7 Qualities That Make An Innovative Workplace

The generation entering the workforce is looking for innovation in a company that extends beyond the products they produce. More than ever, employees are looking for work that speaks to their own values, identities, and sense of purpose. It’s about how companies are running their business, not just what they are producing. Here are seven qualities that make an innovative workplace.

Strong vision and values

Image courtesy of #MoveTheDial

Employees are driven to work for companies whose vision and values align strongly with their own. Companies are taking this to heart by establishing mantras that resonate with eco-conscious and purpose-driven generations. A company who lives by their values is one which showcases them in everything that they do. Canada’s #MoveTheDial supports the progression of women in technology, building a network of women to support each other and bring the values of the organization to a broader audience.

Watch Jodi Kovitz, co-founder of Elevate and founder and CEO of #MoveTheDial, on the Elevate 2017 Main Stage.


Awesome workspace

Image courtesy of Daily Hive.

Long gone are the days of grey and beige cubicles. Most employees working in the tech and innovation ecosystem crave unique spaces that foster creativity, drive productivity and enhance collaboration. It’s not just large offices who are taking notice, startup communities are finding home in beautifully designed co-working spaces, like WeWork, with cold brew on tap, beer garden Fridays, and gym memberships. These spaces offer employees all the perks of a their big-office counterparts, but with the freedom, flexibility, and fun of a truly entrepreneurial venture.

Watch WeWork partner Julie Rice on Main Stage during Elevate 2018.

Diverse and inclusive

Elevate | Photo by // Photagonist.ca

Organizations talk the talk, but do they walk the walk when it comes to diversity? Being diverse is much more complex than simply having an employee base that visually represents different groups. To achieve true inclusion, the best companies seek to empower those of all backgrounds and experiences and encourage their growth at multiple touch points in their career.

HP Canada Co. made the list of Canada’s Best Diversity Employers for 2018 according to the Globe and Mail. In 2017, HP introduced a sponsorship program called Catalyst@HP to connect protégés to senior leaders for coaching and mentoring.


Photo courtesy of @oneikatraveller via @gadventures on Instagram.

Talent are often drawn to companies that state their purpose upfront. These companies make it clear what they do, how they do it, and how it brings value to their customers. The opening webpage of 2018 NewCo company, G Adventures, states that its purpose is to “connect the world with small group adventure travel,” and focuses on the idea that “the world needs more you” – both of which are evident through the company’s buzzing and highly-engaged social media presence (more than 157K followers on Instagram!)

Corporate social responsibility

Elevate | Photo by // Photagonist.ca

Companies that excel at CSR are those that recognize how to generate positive impact in the world around them, whether from a social, economic or environmental perspective. TD Bank, one of Canada’s largest financial institutions, focuses on empowering youth with technology. In 2018, TD provided more than 500 deserving and ambitious youth with passes to Elevate as part of their TD Next Gen program.

Health and wellness

Borealis AI office, photo courtesy of Toronto Life

Companies that focus on the health and wellness of their employees often see a higher retention rate and a happier workplace overall. Companies that do health well are the workplaces that have perks which extend beyond the basic benefits package. Toronto startup Borealis AI offers an array of indoor basketballs in their hallways for their employees to shoot some hoops and burn off steam mid-workday.

Corporate culture

Elevate | Photo by // Photagonist.ca

Culture is created over time; built by the leaders and employees that fill an organization. Companies that showcase the best workplace cultures are ones where employees are engaged. They don’t just buy into the workplace’s mission, they have aligned themselves with it and exemplify it in the work that they do. As Bumble’s mantra goes for their dating, business, and friendship apps, “we’re not playing the field, we’re levelling it,” and that sentiment is clear in all of their activities.

Watch “Building the Bumble Hive” with co-founder and CEO Whitney Wolfe Herd.

Want to know more about the most innovative companies in Canada and beyond? Stay tuned for announcements regarding The Elevated Awards: Most Innovative Workplaces.

2019-02-08T12:39:42+00:00By |