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Recruiting and retaining talent is essential to any strong organization. But focusing on this while juggling other organizational goals can be a challenge.

With growing emphasis on mental health and wellness within Canadian workplaces, more and more organizations are beginning to see a correlation between their employees’ well-being and their willingness to stick around.

Here are a few ways that the winners of the 2019 Employee Recommended Workplace Awards, created by The Globe and Mail and Morneau Shepell and presented on March 19, have improved recruitment and retention by adopting wellness initiatives in the workplace.

Helping employees achieve success in all forms

Sara Liverance Employee Recommended Workplace award“Our company purpose is to help others succeed. And we realize that a key enabler to helping our clients succeed is helping each other internally succeed.

“About three years ago we created a program that we call Spirit 32, … a whole-person development program. We’ve offered all kinds of things through that, so we had, for example, a 16-week mindfulness training program that was part of that. We’ve done a series of seminars on brain health. We have a naturopath we work with who has come in and given sessions on how to get well, how to boost your immune system, all kinds of physical health-related things. We have a corporate movement program where we try to get people up and moving, we have a healthy snacking centre, we have a lot of initiatives that are part of that whole-person development program, and we have a whole team that works to keep that alive and fresh.”

– Sarah Liverance, partner at Sklar Wilton and Associates in Toronto. Winner, small privately-owned corporation


Employees’ overall health and well-being is key to their productivity and engagement at work, and that realization has more Canadian companies focusing on how to help their staff stay healthy – both physically and mentally.

The Employee Recommended Workplace Award, created by The Globe and Mail and Morneau Shepell, recognizes companies for excellence in achieving a healthy, engaged and productive work force. It is the only award of its kind that is based entirely on feedback from employees.

Here’s how the award works. Employees complete a short confidential survey that includes questions about their physical and mental health, as well as aspects of their work and life – all elements of Total Health that impact employee engagement and productivity. Once completed, each employee gets an individual report that outlines their overall score, areas of strength, and areas they may want to focus on improving. As well, participating organizations receive a summary report that identifies areas of strength and areas where more work may be needed to improve the health of their work force.

The companies with the highest overall scores are awarded the Top Category award based on their size and business structure. The winning organizations achieve the top Total Health scores in their categories, representing privately owned, public, not-for-profit and government sectors in small, mid-sized and large businesses. The Employee Recommended Workplace Award is unique in that it is purely based on statistics and employee responses. There are 12 Top Category winners for 2019.

Registration for the 2020 Employee Recommended Workplace Award will open on April 3. Visit for more information.