July 24, 2024

Advancing Corporate Yields

Pioneering Business Success

The Canadian Readers’ Choice Awards for HR

Leading by example

Canadian HR Reporter’s Readers’ Choice Awards 2024 celebrate the outstanding performers renowned for their abilities to unlock employee potential and transform an organization’s performance. 

Steven Fitzgerald, president of Habanero Consulting, comments on how HR has evolved and is now more humanistic. 

“Where HR people need support from the outside is to transition into those roles of being more sensitive and more connected to the behaviors and beliefs in the organization,” he says. 

The Canadian Readers’ Choice Awards for HR


This year’s winning cohort stood out in the market by offering tailored courses, self-assessments, coaching sessions, and empowering individuals to successfully assume leadership roles. 

The winners elevated the HR sector by: 

  • providing training for modern work environments

     

  • championing diversity, equity, and inclusion (DE&I) initiatives

     

  • cultivating and nurturing robust team cultures

     

  • recognizing employees while actively incorporating team feedback

     

They all exemplify a steadfast commitment to integrating these initiatives, ensuring lasting success for their valued clients and their own internal teams. 

Fitzgerald emphasizes where the Readers’ Choice winners can move the needle. 

“An organization needs to evolve its listening capabilities to really understand what’s going on in the culture and get to the heart of what’s going on inside its people and do that at scale, so they can design better ways to engage people and for people to be seen.”

 

Queen’s University–Industrial Relations Centre (IRC)


The organization has garnered a reputation for educating the next generation of HR professionals, resulting in awards in multiple categories this year, including:

  • HR Certificate Program

     

  • Leadership and Team Development

     

  • Labour Relations

     

  • Management and Executive Development

     

With courses on coaching, grievance handling, and labour arbitration, the IRC provides leaders, executives, and managers with the skills they need to manage talent within their organizations.

Focusing on practical education, Alison Darling, director of professional programs, says, “In our HR programs, students do presentations and participate in breakout groups to review case studies. Our courses are built around the need to give knowledge, but you need to practice knowledge, and then you need to be able to take it back to your workplaces.”

 

Alison Darling Queen’s University Industrial Relations Centre (IRC)

“We provide professional development training for people across Canada, but we also practice what we preach, making sure that those courses are available for our internal staff as well”

Alison DarlingQueen’s University–Industrial Relations Centre (IRC)

 

Next-generation HR 


Established in 1937, the IRC constantly updates its curriculum to align with the evolving landscape. 

“Last year, we overhauled our talent management programs to focus on the skills-based approach that more organizations are looking at now,” says Darling. “We also overhauled our leading HR programs to make them more relevant to the skills that an HR leader is going to need in today’s environment, which is very different from five or 10 years ago.” 

Renowned as one of Canada’s premier professional development programs, the IRC proudly showcases:

  • 18,000+ students

     

  • 1,900+ certificates awarded

     

  • 96 percent satisfaction rate on courses

     

Additionally, the IRC is proactive in integrating AI into its curriculum. Darling notes that during the IRC’s Organizational Transformation course, guest speakers specializing in AI engage with students, providing valuable insights. This fall, the IRC will also be launching a new equity, diversity, and inclusion (ED&I) course. 

“We’ve needed to deliver content in ED&I, but I wanted to make sure it was right, that it didn’t just become a checkbox,” shares Darling. “We wanted to give students practical tools so they can build out ED&I strategies in their own organizations, and I’m delighted that this program will finally be coming to fruition.”

Leading by example, the IRC ensures HR leaders within its internal team have complimentary access to their course offerings. This aims to support their ongoing development and reinforce the organization’s commitment to nurturing talent. 

“We’re trying to really embed that culture of we’re all responsible for our work environment and how we show up for each other each day,” says Darling.

 


Winning in the Employee Assessment category, the Edmonton-based firm offers a suite of industry-recognized employee development assessments and selection tests to aid organizations in identifying top candidates and enhancing employee potential.

Setting Psychometrics Canada apart is its onsite team of psychologists who ensure clients are utilizing the correct assessment tools. 

Reflecting on the benefits of using data in HR, president Mark Fitzsimmons says, “If you use objective data to make your hiring decisions, you’re going to naturally get diversity in your staff and diversity in your organization because you’ve removed the bias from the hiring process. And that’s really important today.” 

Working with more than 4,000 different clients, Psychometrics Canada administers a pre-employment selection assessment that helps employers evaluate candidates on the following criteria:

 

Mark Fitzsimmons Psychometrics Canada

“Being in the talent assessment space, we like to say that we ‘eat our own cooking.’ Having those insights into people naturally leads to better engagement for our staff because we understand the way people tick”

Mark FitzsimmonsPsychometrics Canada


Additionally, the company’s employee development assessment tools enable users to gain a clear understanding of their teams’ strengths, development gaps, work styles, and communication styles. 

“Our assessments assist with the entire employee lifecycle, from pre-hire to onboarding and leadership development and beyond,” adds Fitzsimmons.  

People insights 


By encouraging clients to develop continuous lines of communication with employees, Psychometrics Canada also ensures this is embedded in their internal culture.  

“We do a good job of soliciting feedback directly from our employees through quarterly and weekly meetings,” states Fitzsimmons. “It’s that constant communication where people feel like they can come to you with the issues of the day. You want that feedback in real time so that you can deal with things as they come.” 

Fitzsimmons also highlights the importance of rewards and recognition programs in creating a positive internal culture. Over the past five years, the company has nominated a Weekly Superhero to spotlight those who have gone above and beyond their duty. 

 


Based in Toronto, the firm specializes in emotional intelligence-focused training and has won the Employee Assessment Reader’s Choice Award for HR.

Co-founders Charles Fortier and Angela Payne empower influential leadership behaviours through emotional intelligence assessments, workshops, and coaching. 

“A lot of the journey around developing emotional intelligence comes from reflection, and from practice, which will take time. We try to set up bite-sized learnings for clients with space between sessions, so people have time to digest the content,” says Fortier.

LeedHR’s EQ-i 2.0 and EQ 360 2.0 assessments measure emotional social skills that influence the way employees: 

  • perceive and express themselves

     

  • develop and maintain social relationships

     

  • cope with challenges

     

  • use emotional information effectively

     

Charles Fortier LeedHR

“We make emotional intelligence a topic of conversation, which is something we encourage our clients to do as well”

Charles FortierLeedHR


Fortier explains, “We strongly believe that emotional intelligence skills can lead you to have better influence over people.”  

And he adds, “Organizations today have very aggressive targets and goals that they want to achieve, and you can’t achieve those goals if you don’t bring your people along with you. A lot of our assessments encourage talking and learning about yourself, but they’re also about understanding where other people are coming from.” 

Emotional intelligence 


LeedHR, which has won in additional categories such as Leadership and Team Development, requires all employees to take emotional intelligence assessments. Both co-founders also connect with employees through daily meetings.  

“Our daily stand-ups are our way of checking in with employees, asking how they are feeling, and letting them know that we see them, especially when they work remotely,” says Payne. 

In addition, the firm has built a strong structure through its comprehensive culture map.  

“It’s an outline of what things we reward, what things we care about, what things we want to talk about, and what things we don’t let slide under the rug. And we all have to be accountable for that,” shares Payne. 

LeedHR further strengthens connections with employees through week-long quarterly meetings where employees take time off to focus on big-picture objectives within the business, while also proactively bonding with one another.  

Fortier adds, “We teach emotional intelligence, but at the end of the day, we’re not perfect either. We remain very mindful about what our employees are trying to develop and what they’re trying to improve on in their own emotional intelligence journeys.” 

The Canadian Readers’ Choice Awards for HR

 

FAVOURITE TOP EMPLOYERS


  • Forbes
  • Glassdoor
  • Great Place to Work


 


CONSULTANTS



BENEFITS & PENSION CONSULTANTS


  • HUB International
  • Mercer
  • Telus Health


 


COMPENSATION CONSULTANTS


  • Mercer
  • Payscale
  • Salopek & Associates


 


DISABILITY MANAGEMENT CONSULTANTS


  • Canada Life
  • Sun Life
  • Telus Health


 


DIVERSITY/EMPLOYMENT EQUITY CONSULTANTS


  • Canadian Centre for Diversity and Inclusion
  • Diversity at Work
  • YMCA of the National Capital Region


 


HR MANAGEMENT CONSULTANTS


  • Clear HR Consulting
  • HRdownloads
  • Salopek & Associates


 


TALENT MANAGEMENT CONSULTANTS


  • Drake International
  • Lee Hecht Harrison Knightsbridge
  • Salopek & Associates


 


EDUCATION



HR CERTIFICATE PROGRAMS




  • University of Toronto
  • York University


 


HR DEGREE PROGRAMS


  • Ryerson University – Ted Rogers School of Management
  • University of Toronto
  • York University


 


HR DIPLOMA PROGRAMS


  • McGill University
  • Seneca College
  • Sheridan College


 


HR MASTER’S PROGRAMS




  • University of Toronto
  • York University


 


HR-RELATED PhD PROGRAMS


  • University of British Columbia
  • University of Toronto
  • York University


 


EMPLOYEE BENEFITS & PERKS



COMPENSATION SURVEYS/SALARY FORECASTS


  • 360insights
  • Perkopolis
  • Venngo WorkPerks


 


DISCOUNT PROGRAMS


  • Mercer
  • Payscale
  • Robert Half


 


GROUP AUTO/HOME INSURANCE




  • Intact Insurance
  • TD Insurance – Meloche Monnex


 


GROUP INSURANCE


  • Canada Life
  • Green Shield Canada
  • Manulife


 


ENGAGEMENT & RECOGNITION



EMPLOYEE ENGAGEMENT PROGRAMS


  • BambooHR
  • CareerJoy
  • Salopek & Associates


 


EMPLOYEE ENGAGEMENT SURVEYS


  • BambooHR
  • McLean & Company
  • Salopek & Associates


 


RECOGNITION PROGRAMS & SERVICE AWARDS


  • Achievers
  • OC Tanner
  • Peninsula Canada


 


HEALTH, SAFETY & WELLNESS



EMPLOYEE ASSISTANCE PLANS


  • Homewood Health
  • Sun Life 
  • Telus Health


 


ERGONOMIC PRODUCTS


  • 3M
  • ErgoCanada
  • Global Furniture Group


 


MENTAL HEALTH SERVICES 


  • Canadian Mental Health Association
  • Homewood Health
  • Telus Health


 


SAFETY TRAINING


  • 4SafeCom & 4S Occupational Health and Safety Advisory
  • Canadian Centre for Occupational Health and Safety (CCOHS)
  • Workplace Safety & Prevention Services (WSPS)


 


WELLNESS PROGRAMS


  • Manulife
  • Sun Life
  • Telus Health


 


LAW & WORKPLACE DISPUTE RESOLUTION



EMPLOYMENT & LABOUR LAW (BOUTIQUES)


  • Bernardi Human Resource Law
  • Hicks Morley Hamilton Stewart Storie
  • Rudner Law


 


EMPLOYMENT & LABOUR LAW (FULL-SERVICE FIRMS)


  • Aird & Berlis LLP
  • Fasken Martineau DuMoulin
  • McLennan Ross
  • Osler, Hoskin & Harcourt LLP


 


IMMIGRATION LAW (BOUTIQUES)




  • Green and Spiegel
  • Matthews Global Immigration Law


 


OUTSOURCED SERVICE PROVIDERS



PAYROLL MANAGEMENT


  • ADP
  • Ceridian
  • PSI Payroll Services


 


RELOCATION SERVICES


  • All Points Relocation Services 
  • Atlas Van Lines
  • Brookfield Global Relocation Services


 


RECRUITMENT



EMPLOYER RATINGS


  • Diabsolut/HRWize
  • Glassdoor 
  • Indeed


 


EXECUTIVE RECRUITMENT AGENCIES


  • (tie) Boyden Executive Search
  • (tie) Caldwell Partners
  • (tie) Korn Ferry
  • Hays Specialist Recruitment
  • Robert Half


 


JOB BOARDS


  • (tie) Glassdoor
  • (tie) Government of Canada Job Bank
  • Indeed
  • LinkedIn


 


RECRUITMENT AGENCIES


  • (tie) Adecco Employment Services
  • (tie) Randstad Canada Group
  • Robert Half
  • Salopek & Associates


 


SPECIALIZED RECRUITMENT AGENCIES


  • auticon Canada
  • Robert Half, Marketing and Creative Talent Solutions
  • Salopek & Associates


 


SCREENING, ASSESSMENTS & OUTPLACEMENT



DRUG & ALCOHOL TESTING


  • CannAmm
  • LifeLabs
  • Wellpoint Health Services


 


EMPLOYEE ASSESSMENT




  • Psychometrics Canada
  • Success Finder


 


OUTPLACEMENT


  • CareerJoy
  • People Corporation
  • Salopek & Associates


 


PRE-EMPLOYMENT SCREENING


  • Equifax
  • Sterling Backcheck
  • Triton Verify


 


SKILLS DEVELOPMENT & TRAINING



EMPLOYEE COMMUNICATIONS


  • HRdownloads
  • Salopek & Associates
  • SkillPath


 


LABOUR RELATIONS TRAINING


  • Osgoode Professional Development






 


LEADERSHIP & TEAM DEVELOPMENT








 


MANAGEMENT/EXECUTIVE DEVELOPMENT


  • CareerJoy
  • (tie) Queen’s Executive Education






 


TECHNOLOGY



HR MANAGEMENT/INFORMATION SOLUTIONS




 


PAYROLL SOLUTIONS


  • ADP
  • Ceridian
  • Salopek & Associates


 


PERFORMANCE & TALENT MANAGEMENT SOLUTIONS


  • ADP
  • BambooHR
  • Salopek & Associates


 


RECRUITMENT SOLUTIONS/SOFTWARE




 


TIME & ATTENDANCE SOLUTIONS




 


UNIFORM SUPPLIERS


  • Canadian Linen & Uniform Service
  • Cintas
  • Northern Uniform


 

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