Canada's 'happiest' workers come from this sector

True happiness at work requires more than rewards and recognition

Canada's 'happiest' workers come from this sector

When it comes to rewarding challenging work, technology companies in Canada know how to keep their workers happy. In fact, 93% of workers in the industry, who were surveyed recently, believe their organization “lives up to expectations and is a great place to work”.

True happiness at work, however, is more complex than simply having a Reward & Recognition program in place. It entails job satisfaction, experts from the Great Place to Work Institute said.

Job satisfaction in turn stems from a culture of credibility, respect, fairness, pride and camaraderie. And against all five standards, tech workers reportedly fare better than those from other industries.

GPTW recently unveiled its list of the top tech companies that offer workers – from fresh graduates to industry veterans – a challenging and enriching environment.

Read more: Revealed: Canada's Top Employers 2021

A culture of innovation

One example is the honourees’ emphasis on innovation. Of the workers polled by GPTW, 88% said their company celebrates people who constantly look for new ways of solving problems.

“Technology professionals are embedded into a culture of movement, growth and advancement, where innovation enablement is key,” Lauren O’Donnell of GPTW said. “Their work environments become a birthplace where new and inventive concepts take shape.”

Employees who enjoy taking on challenges also tend to thrive in the Canadian tech scene – and it gives them a sense of pride doing what they do.

“In an industry that asks for so much, it’s imperative that employees feel respected for the talents and skills they bring to the business,” O’Donnell said.

Read more: Why 2021 will be the 'golden era' of HR

But tech employers have to do their part in supporting high-impact innovation from employees.

Businesses need to “keep creating space for diversity, innovation, and creativity” to move forward, said Rick Watkin, president and CEO of Kubra, a customer experience specialist based in Mississauga.

As one of the 2020 honourees, Kubra is looking to develop its talent base in the months ahead, “investing in our people because they are the cornerstone of our success,” Watkin said.

Trust and team work

The tech sector’s happiest workers are also those who experiment on their own yet feel supported by their managers and peers.

HR tech giant UKG – recognized widely as one of the world’s best workplaces – knows the value of trust in the overall happiness of employees. For CEO Aron Ain, trust is the “magic glue” that binds personal and professional relationships well.

“When we trust each other, everything becomes possible. It liberates us to do so much more as leaders; it liberates us not to look over people’s shoulders. As individual contributors, that liberates us to do more and without hesitation,” Ain told Chris Tkaczyk in a GPTW podcast.

“People are more open and honest, and communicate with more clarity and confidence. When you trust each other, you can do things like we do with open vacation policies where people can take as much time off as they want because I trust them to get their work done. I’m more concerned about what they do instead of where they do it or when they do it,” Ain said.

“When you trust each other in these ways, you can go solve problems with customers. You can go solve problems with each other. You can have opportunities to help your employees grow and expand because they won’t feel uncomfortable coming and talking to you about things that might ordinarily make them nervous.”

Jennifer Osborne, president and CEO of Toronto-based Search Engine People, shares the same philosophy.

“Day to day we facilitate an environment where our employees can gain a sense of pride in the work that they do and share in supportive camaraderie with team members,” Osborne said of the digital marketing agency recognized by GPTW this year.

The camaraderie becomes all the more meaningful given the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“During these unprecedented times where teamwork is more important than ever before – we are supporting each other,” she said.

Check out the full list of honourees from Great Place to Work here.

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