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Achievers ACE 2018 Conference Toronto Key Takeaways

ACE 2018: Key Highlights and Takeaways

“The voyage of discovery is not in seeking new landscapes, but new eyes.” – Marcel Proust

They call it the Silicon Valley of the North. And with good reason.

Understanding that Toronto has been driving innovation and charting the future of tech, Achievers chose to host its  ACE 2018 conference in the city it calls home. The Six, as it is affectionately called by residents, quietly emerged as the fastest-growing tech-jobs market in 2017. The boom has positioned the city as a worldwide leader in the tech scene, outpacing historically tech heavy cities such as San Francisco, Seattle and New York and emerging as fertile ground for the future of technological innovation.

In the shadow of the iconic CN Tower, HR professionals and a diverse range of thought leaders gathered to accelerate the conversation around employee engagement, recognition and how technology is shaping the future of human resources. Furthermore, Achievers announced the 2018 Top Category Winners for the Most Engaged Workplaces Award and the Elite 8: organizations that are pushing the boundaries of workplace engagement.

From the elegant and modern Delta Hotel by Marriott, the gathering kicked off with an important announcement from Achievers’ Chief Workforce Scientist Dr. Natalie Baumgartner, who unveiled the The Workforce Institute and its commitment to changing the way the world works through academic research and engagement science. Through the initiative, Achievers will source, curate, conduct and translate workforce science into simple, accessible content available to the public through research-driven institute studies and insight papers. As the world rapidly evolves and changes, the aim is to stay ahead of the curve with reliable sources and cutting-edge technology.

With an eye to the future, the ACE 2018 conference was graced with numerous thought leaders who outlined not only how drastically the HR space has changed in recent years, but also where it is going. To this end, the breakout sessions began with futurist and best-selling author Brian David Johnson highlighting the tectonic shifts in the workplace. The conversation was focused on what the forward-thinking companies of today can do to disrupt, mitigate and recover from the obstacles standing in the way of their unified success. Weaving together disparate stands from areas such as cultural history, social science and economics, Mr. Johnson fashioned a poignant and compelling argument for organizations to not just note the radical evolution of the workplace, but to embrace it. Through focused, strategic planning, the tech savvy company of today can harness the power of AI and focus on the new realities captivating the imaginations of the current great workforce: millennials.

Through this useful lens, various ACE 2018 keynote speakers identified and explained obstacles and strategies for us to enable employees to be both engaged and efficient. One crucial strategy is to improve communication within organizations. Communication and human nature expert Celeste Headlee focused on the science behind having better conversations in the workplace. All too often, the constant influx of external stimuli distracts and derails our conversations, creating costly instances of miscommunication. Furthermore, the inexorable wave of millennials entering the workforce has profoundly changed the way we communicate in business settings. Through active listening we, as small communities and large organizations, can find better ways to collaborate and engage in a positive way with the new workplace dynamics.

To that end, day two keynote speaker Neil Pasricha spoke of the power of positive psychology and the neuroscience that underpins it all. A combination of science-based research and humorous personal stories and anecdotes helped him foreground the importance of positive employees on your teams. Flipping the conventional wisdom that motivation leads to action, the discussion fleshed out that it is actually the other way around: action leads to motivation; positive work leads to happiness. Driving the point home, Mr. Pasricha highlighted that it is never too late to take action. Regardless of the barriers you imagine are in the way, taking the time to put happiness first, personally and professionally, will lead to positive action that will feed off itself and drive the changes you require.

Similarly, Tiffany Dufu spoke about the ever-evolving workplace and how female millennials are an underutilized cohort in our modern workplaces. In a poignant discussion relevant to all millennials (male, female, et al.) the organizations that are best equipped to leverage the success of the shift workplace are those who provide support for working families. From her best-selling book, Drop The Ball, Dufu focused on the importance of achieving more by doing less. Ambitious organizations and employees would do well to reevaluate their expectations and acknowledge that to have it all, we do not necessarily need to do it all. By embracing imperfection, we can focus on what we truly care about: achieving real goals and creating rich and rewarding lives.

All of this leads to one fundamental question shared by all attendees: How do we captivate the workforce of tomorrow? The answer revealed itself to be: By listening to what they have to say, today. Through this, we can prepare ourselves for the new realities of the future. Creating and embracing that future requires a beautiful confluence of reality and imagination. The 2018 Achievers Customer Experience managed to strike the perfect balance, exposing attendees to the evidenced-based reality we work within and the next generation of HR. In many ways, the conference embodied the future we all desire: one that is optimistic and ours for the making. The future is not some distant unobtainable entity beyond our comprehension. The future is right now. Today. The future is in our people.

Achievers would like to thank all speakers and every client, partner and friend for their participation in ACE 2018! Stay tuned for more information on ACE 2019 in Chicago!

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About the Author 
Darren SavageDarren Savage is currently a Customer Success Manager who works out of Achievers’ Toronto office. Prior to his arrival at Achievers, Darren was a journalist for various publications in the Greater Toronto Area. He left the profession to explore the world before transitioning into a sales role where he provided immersive educational experiences through travel for high school students. He now manages a diverse portfolio at Achievers where he helps his clients develop successful employee engagement programs.

 

 

 

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Achievers 50 Most Engaged Workplaces Awards

Applications now open for the 2016 Achievers 50 Most Engaged Workplaces™ Awards!

The Achievers 50 Most Engaged Workplaces Awards™ recognize top employers that display leadership and innovation in engaging their workforce. Apply today to be recognized as the top employer you know you are!

Accelerate your ability to recruit, retain, and inspire brilliant employees by being named one of the Achievers 50 Most Engaged Workplaces™.

Top 4 Reasons to Apply: 

  1. Elevate your employer brand: Companies that appreciate employees and drive them to achieve their best are more likely to attract top talent
  2. Increase engagement and retention: Proud employees believe in their company and are more likely to give discretionary effort
  3. Celebrate your employees: Validate your company’s hard work and recognize how having an engaged workplace positively impacts your bottom line
  4. Positively Impact Client and Vendor Relations: Companies like to do business with organizations that put an emphasis on engaged and happy employees

We’ve had some very impressive past winners, including Zappos, 3M, Yammer, Siemens, and more.
Applications are now open—and it’s free to apply! We look forward to receiving your submission.

Achievers 50 Most Engaged Workplaces

Announcing the 2015 50 Most Engaged Workplaces™ winners!

Today, we’re excited to announce the 50 Most Engaged Workplaces in North America for 2015. This annual award recognizes top employers that display leadership and innovation in engaging their workplaces.

Our panel of judges evaluated each applicant based on the Eight Elements of Employee Engagement™: Communication, Leadership, Culture, Rewards and Recognition, Professional and Personal Growth, Accountability and Performance, Vision and Values and Corporate Social Responsibility.

The panel of judges was comprised of academic and thought leaders on employee engagement from organizations such as the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM), Human Capital Institute and Human Resource Executive.

Recipients of the Achievers 50 Most Engaged Workplaces™ Awards will be honored at an award gala on March 11, 2015 at the Bellagio Hotel in Las Vegas. We’re excited to congratulate all the winners!

The Achievers 50 Most Engaged Workplaces™ in North America in alphabetical order include:

  1. 3M Canada
  2. Agrium U.S. Inc.
  3. AMN Healthcare
  4. AOL Canada
  5. ATB Financial
  6. AutoTrader.com
  7. Bell
  8. Black Hills Corporation
  9. Blue Coat Systems
  10. C.R. England
  11. CA Technologies
  12. Cargill
  13. CBRE
  14. Ceridian
  15. CIBC
  16. CIBC Mellon
  17. Cisco – Services Platforms Group
  18. ERICSSON NORTH AMERICA
  19. G4S Secure Solutions (USA) Inc
  20. GoodLife Fitness
  21. HomeAway, Inc.
  22. Horizon Blue Cross Blue Shield of New Jersey
  23. HP Software Professional Services
  24. Humana: National Education
  25. KPMG LLP
  26. MD Financial Management
  27. Meridian Credit Union
  28. MGM Resorts International
  29. Moneris Solutions
  30. NetSuite, Inc. Canada
  31. NetSuite, Inc. USA
  32. PRAXAIR
  33. Reliant Medical Group
  34. Rogers Communications
  35. Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd.
  36. Ryan, LLC
  37. Shoppers Drug Mart
  38. SilverBirch Hotels & Resorts
  39. Smart & Final Stores LLC
  40. Softchoice LP.
  41. Sutherland Global Services
  42. TATA Consultancy Services
  43. Tata Consultancy Services Canada Inc
  44. The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas
  45. Ultimate Software
  46. Veterans United Home Loans
  47. Virtusa Corporation
  48. World Travel Holdings
  49. Zappos.com, Inc.
  50. Zurich American Insurance Company

Learn more about Achievers 50 Most Engaged Workplaces™ here, and follow the conversation on Twitter with #Achievers50.

MGM Resorts International and Achievers

How “One Culture” Made MGM Resorts International a Billion-Dollar Brand

Achievers 50 Most Engaged WorkplacesWhat would you change about your company if you knew you’d be bankrupt tomorrow?

Over the last 30 years, MGM Resorts International has become the billion-dollar brand we know today through mergers and acquisitions. It’s the second largest gaming company in the world by revenue and employs 62,000 employees at its resorts around the globe. Read more →

Royal Caribbean: “Great vacations begin with great employees”

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Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. has offices and operations around the world. Their ships, planes, tours, and operations span the globe from Europe to the Caribbean Sea, from the Tropical South Pacific to the American Northwest. With over 60,000 employees at sea and land in the United States, Canada, Europe, China, Brazil, Australia, and Mexico, Royal Caribbean understands the importance of a globally consistent Employee Success™ solution. Their Human Resources department motto is “Great vacations begin with great employees,” and it’s that attitude that has helped them become a leader in the travel industry. Especially for a service-oriented company such as theirs, engaged employees are a critical aspect of business success.

Like many companies, Royal Caribbean used to distribute an employee satisfaction survey. The responses were always good, so the company didn’t think too much about it. But one day, an outside consultant came and taught them the difference between satisfaction and engagement—and that’s when everything changed.

Read more →

Meet the judge: Kevin Kruse

Achievers 50 Most Engaged Workplaces AwardsAn Achievers 50 Most Engaged Workplaces™ Award is the most coveted accolade in the field of human resources.* Recipients experience higher retention, boost their employer brand, and get bragging rights for years. It’s a huge honor to win, but it’s arguably an even bigger honor to be chosen as a judge. We select only the most sought-after engagement experts for this honor, and this year, we’ve asked New York Times bestselling author Kevin Kruse to sit on our esteemed panel.

Why Kevin? His new book, Employee Engagement for Everyone, is packed with research, exercises, model dialogue, and actionable insight to help you drive happiness and engagement at work. He has built and sold several multimillion-dollar companies, winning both Inc 500 and Best Place to Work awards for his commitment to employee engagement. Basically, he knows his stuff.

Think you can convince Kevin your company has what it takes to win? Apply today!

*Well, it should be.

[SlideShare] 19 signs of disengagement (and what you can do to avoid them)

50 Most Engaged Applications Now OpenHave you ever felt like you’d rather put a pencil in your eye than attend your monthly team meeting?

If not, then you’re probably an engaged employee (congrats!). But perhaps you know someone that feels this way.

After all, disengaged employees tend to harbor feelings of animosity towards their employer. This is because disengaged employees are disconnected from business objectives, receive little to no recognition or constructive feedback, and worst of all—feel like they’re invisible to their employer.

On the flip side, top employers celebrate employee engagement because it’s an effective tool to boost bottom-line results through alignment and increased productivity, and also builds a competitive employer brand that attracts, retains, and inspires top performers.

Check out the SlideShare presentation below and get a glimpse into the dreary world of disengagement, and learn what you can do to prevent it by elevating your employer brand and celebrating your Employee Success™.

Read more →

Learn what top employers are talking about: Engagement drives business success

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Top employers realize that engagement is an effective tool to boost bottom-line results through alignment and increased productivity. Most importantly, engagement also helps to build a competitive employer brand that attracts, retains, and inspires the best and the brightest talent.

We recently interviewed Kimberly Rath, co-chairman of Talent Plus, which has been recognized as one of the Achievers 50 Most Engaged Workplaces™ in both 2011 and 2012 for their leadership and innovation in engaging their workplace. The Achievers 50 Most Engaged Workplaces Awards will recognize 50 U.S.-based companies as well as 50 Canadian companies in 2013. Specifically, Talent Plus has been recognized because of their vision, values, hiring protocol, and that they value being a purpose driven workplace.

Read more →