Stories from the Frontlines: Innovation in Culture and Benefits

The Canadian Workplace Culture Index team hosts this event to provide people and culture and business leaders with real-life examples and ideas to create a stronger workplace culture and improved employer value propositions. Learn more about building great organizational culture and developing a culture of recognition to boost engagement, performance & retention.

This panel event hosted leaders from innovative service providers whose offerings range from fitness and community to recognition and giving to mental health and employee care as they share real stories of the impactful work their partners are doing in culture and benefits with their unique solutions. 

Our five speakers (see below) shared success stories and insights where organizations reimagine wellness benefits to enrich workplace culture and social connection and bring employees together. The stories mentioned include:

  • Geenees How coordinated employee giving can drive increased engagement and positive culture? The first product and service giving platform for families in need. A Canadian startup that is led by an immigrant women on a mission to impact those who need it most.
  • The Canadian Workplace Culture Index How does listening to employees and taking action yield big results? Understanding employees’ true voice and needs, as well as implementing a peer recognition program, are great ways to promote exceptional workplace culture.
  • sweatcrew How to better coordinate employee expenditures and create bonds and groups of interest? Russell talks about how bringing people who sweat together, socialize together. He mentions how to coordinate health expenses as sweatcrew is an enterprise wellness benefit and culture platform that empowers companies to create authentic experiences that keep employees happy, healthy and connected. With sweatcrew, HR leaders can use employee fitness allowances or Wellness Spending Accounts (WSA) to build highly engaging social communities or ‘crews’ that by bringing them together through shared fitness interests, activities, team-building events and charitable causes, all on a single platform.
  • Guusto Listening to your people – How we learned that culture starts at home? While Guusto started as a consumer app that allowed you to send a drink to friends or clients, they quickly realized that purpose and recognition are key, and that is how they created culture internally. Today, Guusto is a modern, intuitive employee recognition platform that helps HR leaders transform workplace cultures.
    • Purdys – How enabling peer recognition can drive overall happiness and greatly exceed expectations? Guusto has worked with Purdys Chocolatier to find that their employees didn’t feel recognized. They needed to align, connect and empower their employees, and successfully aligned the executives in making the team feel recognized. As a result, their people were starting to feel more and more recognized, and even three times more than what they expected in the participation rate. 75-85% of employees and team members were now participating. They could make it all public, and showcasing the wins make the entire organization benefit, from people to sales.
    • Harry Rosen – Everyone is unique. Why rewards and recognition with flexibility are key in a world where everyone wants things a little different from one another? They had sales incentives, with money added to the payroll, employees see it but they don’t feel it. They needed to improve their program with something that matters to each respective individual (a Starbucks gift card doesn’t appeal to everyone). Improve recognition and sense of community.
  • Homewood
    • Leadership Development + Mental Health – Quarterly Learning Development.
    • Improve Return to Work Outcomes – Team Care – having a facilitator that can facilitate the discussion for traumatic and depression care.
    • Specialized support for specialized professionals – Accredited professionals to care for and talk with professionals individually in quick sessions, as on-the-spot/on-site interventions. It created gratitude and a relatively slow Great Resignation effect at the company.
    • It is not necessarily about how much you invest, but how you use the resources. It does not need to cost more money, it is about understanding what the organization’s members need.


Watch the event recording to learn more from culture leaders and make sure to contact us with any questions you may have.

Find Our Event Slides Below!

Thank You To Our Speakers and Facilitator!

Libi Berenson
CEO at Geenees and Leadership Coach

Russell Coltess
Co-founder & CEO at sweatcrew

Noah Warder
Head of People at Guusto

Skai Dalziel
Founder & Chief Product and Client Success Officer at Guusto

Sean Slater
Executive VP of Revenue & Customer Experience at Homewood Health

Kemp Edmonds
Managing Director of The Canadian Workplace Culture Index

An Event Brought to You by

Equitable Life of Canada
Tracesafe

Learn More About The Canadian Workplace Culture Index

Founded in 2021 by the Reframe Group and partner Angus Reid Institute, the Canadian Workplace Culture Index (CWCI) is a uniquely Canadian benchmark of Canadians’ opinions about workplace culture. 

Using the Index, Canadian organizations with 10 or more employees can assess and certify their workplace culture and receive valuable reports, qualitative feedback, custom actionable insights and recommendations on how to improve their workplace culture across six distinct workplace attributes: workplace satisfaction, company cares, diversity and inclusion, recognition and communications, employee connection and loyalty. 

Visit our Home Page to learn how we promote exceptional workplace culture and how we help organizations unleash their people’s full potential.

Read more about our story in  our About page. 

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