What a thrill it is to be honoured as a 2022 Most Admired Corporate Cultures™ Winner! This award celebrates the Bold Attitude and Entrepreneurial Spirit each of us embodies. Our inclusion in this year’s list speaks to the commitment each of us has to ensuring we have an amazing culture. By building a consulting organization where we want to work, our employees come first, culture is key, and our clients love working with us, we have created a positive and engaging work environment where everyone succeeds.

Canada’s Most Admired™ Corporate Cultures is a national program, founded by Waterstone Human Capital and now in its 19th year, that annually recognizes best-in-class Canadian organizations for having cultures that have helped them enhance performance and sustain a competitive advantage. The award is based on a written submission and interview and decided upon by a board of past winners.

At Optimus SBR, culture is everything. We value our people and their growth, and we firmly believe that our people come first. We’re incredibly proud to receive this prestigious award on behalf of our employees who exemplify our Bold Attitude culture and Entrepreneurial Spirit every day.

Congratulations to all of us for this huge accomplishment!

We’re pleased to announce that Great Place to Work® has named us on the 2022 list of Best Workplaces™ in Ontario! As our 8th Best Workplaces award in 2022, this award complements our recognition on the 2022 Best Workplaces in Canada list as well as Best Workplaces for Giving Back, Hybrid Workplace, Today’s Youth, Professional Development, Professional Services, and Mental Health. As a firm that was built on culture, we value our people and their growth, and we firmly believe that our people come first. We embrace our Bold Attitude and Entrepreneurial Spirit and are guided by our Cultural Pillars: Unified, Engaged, Ambitious, Social, in everything we do. This creates an enriched environment giving employees abundant opportunity to enhance their regular work and have more meaningful careers.

The Great Place to Work® Institute compiles the Best Workplace lists by gaining direct feedback from employees from the hundreds of organizations that are surveyed.

To be eligible for this list, organizations must be Great Place to Work Certified™ in the past year, be headquartered in Ontario, and have at least 15 employees working in the province. The BEST list was determined based on the overall Trust Index score (a research-backed employee engagement survey) from Ontario-based employees.

We are proud to announce that we have been recognized by The Great Place to Work® Institute on the list of Best Workplaces™ for Mental Wellness for the second time! This award underscores our people first culture and our steadfast commitment to provide a mentally and emotionally healthy workplace. Our dedicated Mental Wellness Committee leads initiatives to eradicate the stigma associated with mental illness and to foster mental wellness in the workplace. We’ve made it a priority for all employees to receive training on recognizing and providing appropriate support to individuals in need of mental health assistance.

One of our most successful programs under the mental wellness umbrella has been “Optimus Days”.  All employees are granted one pre-scheduled company-wide day off per month, over and above regular vacation, giving them additional time to schedule personal matters, rest, recharge, and unplug. Other Mental Health supports include a newly established microsite for our Mental Illness & Wellness program, Health Benefits with a Health Spending Account, an Employee Health and Assistance Plan, Lumino (online health network and resources), Mental Wellness Moments, Optimus Chats 1:1, Culture Events & Physical Activities, a guide to Leading Through Crisis, Learning Paths, and a Check-In Model.

Our focus on employee wellness is one of the key qualities that makes Optimus SBR a great place to work.

The Great Place to Work® Institute compiles the Best Workplace lists by gaining direct feedback from employees from the hundreds of organizations that are surveyed.

To be eligible for the 2022 list of Best Workplaces for Mental Wellness, organizations must be Great Place to Work – Certified in the past year and at least 75% of employees must agree their workplace is psychologically and emotionally healthy. The BEST workplace was determined by the overall Mental Wellness Index score based on survey results from hundreds of employees and the complexity of the organization.

Great Place to Work® has announced Optimus SBR as a 2022 Best Workplaces™ for Professional Development winner! This recognizes our bold culture of continuous learning – one where our people thrive, and every experience boosts their confidence and helps them reach their full potential. Our people are our business, and as such we are fully invested in their development, and success.

At Optimus it’s all about sparking endless growth opportunities to empower employees to achieve their career goals. It begins with our extensive onboarding program that ensures the talented individuals we hire are well-prepared for success. As employees advance in their careers, they are supported every step of the way by their Career Manager, senior leaders, colleagues, and our extensive Learning and Development program. Customized for each individual’s unique needs and career aspirations, the program includes Learning Paths, LinkedIn Learning courses, and a Career Development Program (CDP).

The Great Place to Work® Institute compiles the Best Workplace lists by gaining direct feedback from employees from the hundreds of organizations that are surveyed.

To be eligible for the 2022 list of Best Workplaces for Professional Development, organizations must be Great Place to Work- Certified™ in the past year. The organizations recognized on this list have met the necessary criteria, with a minimum score of 80% on the Professional Development Index, and a relative level of complexity based on the number of employees. Professional development is also demonstrated in the data as being a priority for their organization. We determined the BEST based on the overall Trust Index score from the organization.

Great Place to Work® has just announced that Optimus SBR is on the 2022 list of Canada’s Best Workplaces™ for Hybrid Work! We proudly add this to our roster of awards which include Best Workplaces™ in Canada, Best Workplaces™ in Ontario, Best Workplaces™ in Professional Services, Best Workplaces™ for Giving Back, and Best Workplaces™ for Today’s Youth!

At Optimus SBR we recognize the value of work/life balance and that it doesn’t look the same for all employees, so finding balance is easier in a flexible work arrangement. Although a flexible work environment for our employees has always been an area of focus, the unprecedented challenges presented by the pandemic really brought it to the forefront.

Optimus SBR reacted quickly to the Covid restrictions and introduced new programs and supports to help our employees adapt to a virtual work environment.

Optimus Days, launched in January 2020, gives all of our employees one company-wide day off per month. This allows everyone additional time to focus on wellness. Optimus Days have been particularly important and appreciated given the extra pressures and challenges associated with the pandemic.

Optimus Lite, which means “no internal meetings” between 12:00 – 1:30 pm daily or Friday afternoons, was introduced in 2020 to reduce virtual screen fatigue. This gives individuals extra time for childcare responsibilities, a chance to get a break from their computers to exercise or get outside, or to have uninterrupted focus time.

Optimus Etiquette Guide helps employees by providing guidelines for how best to interact and connect with people in a virtual environment.

Get Comfortable, introduced during the pandemic, has offered employees the opportunity to borrow equipment from the office, such as a computer monitor or an ergonomically designed chair, to make their home workplace more comfortable.

Virtual Events were held to provide fun, camaraderie, engagement, and make employees feel more connected while working at home.

Lounging with Leaders – interactive Q&A sessions hosted by members of our Executive Leadership Team to get to know them on a more personal level.

Tuesday Talks – themed panel discussions highlight members across different areas of the organization. Panels have included proposal writers, employees with 10+ years of service, Principals, and individuals who have been actively involved in charitable activities within the community.

Happy Hour Hang – these monthly events provided an opportunity for employees to come together virtually to chat, have some fun, and play games. There was something for everyone – Jeopardy, Finish the Lyrics, Charades, Caption This, and Wingin’ It.

Summer Palooza – the pandemic has been difficult for everyone, so we wanted to give lighten things up in the summer with a 10-week swag giveaway event where someone in our organization was gifted a prize on a weekly basis, at the end, every employee was gifted a swag box filled with summer-related goodies like a frisbee, t-shirt, and JBL Bluetooth speaker.

Beyond accommodating employees in a hybrid work environment with equipment for their home offices and virtual events to stay connected, Optimus SBR has addressed the huge toll the pandemic has taken on mental health.

Building on everything we have already achieved for mental wellness in the workplace, we have taken our commitment to the next level. One key initiative has been Optimus Chats, a program where employees are paired with a different colleague each month for a 15-minute chat.

As Covid restrictions have lifted and employees have started to return to the office on a part-time basis, Optimus SBR has put concerted effort into creating a workplace that people want to go back to.

We’ve developed a staggered and flexible return to office program which has included team building lunches and meet and greet cocktail parties for new hires. Our hybrid work environment will no doubt continue to evolve as we continue to seek feedback from our employees on what hybrid workplace model will best meet their needs.

For more information please visit www.greatplacetowork.ca.

Optimus Think