Carey Olsen Bermuda Ltd took top honours in the Top Employers Awards for the second time in the three years it has participated in the survey. The island branch of the international law firm repeated the first-place ranking it managed on debut in 2019, having also placed sixth last year.
The survey is based on the views of employees, with the data processed by Global Research, a leading quantitative research firm who partnered with The Royal Gazette on this project for an eleventh year. Professional- services firm PwC Bermuda once again provided generous sponsorship, as it has done for more than a decade.
The thirteenth edition of the Top Ten saw three previous winners rank in the top four. Record five-time winner FedEx Express, the courier services and logistics firm, maintained its stellar track record with a third place this year. In fourth was Frontier Financial Services, the professional services firm that led the way in 2018 and has now filled each of the top four places in its four years participating.
Perhaps the surprise package of this year’s survey was Bermuda Travel Concessions, which operates three restaurants at LF Wade International Airport, a business at the intersection of the hospitality and travel industries, for which the Covid-19 pandemic was a perfect storm.
The company, a joint venture with SSP America, kept its staff fully employed and paid full healthcare coverage for more than a year of crisis conditions in an exceptional example of prioritising employees. Glowing employee reviews gave Bermuda Travel Concessions second place in its Top Ten debut.
Meritus Trust made its second appearance in the Top Ten, following up its fourth place on debut last year with sixth spot this time.
But the remaining five employers were all newcomers to the survey: Athene Life Re (fifth), Artex (seventh), Bermuda Commercial Bank (eighth), LOM Financial Ltd (ninth) and CG Insurance (tenth).
Arthur Wightman, territory leader of PwC Bermuda, the sponsor of the Top Ten Awards, said: “We congratulate this year’s Top Ten Employers on their outstanding talent strategies that have created the best places to work in Bermuda. Their focus on employee physical and mental wellbeing, flexibility, corporate responsibility, diversity and inclusion, and career development has greatly elevated the employee experience at their organisations.
“At a time when the world of work is fundamentally changing, and ‘the great resignation’ has taught employers not to take their workers for granted, retaining talent requires truly innovative thinking.
“A recent survey by PwC found that one in five employees is likely to switch to a new employer in the next 12 months. While being fairly rewarded financially was a main factor in considering a change, purpose and authenticity were both nearly as important.
“Our research has found that the workforce is the number one risk to growth — and also the principal means by which companies can execute growth-driven strategies. Understanding workplace power in all its aspects can help leaders energise their workforce, tap into the power of their people and accomplish bolder goals.”
Several traits of great employers were consistently evident in the employee responses from all of this year’s Top Ten Employers.
• Employees feel valued: financial and non-financial rewards and benefits meet and sometimes exceed expectations for their industries; employers take actions to retain staff during difficult times, because they put a high value on their people.
• Employees feel listened to and respected: substantial, two-way conversations between manager/ owners and staff are happening inside all of these companies — and employees’ thoughts are not only being heard, but considered and sometimes acted upon.
• Strong and positive culture: clarity of mission, values and goals from management gives employees a clear sense of purpose, encouraging staff buy-in and helping companies to achieve their strategic goals.
• Career development initiatives: every employer in the Top Ten earned positive employee comments about the opportunities for growth and nearly all had mentoring programmes in place.
• Active in the community: all of the Top Ten support charities through varying activities on varying scales. Many match charitable donations made by their employees.
Another interesting trend was the predominance of female employees: eight of the ten companies employed more women than men. Bermudians also made up a large majority of the Top Ten’s combined workforce, with eight of the ten companies having more local employees than non-Bermudians. Five of those had 70 per cent or more Bermudian staff. The survey includes a Diversity Index, based on employees’ level of agreement with four statements:
• My company hires people from diverse backgrounds.
• Promoting workplace diversity is important to the senior leaders of my company.
• Promoting workplace diversity is important to my direct manager.
• Administrative tasks are shared equally among my team.
The four who scored best on diversity were also the top four in the survey overall, but in a different order, with Carey Olsen topping the index, followed by FedEx Express, Bermuda Travel Concessions and Frontier Financial Services. Their success suggests that embracing diversity — and the inclusiveness and fairness that this entails — is another strong indicator of an outstanding employer.
An honourable mention also goes to BE Solar, the renewable energy company, which just missed out on the Top Ten list, but did place ninth on the Diversity Index.
Great employers are a valuable asset to a community at any time. But with the economy still in recovery mode after the shockwaves from the pandemic, even as inflation and rising interest rates are hitting wallets hard, the outstanding employers highlighted by the Top Ten Awards should be treasured.