Tim Hortons and Disability

To most Canadians, Tim Horton’s is known for its coffee and doughnuts and it very much a part of our identity (e.g. hockey). Most recently, it was awarded as Canada’s most trusted brand based on: quality, innovation, value, leadership and social responsibility – the most pertinent factors influencing consumer trust. The study found that consumers trust on two different levels: functional and emotional. Functional trust comes from traditional metrics such as quality, reliability and consistency. Emotional trust rests on metrics such as workplace practices, environmental policies and community responsibility. Most researchers find emotional trust most interesting because it helps best differentiate the brand.

This reminds me of an event that I was at with the former Lieutenant Governor of Ontario, David Onley. the Honourable Onley spoke about people with disabilities in the workplace. During his speech, Onley spoke effectively about the benefits of having a diverse workplace and dispelled some popular myths about peoples with disabilities that included: higher absenteeism rates, higher turnover, less profitability for businesses. He gave an example of a Tim Horton’s franchise owner who owns about 7 Tim Horton’s franchises and he hires mainly people with disabilities. what he found was that the turnover rate was much lower than the average Tim Horton’s and in fact, he found that it effected the turnover rates of his employees with no disabilities because the morale was so high. Thus training costs lowered significantly and business became much more profitable.

For Tim Horton’s, its employees and store owners are very much extensions of its brands. In this case, this specific owner helped strengthen its emotional trust through its recruitment and talent management practices and has likely helped contribute to this award. Congrats, Tim Hortons. well done!


Gina Lee

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