The best employers try to address all aspects of an employee’s experience.”

Richard Yerema, Managing Editor, Canada’s Top 100  Employers’ Program

best placesHaving a secure, well paid job is a good thing. Having a secure well paid job within a work environment of support, respect, recognition and a sense of belonging  is another. The recently released annual report of  BC’s Top Employers ( makes it clear that decent wages and job security are only one part of the equation.  The best employers understand that the needs and wants of employees transcend material benefits.   In Balanced Leadership terms, these organizations are implicitly recognizing that the “bottom line” is not just about the profits and performance of the fear based world. It’s also about caring for people and their passions (features of the love based world).

The first thing you notice about the list of top employers is that they are as diverse a group as you can imagine: small and private (modest consulting groups with less than 30 employees) to large and public (a university with 11, 000 employees).  They are union and non-union, high tech and low tech, corporations and coops, non-profits and multi-nationals, builders, bankers, bakers and box-makers.  The common denominator is that they treat their employees well (full disclosure here: I work for SFU, on the list of top employers again this year).


Being treated well might mean three weeks paid holiday for new employees, onsite daycare facilities, mentoring programs, paid time off to do charity work, flexible scheduling, profit-sharing, generous pension plans, wellness programs and tuition payments for employee upgrading. These and the other benefits and programs that the top employers provide, send an important message-their employees’ needs matter. These companies and organizations are implicitly stating that people thrive at work when they feel valued and supported.

Balanced Leadership is founded in part on the principle that sustained engagement at work takes more than decent wages and an interesting challenge. It also takes a sense of belonging, a felt sense that your employer values your contribution, understands your family obligations, supports your career aspirations and your overall wellness. Having both these sets of needs met in the workplace generates positive energy.  In Balanced Leadership  terms, the best employers implicitly honour the fear-based world of performance, profits and challenge, as well as the love-based world of belonging, meaning and self-care.  How is your workplace at finding this balance?


Next Balanced Leadership Workshop:  Friday, March 14th in Vancouver