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Top ten employers honoured

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Number one: The Bottom Line editor Rebecca Zuill presents Ed Sousa, of Top 10 Employers That Stand Out competition winner Butterfield & Vallis, with a page documenting the company's success.

Ten of Bermuda's top employers came together last week to celebrate their selection to The Bottom Line magazine's Top Ten Employers That Stand Out In Bermuda survey. Butterfield and Vallis, BF&M, Ariel Re, Belco, Hiscox Bermuda, Fairmont Hamilton Princess, Fairmont Southampton, Digicel, Freisenbruch-Meyer Group and Air Care were the winners this year, beating out hundreds of other local companies to secure their spots on the list.

The second annual survey, which examined everything from staff turnover rates and company size to holiday entitlement and shares schemes, also included an anonymous employee questionnaire that each company's staff completed.

According to the magazine's editor Rebecca Zuill, the annual survey is quickly becoming a popular way for employees to sound off about the various aspects of their work environment.

"Our annual survey is fast becoming a recognised way in which employees can celebrate the qualities of the companies for which they work," she said. "These qualities, as they have explained in our survey, have enhanced their career experience and make it a joy for them to come to work each day."

Bermuda College marketing students helped to conduct the employee questionnaire portion of the survey while an expert panel of seven judges met for months to sort through the results and chose the final ten.

"Our judges represent local business and employment organisations, human resource consultants, job placement professionals and employee retention experts," explained Ms Zuill. "Bringing together their expertise, they were able to find the companies that stand apart from the rest."

Butterfield & Vallis won the coveted top spot, jumping three places from their fourth place finish last year. Their random drug testing programme has proven to be a success among their workers, giving job candidates a second chance at a career.

In addition to training and attendance programmes, the wholesale distributor has also instituted a scheme to help lower-end salary workers during the economic downturn.

At the awards ceremony, hosted by The Fairmont Hamilton Princess and Hiscox Bermuda, the masters of ceremonies and organisational psychologist Paul Loftus spoke about the importance of employee retention and loyalty.

"The attempt to hold on to top talent is a major challenge faced by so many companies not only here in Bermuda but all over the world," he said.

"If your turnover rate is 10 percent then your retention rate is 90 percent. We need to know why these 90 percent stay.

"These organisations (that won) are wonderful examples of companies that are concentrating on their retention in proactive ways."

If you believe your company has what it takes to be named to The Bottom Line's Top 10 list, call 278-0138.

Winning smiles: Pictured at The Bottom Line magazine Top Ten employers' awards are Norman Mastalir, representing the Fairmont Southampton, Vincent Ingham of Belco and Jon Crellin, of the Fairmont Hamilton Princess.