Recognized as one of Greater Toronto's Top Employers (2023):
Mediacorp Canada Inc. staff editors (Dec 8, 2022)
Here are some of the reasons why OMERS Administration Corporation was selected as one of Greater Toronto's Top Employers (2023):
- OMERS Administration Corporation offers long-term peace of mind with contributions to a defined benefit pension plan and health benefits that extend to retirees (with no age limit and 100 per cent premium coverage) -- employees nearing retirement can also transition gradually with phased-in work options
- OMERS Administration Corporation supports employees through all stages of family planning, providing maternity and parental leave top-up, coverage for fertility treatments if needed, and a Briefcase Parents ERG to foster community for working parents
- OMERS Administration Corporation employs a chief medical officer to drive the organization's focus on health and wellness, and provides a wellness spending account and mental health coverage as part of its benefits plan
OMERS focuses on creating a culture of caring
As a member experience employee at OMERS Administration Corporation when the COVID-19 lockdowns began two years ago, Jordanna DiBenedetto found the abrupt switch to remote work wrenching.
“I’m a very social person,” says DiBenedetto, “and my job at the time was to travel around Ontario and speak to members about their pension plans. Now we had to create new ways to support them. Through digital resources from virtual employer training to online one-on-ones, we have kept the conversation going.”
The change to her role encompassed more than DiBenedetto’s daily activities on behalf of the retirement system for Ontario municipal employees. “OMERS has fabulous employee resource groups, individuals we can speak to and a community focus that encourages us to lean on each other,” the member experience lead says. “I know myself – I’ve had to explore those options.” For DiBenedetto, the caring nature of her workplace matches the meaningful nature of her work.
“I have family members who have OMERS plans and I’ve seen the impact,” says DiBenedetto. “It hits close to home when your family members and friends are impacted by the work you do. But I’m also in close contact with people across the province who serve us day in and day out – police officers, firefighters, sanitation staff, educational staff – and it’s really rewarding to give back to those people.”
Nancy Nazer, OMERS’s chief human resources officer, had a remarkable pandemic experience of her own. She joined the pension fund giant in April 2020 as a lockdown arrival. “I only really had a chance to meet people during the interview process,” she says. “Once I joined, it was the first time in my career speaking to a large global organization by leveraging technology and hoping I was making those people connections.”
Yet 90 days into her new job, Nazer was able to declare OMERS “feels like home to me, like I’ve joined a family” during her first dial-in organization-wide community session. “I still hadn’t met more than a dozen people in person,” she recalls. “But there was just something different, very welcoming and supporting, about OMERS.”
Since then Nazer has aimed to further entrench consistent communication. “I’m a big advocate of asking, listening and understanding, and putting the right actions in place,” she says. OMERS has put an engagement survey in place that allows it to benchmark itself internally, and drive a culture of trust and inclusivity in order to maintain the workforce it expects to need. “Employees are in the driver’s seat and we can’t forget that there is a war for talent,” says Nazer.
“Things like wellness have taken on an entirely new meaning in terms of emotional wellbeing,” she adds, “and we need to listen to our employees in terms of what matters to them and differentiate ourselves in that regard.” For some female employees, gradual return – whether from remote work or maternity leave – is key. “I just ran into somebody on my own team who’s gradually returning from pregnancy leave and she said that makes a huge difference in terms of making it easy for her to transition back.”
DiBenedetto, too, has doubled down on paying forward the pandemic support she received from her employer. “I’m currently the chair of the Social Inclusion and Diversity committee for my specific area, which I joined during the pandemic,” she says. Her committee coordinates often with other employee groups, like Briefcase Parents and Women@OMERS, bringing in speakers and “amplifying each other’s voices,” she says.
“I just really want to make sure everyone here, whether you’re new or never had to use these resources before, knows OMERS has them.”