Best places, best practices

No. 1
Metro Credit Union Ltd.
Industry: Financial services
Full-time employees in Atlantic Canada: 40
Leader: Bernard Gillis, general manager
Head office: Charlottetown
www.metrocreditu.com
Metro Credit Union employees are supported in various community activities. They have a team compete in the Survivor competition for the local Children’s Wish Foundation and teams for Relay for Life and the P.E.I. marathon. Employees receive two paid volunteer days per year and have a peer-recognition program. Other benefits include paternity leave, adoption assistance, and on-site training.


No. 2
Quick Service Software Inc.
Industry: Technology
Full-time employees in Atlantic Canada: 28
Leader: Greg Noel, COO 
Head office: Fredericton
www.qssweb.com
Quick Service has various benefits and bonus programs. The company pays 100% of the premiums on medical, dental, life, and disability insurance and provides a $350 health spending account. It also offers referral bonuses and telecommuting options.


No. 3
Accreon Inc. 
Industry: Technology
Full-time employees in Atlantic Canada: 90
Leader: Martin Ferguson, CEO, corporate shared services, and Neil Russon, CEO, global services and solutions 
Head office: Fredericton
www.accreon.com
Accreon gives employees paid time off for community activities and has on-site personal and stress-management lunch-and-learns for employees. Employees are recognized for outstanding performance at quarterly meetings and peer-to-peer.


No. 4
 
Leading Edge Credit Union Ltd. 
Industry: Financial services
Full-time employees in Atlantic Canada: 36
Leader: Cory Munden, CEO
Head office: Grand Bay East, N.L.
www.lecu.ca
LECU celebrates employees’ achievements. Each year LECU gives out a Volunteer of the Year Award and an Annual Training Award. Staff receive time-management and financial-education training. Employees also enjoy a paid day off on their birthday and an annual overnight staff party.

 
No. 5
Heritage Gas Limited 
Industry: Oil and gas
Full-time employees in Atlantic Canada: 61
Leader: Jim Bracken, president 
Head office: Dartmouth
www.heritagegas.com
Heritage Gas offers a small-company atmosphere and flexibility for employees to help manage their work/life balance. Employees have six flex days per year for personal appointments and to care for sick children. Its Compassionate Leave Policy also provides up to five working days with pay to allow employees to attend to family members who are critically ill. Heritage Gas hosts a week-long United Way Campaign with various fundraising activities.
 
 
No. 6
SwiftRadius Inc. 
Industry: Information technology and innovation
Full-time employees in Atlantic Canada: 44
Leader: Scott MacIntosh, CEO
Head office: Fredericton
www.swiftradius.com
SwiftRadius is a leading business, innovation and technology consulting company with a core value of “people first.” Employees enjoy competitive compensation, a flexible work location, flex hours, collaborative team structures, progressive career planning, a competitive benefits plan, an RRSP match-up program, a bonus pool program, and a health-and-wellness allowance.
 
 
No. 7
Newfoundland and Labrador Credit Union 
Industry: Financial services
Full-time employees in Atlantic Canada: 148
Leader: Allison Chaytor-Loveys, CEO
Head office: St. Johnís
www.nlcu.com
NLCU offers flexible work hours and competitive compensation packages. Employees receive three family days per year and can accumulate up to 30 days. Flexible work arrangements include time trades, where employees may work an extra half hour each day and receive one paid day off every three weeks. NLCU also hosts Innovation Day, an annual event with fun activities and prizes to foster creative thinking. 
 
 
No. 8
Verafin Inc.  
Industry: Technology 
Full-time employees in Atlantic Canada: 142
Leader: Jamie King, president and CEO
Head office: St. Johnís
www.verafin.com
Verafin offers flexible work hours and unlimited vacation days. Employees have access to on-site massage therapy and boot camps. Financial benefits include stock options and a retirement-savings plan, to which employees are eligible to contribute immediately after being hired. Employees receive a $1,000 bonus for hired referrals.  
 
 
No. 9
ISL Web Marketing & Development 
Industry: Digital media
Full-time employees in Atlantic Canada: 32
Leader: Malcolm Fraser, president and CEO
Head office: Halifax
www.isl.ca
ISL offers employees benefits, including corporate profit sharing, performance bonuses, flexible work hours, a modern work environment, and social club events. Staff members nominate a peer who has demonstrated exceptional leadership and teamwork for the Team Player of the Year Award.
 
 
No. 10
T4G Limited 
Industry: Technology
Full-time employees in Atlantic Canada: 120
Leader: Geoff Flood, president 
Head office: Toronto
www.t4g.com
T4G offers financial incentives to employees and sponsors family-friendly events. Employees may receive up to $3,000 in the Employee Referral Bonus Program and $50,000 for identifying teams that are recruited to the company. The company provides a hybrid-vehicle purchase incentive program and sponsors an annual summer music festival to raise funds for charity. 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
No. 11
Wedgwood Insurance Limited 
Industry: Insurance: non-health care
Full-time employees in Atlantic Canada: 56
Leader: Tom Hickey, president
Head office: St. Johnís
www.wedgwoodinsurance.com
Wedgwood supports employees through flexible work hours and career development. Employees have access to an integrated wellness program. All employees know the vision and plans of the company, and bonus programs are tied to their part in achieving corporate goals.
 
 

No. 12
STI 
Industry: Health care
Full-time employees in Atlantic Canada: 43
Leader: Steve Nicolle, CEO
Head office: Halifax  
www.smartsti.com
STI encourages employee empowerment through open communication with all employees and empowering work through rewards programs. Employees receive unlimited vacation days and have flexible hours. The company provides bonuses to employees who refer new hires and has a profit-sharing plan, an employee wellness program, and a retirement-savings plan.
 
 
No. 13
Bayview Credit Union LTD. 
Industry: Financial services 
Full-time employees in Atlantic Canada: 117
Leader: Anna Florczynski, CEO
Head office: Saint John 
www.bayviewnb.com
Bayview promotes healthy living and a family-friendly work environment. Employees performed in the Bayview Has Talent competition and use the Catch a Co-worker program to recognize outstanding performance. Bayview has paid out $1,200 in fitness incentives since its implementation to employees who attend fitness classes three times a week. Weight Watchers groups have been offered at lunchtime, and weight-loss competitions occur at branches. 
 
 

No. 14
Assumption Life 
Industry: Insurance: non-health care
Full-time employees in Atlantic Canada: 168
Leader: Andre Vincent, president and CEO
Head office: Moncton
www.assumption.ca
Assumption Life recognizes and awards employees through formal awards, the annual awards banquets, and “zapps,” an informal recognition program where employees nominate others for outstanding effort. Employees receive more than two performance evaluations every year. Employees have flexible work options and access to many wellness initiatives. 
 
 
No. 15
Cox & Palmer 
Industry: Legal
Full-time employees in Atlantic Canada: 461
Leader: Daniel F. Gallivan, CEO
Head office: Halifax
www.coxandpalmerlaw.com
Cox & Palmer offers flexible hours and reduced fees for legal services for employees. Personal-development and stress-management workshops are offered in the office and potluck lunches/celebrations are held for major holidays. Cox & Palmer provides 100% premiums for medical, dental, vision, and life insurance.
 
 
No. 16
Spirit Spa Inc. 
Industry: Esthetics
Full-time employees in Atlantic Canada: 43
Leader: Linda Brigley, owner
Head office: Halifax
www.spiritspa.ca
Spirit Spa encourages health and wellness and career development. Employees are given an annual $100 wellness allowance and participate in a free morning boot camp. On-site training and one-on-one coaching is available. The “spa bucks” program rewards employees for good service with gift certificates for entertainment. Spirit Spa hosts wellness motivational speakers, who give seminars to employees three times a year. 
 
 
 
No. 17
Palmer Atlantic Insurance & Risk Services   
Industry: Insurance brokerage
Full-time employees in Atlantic Canada: 20
Leader: Joe Palmer, president and CEO
Head office: Hartland, N.B.
www.palmeratlantic.ca
Palmer Atlantic offers bonus incentives and flexible hours to accommodate family needs. It also offers professional workshops on productivity and financial education. All employees receive a 360-degree annual performance review. The CEO hosts regular meetings with employees at least one a month.    
 
No. 18
Directors’ Choice
Industry: Funeral 
Full-time employees in Atlantic Canada: 65
Leader: Gary Darychuk, CEO and owner 
Head office: Saint John
www.dchoice.com
Directors’ Choice offers wellness clinics for blood pressure and glucose testing, as well as free flu shots. Employees participate in the annual spring fling, a four-hour games competition and a company picnic. Directors’ Choice also provides time-management seminars and financial-education workshops. Employees can transfer accrued sick days to fellow employees who need them.  
 
 
No. 19
SouthEastern Mutual 
Insurance Co.
Industry: Insurance: non-health care
Full-time employees in Atlantic Canada: 30
Leader: Darrel Coates, president and CEO
Head office: Riverview, N.B. 
www.southeasternmutual.ca
SouthEastern Mutual has a team-centered atmosphere, where employee well-being is a priority. The company offers a wellness program, including presentations by a registered dietitian and a fitness allowance.  The company holds many BBQs and staff outings, and encourages staff to participate as a team in many local charity events.
 

No. 20
CAA Atlantic Limited 
Industry: Membership services 
Full-time employees in Atlantic Canada: 119
Leader: Steve McCall, president
Head office: Saint John 
www.atlantic.caa.ca
CAA Atlantic recognizes employee performance through the WOW program, where exceptional deeds by fellow workers are published monthly in the newsletter. Employees participate in a biggest-loser-style weight-loss challenge and have employer contributions to fitness-club memberships. The president also holds bi-annual town hall meetings.

 
No. 21
CBCL Limited 
Industry: Engineering
Full-time employees in Atlantic Canada: 276
Leader: Michael R. MacDonald, president and CEO
Head office: Halifax
www.cbcl.ca
CBCL gives out the annual Hammer Awards to recognize individuals who have demonstrated a genuine consideration of the needs and concerns of others. Employees have the option to take a paid sabbatical leave. CBCL encourages healthy living with the Fitness Incentive Program and reduced gym memberships, as well as the promotion of carpooling, the use of public transit, and biking to work.
 
 

No. 22
East Coast Credit Union 
Industry: Financial services
Full-time employees in Atlantic Canada: 136
Leader: Ken Shea, president and CEO
Head office: Dartmouth
www.eastcoastcu.ca
The STAR Program (Success Through Achieving Results) is a three-level approach to recognize employee contributions. East Coast Credit Union also provides adoption assistance such as leave with pay for employees who are adopting a child. Employees also receive a discounted corporate rate for gym memberships. 
 
 
No. 23
New Castle Hotels & Resorts 
Industry: Hospitality
Full-time employees in Atlantic Canada: 375
Leader: Guido Kerpel, vice-president, Canadian region
Head office: Halifax
www.newcastlehotels.com
New Castle Hotels & Resorts provides family discounts and paid time off for community involvement. Benefits include flexible hours, parental leave, and tuition reimbursement. Fundraising efforts for charities totals $182,000 to date. New Castle offers an employee referral program and conducts an annual employee-engagement survey. Employee events include summer barbeques, Hotel Fear Factor, and a golf tournament.
 
No. 24
Armco Capital Inc. 
Industry: Real estate
Full-time employees in Atlantic Canada: 44
Leader: Sime Armoyan, president
Head office: Halifax
www.armcocapital.com 
Armco provides flexible work hours for employees and gives years of service awards. Fun corporate culture is promoted through employee-appreciation BBQs and movie nights. Employees with perfect attendance receive additional days off, and all employees are eligible for annual bonuses based on employer and employee performance.
 
 
No. 25
VistaCare Communications 
Industry: Telecommunications
Full-time employees in Atlantic Canada: 134
Leader: Kevin Hamm, president and CEO
Head office: Dartmouth
www.vistacaretech.com
VistaCare offers flexible work hours and provides support to families of travelling workers. Employee satisfaction surveys are completed twice a year. Employees receive on average 240 hours of training and development each year. VistaCare is currently developing a cross-training program. 
 
 
No. 26
Admiral Insurance
Industry: Insurance: non-health care
Full-time employees in Atlantic Canada: 446 
Leader: Alexander MacDonald, vice-president
Head office: Halifax
www.joinadmiral.ca
Admiral promotes a friendly culture through its Ministry of Fun, where teams organize fun activities in the office, and operates a health-and-wellness library. Individual and team awards are given monthly. For top performers, employees get to have lunch with the CEO.
 
 
No. 27
Bergengren Credit Union 
Industry: Banking
Full-time employees in Atlantic Canada: 54
Leader: Dan Hodgins, CEO 
Head office: Antigonish, N.S.
www.bergengrencu.com/Home
Bergengren gives employees paid compassionate-care leave and paid child care for employees attending out-of-town courses and training. The benefits program includes eldercare assistance for aging family members and parental leave. Employees also post Friday Funnies and participate in Jean Fridays.
 

 

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