Progressive Employers Support Financial Wellness

“According to the 2016 Sun Life Canadian Health Index, seventy percent of employees believe that employers have a responsibility in supporting their financial health. Personal financial planning should be a key feature to make benefits plans more robust for employees.”

Conference Board of Canada

Each of the profiled companies has been recognized by Great Place to Work Canada as an organization that encourages and supports financial health for its employees.



Progressive employers recognize a relationship between employee financial wellness, workplace productivity and their own bottom line. Research shows that financial stress is a major distraction at work that can lead to presenteeism, absenteeism, and loss of engagement. Employers increase their competitive edge and strengthen their ability to attract and retain talent when they help their employees build financial literacy and address concerns about issues like debt management and retirement savings. 

Employers can choose from a range of delivery strategies. Among very large organizations, RBC in Canada and KFC in the US have harnessed people power as well as the potential of technology to offer financial wellness programming in a variety of media. At RBC, Invest in Yourself is a comprehensive financial education and resources program that includes an online educational program as well as financial literacy events, such as seminars and webinars. In April 2018, the KFC Foundation launched MyChange, a new program offered in partnership with Sum 180, an online financial wellness service. MyChange pairs a confidential financial wellness app with a personal advisor to empower employees to take charge of their money.

To find out how Canadian employers, generally, are supporting the financial wellness of their employees, bh asked Great Place to Work Canada (GPTW) to identify organizations that encourage and support financial help for their employees. What follows are quotations from GPTW that provide an overview of financial wellness initiatives already in place at organizations already deemed Best Workplaces in Canada by the Great Places to Work Institute® Together, with RBC, which has also been recognized as a GPTW, they provide a profile of Canadian employers leading the way.


Banking Privilege Program

At eXplorance, they care about families. To reflect this, they have a program to help educate and guide employees’ financial decisions. The Banking Privilege Program includes deals with major Canadian banks that help educate and empower employees. The program includes free financial advisory services, the lowest rates for loans, mortgages, line of credit, credit cards, and advice and guidance on buying and owning a home, investing in the future and managing day-to-day enterprises. 

Founded in 2003, eXplorance is a privately held corporation based in Montreal, Canada with offices in APAC, Europe, and Latin America. With employees working across the globe, eXplorance is renowned for its strong company culture and has been recognized for its growth, technical innovation, and entrepreneurship.





Easing student debt

Understanding that student loan debt can place a significant financial burden on recent graduates, and as part of their commitment to helping their employees live their best life, Cadence implemented a program called Flex 365. Designed to help high-potential talent pay off their student loan, this benefit serves as an excellent recruiting and retention tool for high-potential employees burdened with loan debt.

Cadence is a leading provider of system design tools, software, IP, and services. Its Canadian office is in Ottawa.




Flexible Pension Plan

Everyone’s different, right? So ATB set out to create a retirement plan for ATB team members that could grow and adjust as team members advanced in their career and though the different stages of their life The result is a combination of traditional defined contribution plan (DC Plan) with a wealth accumulation component. This second-to-none Flexible Pension Plan, which launched in January of 2015, includes an employer contribution of up to 12% of a team member’s pensionable earnings of which 4% can go to a wealth accumulation option of a team member’s choice: RRSP, RESP, Mortgage, and/or Pension. 

ATB Financial is the largest Alberta-based financial institution with a network locations across Alberta.


Compassion Fund

At FreshBooks, it is not unusual for employees to support each other in times of need with fundraising efforts. FreshBooks has a Compassion Fund to support employees facing unexpected personal or financial hardships, and will often match employee donations, thus doubling the contribution.

FreshBooks is a cloud accounting solution designed exclusively for small business owners. It began in a basement in Toronto in 2003 and now has over 200 employees and paying customers in over 120 countries. More than 10 million people have used FreshBooks to send, receive, print and pay invoices.



PEER Group

Learning about Mortgages

Negotiating mortgage terms is daunting at best so when an employee at PEER Group suggested they host a  ”lunch & learn” on the subject they jumped at the opportunity to help employees gain some inside information. Peer Group invited an independent mortgage broker and a mortgage specialist from one of the big banks to talk about how to negotiate a first mortgage, renew an existing one, or purchase recreational property. Everyone walked away from the session confident they could walk into a bank and play hardball.  

PEER Group, based in Kitchener, is a leader in factory automation software for smart manufacturing and Industry 4.0. Over the years, PEER Group has helped high-volume manufacturers and equipment suppliers in all high-technology industries including semiconductor, optoelectronics, MEMS, electronics assembly, and photovoltaic. 



Categories: Bottom Line