EDMONTON -- The top-rated Alberta companies to work for in 2021 met the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic with more supports for their employees' mental health and wellness.

The Alberta's Top Employers list was released on Tuesday, recognizing 70 businesses from both the private and public sector.

Employers apply to be included on the list and are evaluated based on their workplace, atmosphere, financial and health benefits, training and skill development, community involvement and more.

The criteria are the same as the national competition, and editors of Canada's Top 100 Employers select the final list.

The organization noted that employers are doing even more for their employees during the COVID-19 pandemic, including support for mental health services, paid sick days and allowing people to work remotely.

"Maintaining open and frequent lines of communication with employees has been particularly important during this time," Mediacorp management editor Richard Yerema said in a written release. "This is something new for most employers and, in the past year, we've seen many employers on this year's list step up to the task in terms of keeping employees connected and informed."

Here are some of the companies recognized this year:

  • NAIT / Northern Alberta Institute of Technology in Edmonton was recognized for supporting its staff through the pandemic with remote work and flexible work options, a $50 per month stipend for people working from home and recognizing exceptional employee performance.
  • The Agriculture Financial Services Corporation, based in Lacombe, has worked to keep employees connected during the pandemic with a virtual break room and provided new mental health resources. The company offers paid days off for elder care, family illness, bereavement and personal wellness.
  • WinSport in Calgary was recognized for its wellness strategy and for helping employees find their own balance with flexible hours and paid personal days. The non-profit has an in-house advisory team to create programming for Mental Health Awareness Week, Bell Let's Talk Day and more.

The full list of notable employers is available online.

Alberta's Top Employers list was first published in 2006.