TELUS – New work styles, New engagement

madisonfox    October 17, 2017

TELUS Corporation, is one of world’s largest telecommunications companies that offer services to individuals, small businesses, and large corporations. As a leader in the telecommunications industry, the company employs around 39,000 people. In 2007, the company was realizing that they were suffering with employee engagement. The results of survey that participated 4,000 employees, only 58% were only engaged with the work environment (So, C., 2013, October). The lack of engagement was starting to show amongst all sectors of the company. Now today in 2017, TELUS was awarded as one of Canada’s Top 100 Employers and Achiever’s 50 Most Engaged Workplaces  . By modernizing their leadership philosophy, TELUS has increased engagement and remaining high level interest.

How did they change this? In order to change the levels of engagement, the company restructured the culture. In 2013, Dan Pontefract, Head of Learning and Collaboration at TELUS, was speaking at the Mobile Enterprise Strategies Summit and said “The question was, are people happy to be at work? Are they going to company barbecues, the skating rinks? Would they want to stay with you?” he said. “Without a work culture, there’s no engagement.”( So, C. 2013, October).  TELUS believes that when employees are engaged, it will contribute to the overall business performance. They want to make sure that all employees are happy to be apart of the team and are wanting to contribute to the company’s success. The enhanced leadership framework emphasized a behavioral model where all 35,000+ team members are encouraged to engage and explore options and ideas, openly and collaboratively, prior to commencing any execution or explanation actions.( Pontefract, D., 2011, July). Implementing a formal, informal and social framework and the use of social technologies across the organization, empowers team members to drive forward our brand promise, “the future is friendly”( Pontefract, D., 2011, July).

TELUS uses a social media network called Habitat Social to stay connected among employees. Employee’s also have access to a virtual world through their phones and tablets that looks similar to an office building. They can use their avatar to having meetings, chat, and do presentations. ( So, C., 2013, October). Social work styles have also changed they way to engage employees. They allow employees to work from home by using social tools to stay connected to their teams.

How are they performing now? Since these new measures have been implement, the growth of employee engagement has risen greatly. Learning has increased by +17%, Career +23%, Performance +27%, Recognition +30%, Work Life/Balance +20%, and Leadership by +29%. (Employee Engagement. (n.d.). TELUS)

With their remaining high level of employee engagement, they have been able to achieve the following:

Highlights of from the 2016 TELUS Employee Highlights :

  • Employee engagement levels continued to place th organization within the top quartile of all employers surveyed Named one of Association for Talent Development’s (ATDs) BEST organizations for the eleventh year and second-year for being named Best of the BEST organization. This award recognizes organizations that demonstrate enterprise-wide success as a result of employee talent development.
  • Recognized as one of the Top 100 Employers in Canada for the eighth consecutive year
  • Recognized as one of Canada’s Best Diversity Employers for the eighth consecutive year
  • Recognized as one of Canada’s Top Employers of Young People (part of Top 100) for the sixth consecutive year
  • Recognized as one of Canada’s Top 10 Most Admired Corporate Cultures by Waterstone Human Capital for the seventh consecutive year. (telus)

Lessons for Others

Companies who are still using the traditional corporate culture should look to enhance and modernize their corporate culture. Sanjay Khanna, a senior IDC Canada analyst, believes Telus’ journey can serve as a model for other firms grappling with digital transformation. Enabling workers with the right mobile and social collaboration tools is keys to the success of such an effort (Jackson, B., 2016, June). It’s time to step away from being traditional, and focus on being more social.

Organization: TELUS
Industry: Telecommunications
Name of Organization Contact: Telus Rep

Authored by: Madison Fox

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2016 TELUS Employee Highlights | TELUS Sustainability. (n.d.). Retrieved October 16, 2017, from

Employee Engagement. (n.d.). TELUS. Retrieved October 16, 2017, from

Engaged Employee Infographic. (2016, June 20). Retrieved October 16, 2017, from

Jackson, B. (2016, June). How Telus boosted employee engagement with help from a video game. Retrieved October 16, 2017, from

Pontefract, D. (2011, July). Story:The TELUS Leadership Philosophy: a collaborative, engaging and open leadership framework for 35,000 team members. Retrieved October 16, 2017, from

So, C. (2013, October). 3 ways Telus improved its employee engagement. Retrieved October 16, 2017, from