Nov 12, 2009
Waterstone Human Capital
Announcing Canada's 10 Most Admired Corporate Cultures of 2009

The country’s most admired corporate cultures are outperforming the rest – despite the economic downturn.

TORONTO, Nov. 12, 2009: Waterstone Human Capital today announces Canada’s 10 Most Admired Corporate Cultures of 2009.

The winning organizations, in alphabetical order, are:

Acklands-Grainger Inc.
Aviva Insurance Company of Canada
Ceridian Canada Ltd.
Corus Entertainment
Fairmont Hotels and Resorts
GoodLife Fitness
Medavie Blue Cross
Starbucks Coffee Canada
Telus
Walmart Canada

“The performance of Canada’s 10 Most Admired Corporate Cultures of 2009, in terms of three-year compounded annual revenue growth, has significantly outpaced the S&P/TSX by an average of over 300 per cent – or, three times,” says Marty Parker, managing director of Waterstone Human Capital, a leading executive search and human capital consulting firm that has been running the annual program since 2005.

“This proves that an outstanding corporate culture has a significant impact on performance, and that culture is an incredibly valuable asset.”

Four additional special category awards are also being announced today, for organizations that have achieved exceptional performance in their respective sectors.

The special category award recipients for 2009 are:

Mount Sinai Hospital (Most Admired Corporate Culture – Public Sector)
Enbridge Inc. (Most Admired Corporate Culture – Energy and Natural Resources)
Workopolis (Most Admired Corporate Culture – Best Emerging Organization)
Whole Foods Market (Most Admired Corporate Culture – The Green Award)

The Canada’s 10 program begins annually in the spring with Waterstone’s Canadian Corporate Culture Study, a survey of 500 senior Canadian executives. At the end of the questionnaire, respondents are asked to nominate Canadian organizations they most admire in terms of having a corporate culture that impacts performance. 

Parker says that despite the recession, this year’s survey led to a record number of nominations – over 400 – as well as double the number of organizations that went through with the formal submission, and became finalists, over the previous year. The submissions were then evaluated and voted on by a 15-member Board of Governors.

“This year’s data reflects the market correction of 2008,” says Parker. “What this tells us is that if an organization’s culture is strong, even with a major downturn, it outperforms the majority of its peers. In effect, many of these organizations understand that their corporate culture represents a strategic competitive advantage”.

Results of the 2009 Canadian Corporate Culture Study show that 88 per cent of respondents believe that their current leadership has led to the evolution of their organization’s corporate culture. Eighty-two per cent of respondents also said that “leading by example” is a key strategy used to align culture. Furthermore, when it comes to hiring, 75 per cent of executives surveyed said that cultural fit is more important than necessary skills.

“Our Canada’s 10 reflect these findings,” says Parker. “The reason these organizations are outperforming is because of phenomenal leadership and because of the commitment – from the top – to aligning corporate culture. These leaders are focused on behaviour. And behaviour drives results.”

The 2009 winners will be feted at an awards gala in Toronto on February 1st, 2010.

About Canada’s 10 Most Admired Corporate Cultures ™:

Canada’s 10 Most Admired Corporate Cultures ™ is founded and presented by Waterstone Human Capital, a leading professional recruitment, executive search and human capital consulting services firm based in Toronto. Since 2005, the Canada’s 10 Most Admired Corporate Cultures ™ program has recognized some of this country’s top organizations for having a culture that has helped them enhance performance and sustain a competitive advantage. This popular program begins in the spring of each year with the Canadian Corporate Culture Study ™ and culminates in an annual awards gala. www.canadasmostadmired.com www.waterstonehc.com

For further information: Jennifer Mondoux, Waterstone Human Capital, 416 408 4545 x273