Talent Development and Engagement

Attracting and developing employees with the right skills and aptitudes remains a constant priority for our organization and the companies in which we invest. We believe that to meet our business goals we must continue to attract and retain the most talented people through progressive development and performance reward programs.

The quality and depth of our management teams, advisors and employees – at both the holding company level and within our group companies – has been built over a long time. It has always been a key priority and an important factor behind our success in creating long-term shareholder value.

Our Commitment

We commit to developing a highly skilled and performance-based workforce. We empower our people to develop their teams in ways that reinforce our responsible management culture within a tradition of strong and disciplined leadership. Our objective is to create positive working relationships for our employees and to provide them with opportunities for growth in their careers, as they contribute to the success of our business and of society as a whole.


Our talent development strategy is based on building leadership capabilities, creating a responsible management culture, and recognizing and rewarding performance.

Talent Development Focus

Building Leadership Capabilities

Skills development programs are offered through relevant internal and external training sessions stressing specific competencies and job responsibilities, including professional development, continuing education courses, seminars and conferences.

On-the-job coaching and development opportunities are provided within our group companies so that employees can broaden their perspectives, gain a better understanding of our diverse businesses, and share their experiences.

Opportunities are offered to work with executives and leadership teams to gain knowledge through exposure to leadership practices and strategies and to develop individual talent to its fullest potential.

Creating a Responsible Management Culture

Our staff receives regular reminders of our responsible management philosophy and core values as espoused in our Code of Business Conduct and Ethics, and is required to annually attest their compliance.

Awareness sessions are given on various sustainability-related topics at Board and management levels. Topics include sustainability awareness, responsible investing, disclosure and carbon management, among others.

Rewarding Performance

Our performance and career management program focuses on three performance development pillars:

  • Results-based goals – we established individualized, results-based goals that align with our core business levers towards long-term value creation, quality of execution and risk management.

  • Competencies – we defined clear competencies that we believe are important to execute our strategies.

  • Individual development plans – we work with our employees to align their aspirations with business needs. Through these plans, we support employee career growth initiatives consistent with organizational objectives. We also provide third-party training programs and on-the-job training.

We offer progressive compensation packages, comprised of a balance between fixed and variable remuneration programs and competitive pension, savings and benefits programs.

Engaging Employees

We engage employees through communications, training and awareness sessions.

We encourage our employees to share their experience and expertise by getting involved with non-profit organizations of their choice, for instance by being active members of such organizations’ board of directors.

Highlights from our Group Companies

Employee Engagement

On a periodic basis, GWL Realty Advisors, Great-West Lifeco’s real estate subsidiary, conducts comprehensive employee engagement surveys to get a fresh perspective on its leadership, whether it is meeting its goals to be an employer of choice and how engaged employees feel within the organization. The results of the engagement surveys are communicated to employees and analyzed within the various business units across the country, and action plans are put in place to inform continuous improvement efforts.

IGM Financial has a strong culture of engagement and regularly seeks employees’ opinions to understand what matters to them, how the companies are doing, and how to continuously improve. In addition, individual performance reviews, regular employee forums and other opportunities to engage with employees also help IGM Financial to understand if each operating company is achieving its goal to attract and retain top talent.

  • In 2016, its second year participating in the Gallup® survey, Mackenzie Investments had a phenomenal employee participation rate of 97%. Its overall grand mean score of 4.01 out of 5 represented a 21% increase in the number of engaged employees over 2015.

  • At Investors Group, an internally developed survey annually measures satisfaction and seeks feedback on compensation and benefits, leadership, training and development, and performance assessment and recognition. In 2016, Investors Group’s Employee Commitment Index level was 75%, up one percentage point from 2015.

  • At Investment Planning Counsel, employees are surveyed semi-annually with questions that have led to prioritizing areas relating to growth and development, compensation and benefits, leadership, and recognition. In 2016 the average commitment rating was 72.5%, up 2.5% from the prior year.

In 2017, IGM Financial is partnering with Gallup® to deliver their highly regarded Q12 engagement survey to all its employees, while also continuing to directly ask its employees to provide their perspectives on corporate responsibility, and diversity and inclusion, with the objective to incorporate this feedback into the company’s strategy, goals and actions for continuous improvement.

Leadership Development

IGM Financial’s operating companies provide tools and support to help employees shape their career paths and grow and enrich their careers:

  • At Investors Group, all leaders are required to complete three mandatory training programs that cover policy knowledge, people skills, and an in-depth look at the company vision, values and commitments. Additional leadership development programs, focusing on experience-based learning, are offered. Senior leaders also attend leadership roundtables to build capabilities in the areas of strategy, critical thinking, innovation, and change. 

  • Mackenzie Investments offers learning sessions designed to enhance overall employee engagement on topics important to the organization and employees. In 2016, sessions were offered on understanding the economic landscape, the power of inclusiveness, and a variety of other topics key to advancing both the business and the company culture. Mackenzie Investments’ training includes an annual Leadership Summit for the company’s top 125 leaders and a hallmark program, LEADing at Mackenzie, for high-potential leaders that features experience-based development through business challenge projects tackling real Mackenzie issues.

  • At Investment Planning Counsel, leadership training is provided through the Extraordinary Leader Program for executive and senior leaders and the Manager Training Program for new leaders. The company is currently looking to introduce a Career Planning Centre to expand its leadership training programs.

Great-West Life and Investors Group, with support from Power Corporation, announced in May 2017 a new partnership with the University of Manitoba for the creation of the Institute for Leadership Development. This teaching and research institute will focus on developing future leaders, thus contributing to build stronger communities and businesses in Manitoba and across Canada.

Imerys’ managerial principle Imerys Leadership Behaviors, launched in 2015, has been rolled-out in 2016 to become the reference point across the group. It is now an integral part of the entire talent management cycle: from recruitment, to performance and potential assessment, to development and succession plans. Annual reviews are now composed of a shared evaluation between employees and their line manager based on these principles.

Encouraging Training

Employee learning and development remained a priority for Great-West Lifeco. In 2016, more than 5,100 Canadian employees participated in training and development opportunities, which included continuing education, industry designation programs, in-house and custom programs, and leadership development. 

IGM Financial’s operating companies offer paid internship opportunities through partnerships with a number of educational institutions and professional designation programs. They see these internships as a way to develop a pipeline of future leaders and often lead to permanent employment within these operating companies. These programs also allow their employees to develop their mentorship and leadership skills as they work with the interns.

Investors Group is well known for its industry-leading training that provides the company’s consultants with the financial competencies and skills to run a successful business. For the ninth consecutive year, Investors Group ranked first in the “Ongoing Training” category of the Investment Executive Dealers’ Report Card among full-service dealers.

In addition to external training opportunities, Investors Group employee training is also provided through the in-house Employee Development Centre to strengthen business and financial planning skills, career development, and health and wellness. Investors Group hosted 99 learning programs in 2016 through instructor-led and online delivery methods. The program participation reached a record high in 2016. 

In 2016, the development of the Imerys’ training offer has been diversified and increased. Over the course of the year:

  • Imerys Learning Center provided 9,800 hours of training through 40 programs covering geology, finance, management, project management and industrial marketing performance. 

  • The e-learning platform “IM-Pulse”, which hosts Imerys’ entire training offer, was made accessible to 4,000 employees/managers.

  • A total of 79% of Imerys employees have benefited from at least one training program.

  • Overall, a total of more than 290,000 hours of training have been provided across the company, representing an increase of 12% compared to the previous year.

In addition, in 2016, as part of their community relations approach, Imerys contributed to 12 projects supporting training and education in surrounding communities, covering topics such as basic skills development (literacy and numeracy), young adults’ professional integration, and women’s and girls’ education.

Employer of Choice

In 2017, Great-West Life was again recognized as one of Canada’s Top 100 Employers and as one of the Top 25 employers in Manitoba, where the company is headquartered. In 2017, for the second consecutive year, Great-West Life was chosen among Canada’s Top Employers for Young People. In 2017, Great-West Life was also selected one of Top Employers for Canadians Over 40.

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