2011-12 EMPLOYEES’ CHOICE AWARDS (excerpt)

Published in the Ottawa Business Journal newspaper and website.
Jan. 23, 2012 (& Jan. 24 on OBJ.ca)

(The following three profiles are part of a collection of 10 articles written by Krystle Chow, Elizabeth Howell, Peter Kovessy and Greg Markey, highlighting the best workplaces in Ottawa as chosen by their employees.)

Ernst & Young LLP: Accounting for employee goals

Ernst & Young employees.
From left: Angel Estrada, Deanna Monaghan, Natalie Proctor, Carlos Lewis and Amy Yang.
Photo by MARK HOLLERON for the Ottawa Business Journal.

Founded: 1906
Employees: 163
ECAs: 3

For three-time Employees’ Choice Awards winner Ernst & Young LLP, the key to having happy employees is constant communication and ensuring that workers’ needs and long-term aspirations are met.

But perhaps one of the most distinctive initiatives Ernst & Young has is its counselling program, in which each employee is assigned a coach to help with career planning and achieving their mid- and long-term professional goals.

“It’s important for us to understand people’s objectives and goals from a professional perspective and make sure that is what we can offer to them,” says Ms. Monaghan, adding this has helped the company attract and retain skilled staff in a tight labour market.

Ernst & Young’s global reach means employees also have the opportunity to take advantage of overseas training and work terms, giving them new challenges and variety in their work. For instance, the firm has taken on staff for a two-year transfer from the Middle East, Italy and Switzerland, while Ottawa employees have done exchanges to Chicago and New York City, among other locations.

“It’s a great opportunity to learn different cultures and see other parts of the world, while continuing in the same professional capacity,” says Ms. Monaghan.

Understanding employees’ needs also includes offering employees the flexibility to adjust their hours or work from home, she adds.

It all helps to foster an environment where people feel their ideas and views are welcomed and valued, Ms. Monaghan says.

“One thing staff tell us all the time is how there’s a positive, strong culture where people enjoy working with each other. It’s very co-operative and people team well, with a strong culture of respect, and there’s a variety with the work performed so it’s not repetitive and people are challenged by the work they do.”

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Lifetime Achievement Award: Durrell’s dynasty

Published in the Ottawa Business Journal newspaper and website.
Nov. 14, 2011 (Nov. 18 on OBJ.ca)

Former Ottawa mayor’s lasting legacy in sporting, tourism, business and beyond

Jim Durrell.
Jim Durrell, OBJ and Ottawa Chamber of Commerce Lifetime Achievement
Award recipient.

Photo by MARK HOLLERON for the
Ottawa Business Journal.

Name most of Ottawa’s major landmarks, and it’s likely you’ll hear one name repeated throughout their histories – Jim Durrell.

In fact, many of the framed images lining the staircase leading up to Mr. Durrell’s offices at the Capital Dodge auto dealership are a testament to this fact, from the photo of an airplane taking off, to the various United Way certificates, to the picture of the Ottawa Convention Centre being built.

The former mayor had a hand in the construction of the capital’s airport and new convention centre, and his influence has loomed large over the city’s sporting infrastructure. As well, he’s played roles with the Ottawa Hospital and various other charitable organizations.

It’s all part of Mr. Durrell’s philosophy of building up the city’s “cornerstones”: health care, recreation and sport, culture, and education, with a healthy economy at the centre.

“(Those) essential things keep everything moving,” he says.

In celebration of Mr. Durrell’s Lifetime Achievement Award, as part of the Ottawa Business Achievement Awards being presented Dec. 1, OBJ took a look back at his manifold achievements in the National Capital Region.

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