04/10/2013 11:21 EDT | Updated 04/10/2013 11:23 EDT

Best Places To Work In Canada In 2013


High tech companies dominate a new list of the best places to work in Canada from research and consulting group Great Places to Work.

Google Canada took the top spot on the list, repeating its winning performance from 2012, when it supplanted the previous top employer, Microsoft, which was No. 3 in 2013. AOL Canada, which owns The Huffington Post Canada, came in at No. 4 while Intuit, Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts and NetApp were among the list's top 10.

Bigger employers also made the top 50 list, though near the mid to bottom. Royal Bank of Canada, which has come in for severe criticism over a plan to outsource some staff at its Toronto office, ranked 44th on the list. It came in ahead of CIBC, at 50th place. Scotiabank ranked 33rd, while TD Bank came in at 24th, the highest ranking of any of the big banks.

The top workplaces in Canada for 2013. Story continues below slideshow

Canada's Best Workplaces 2013

Some of reasons why the top companies fostered a positive workplace: Google gave employees a budget to spend as a team on something fun, Intuit gives employees 32 hours of paid volunteer time every year and Mercedes-Benz Financial Services Canada Corp. does a '7th inning stretch" break once a week.

Wellness is a common theme: AOL Canada gives pedometers to employees who can earn cash through their daily movements. "With incredible growth of our team since 2010, we have put a large emphasis on the people we hire and the culture that we embody," AOL Canada general manager Graham Moysey said in a statement.

Great Place to Work based its results on two criteria: A 58-question survey handed out to employees at more than 300 nominated companies, and a detailed evaluation of companies’ culture and human resources policies.

"Regardless of size, industry or the current economic climate, each of these organizations has discovered that trust is the foundation for quality jobs and performance excellence,” Great Place to Work said in a statement. "And the good news is that high-trust relationships require behaviours that can be learned and embedded into any organization's culture.