Ilka Bene

Senior manager of human resources
Island Savings

Bene is behind one of Canada’s greatest employee engagement success stories, which has resulted in Island Savings’ placement on Aon Hewitt’s Best Employers list for the past five consecutive years. She accomplished this by driving a culture of two-way feedback, fostering a suggestion blog for open idea sharing and creating Islands’ Voices, a committee of engaged employees who regularly meet with senior leaders to discuss any issues and opportunities related to employee engagement. Bene also led the launch of the STAR Wall in 2014, a new peer-to-peer recognition program that has inspired thousands of employees to celebrate each other’s successes.

Engagement is so pervasive that it prevailed even during Island Savings’ recent vote to merge with First West Credit Union. “It was overwhelming how positive and supportive Island Savings employees were of the path forward that was provided by our senior leadership,” Bene says.