiations, increasing communication and providing more opportunities for personal and professional growth. Although we are operating in a difficult economic context, U of T has and will always be committed to providing an inclusive, challenging but collegial workplace and retaining and attracting the best and the brightest of faculty and staff.

It does not mean, however, that the university can now sit back and rest on its laurels.

Being named one of Canada's Top 100 Employers is wonderful news, said Rosie Parnass, quality of work life adviser and director of the Organizational Development and Learning Centre. However, it is the feedback from our employees that really tells us where we exhibit best practice and where we can make improvements, so we're looking forward to hearing from them in the upcoming Speaking Up staff and faculty survey.

The full list of the 2011 winners can be found online at www.CanadasTop100.com/national and is also published in a special editorial feature in the Oct. 15 Globe and Mail.