Mercer has the same objectives and implements the same advice it offers clients on a wide variety of its own human resources and workplace undertakings, such as diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) initiatives and benefit and wellness programs.
Partner & Office Leader, Toronto
December 3, 2021
Mediacorp Canada Inc. announces Mercer as a one of Greater Toronto’s Top Employers for 2022 in their 16th annual regional competition. This award recognizes employers with exceptional human resources programs and forward-thinking workplace policies.
So what happens when something like the pandemic fundamentally changes the workplace landscape?
“Like our clients, we have faced unprecedented challenges,” says Angelita Graham, partner and office leader in Toronto. “Nearly every one of our employees has been working from home.”
Mercer Canada has offices in 11 Canadian cities, including in the Toronto area where about 425 employees are based. Mercer says it believes in building brighter futures by redefining the world of work, reshaping retirement and investment outcomes, and unlocking real health and well-being.
That experience enabled Graham and other Mercer Canada leaders to move quickly and help colleagues and clients adjust to the new normal of working remotely. As the pandemic evolved, the focus has shifted to planning a safe and healthy return to the office. Employee well-being has been a priority since the start of the pandemic. Mercer Canada launched nine new benefit offerings, from virtual wellness classes to telemedicine access, to keep pace with evolving needs. It also allowed employees to take equipment from the office.
“At the heart of our strategy has been the desire to over-communicate,” Graham adds. “It creates clarity and has been essential to help make sure employees are getting the support they need and continue to feel connected to the firm and their colleagues.”
For Harrison Pope, that’s never been a problem. Even before he joined the firm in 2018, he felt he was a good fit with the firm’s inclusive culture. “I came out in my job interview,” he says. “It just felt right.”
Now senior associate, client manager and commercial strategist, Pope worked his way up through the marketing department. He has also volunteered since he started with Pride@Mercer and in 2020 became its U.S. & Canada region co-chair.
Pope says the leadership supports his volunteer activities and makes sure he has time in his schedule to pursue them. DEI is a strategic initiative and Mercer Canada has its own Diversity and Inclusion Charter for holding itself accountable in measurable ways, such as the leadership’s progress toward increasing representation of BIPOC (Black, Indigenous and People of Colour) colleagues in the workforce and dedication to engaging, retaining and developing employees.
Another way in which Pope feels valued is Mercer’s approach to the wider community beyond its doors. Looking to be a good corporate citizen, it encourages and supports volunteerism and charitable donations.
Since 2016, Mercer has held ‘Good Day’, a Canada-wide day of volunteering. In 2020, it was converted to ‘Good Week’ to accommodate different virtual volunteering activities during the pandemic. The firm also matches employee donations, dollar for dollar, up to US$1,000 and provides US$200 when an individual has volunteered 20 hours or more. Pope points out that the choice of charity is personal, not corporate.
“This is a really powerful tool and makes a big difference to smaller charities,” he says. “It makes me feel heard every time I donate.”
Graham, too, enjoys taking part in volunteering with the United Way, “We are part of the community and we believe in giving back,” she says. “At the end of the day, Mercer is a people business and supporting communities is an important Mercer commitment.”
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