Proud to be named a Saskatchewan Top Employer (2021)

On February 4th, COR was recognized as one of Saskatchewan’s Top Employers for 2021 – our 4th straight year to receive this recognition! We are both humbled and proud of this accomplishment. Thank you to our entire COR family; we are so tremendously grateful to work alongside such compassionate, caring people!

Dedicated employees propel leading Saskatchewan employers

Support workers at Creative Options Regina don’t see themselves as punching the clock, earning a wage or, to quote a classic rock tune, working for the weekend.

“It’s that whole sense of making a difference,” says Michael Lavis, chief executive officer of the non-profit organization that provides a variety of at-home social services for individuals with mental health and/or intellectual disabilities.

“We’re typically working with a group of people who don’t necessarily fit into traditional models of care,” Lavis says, adding that clients face challenges involving health care, mental health, social services and justice.

That means crafting care for each individual client.

“With us, it’s about meeting the person where they’re at,” he says.

Workers at the organization take that duty to heart, continuing to serve clients even in less-than-ideal conditions — such as a pandemic.

The importance of their work is one reason why Creative Options is among Saskatchewan’s Top Employers in 2021.

The Top Employers program, managed by Mediacorp Canada Inc., recognizes workplaces not only for offering excellent compensation, exceptional workplace culture and nifty perks. It also selects organizations that are exceptionally good at engaging their employees.

And no workers are more engaged than those who believe their role is to make the world a better place.

Employees at First Nations Bank of Canada — another Top Employer in Saskatchewan — also feel that sense of doing good through their efforts at the financial institution that serves Indigenous people, businesses and their communities.

“In some places, we are the only bank around,” says Leigh Solomon, vice-president of retail banking at the bank. “And so many employees have taken great pride in still being open to serve these communities during the pandemic.”

Their roles have included providing in-person banking to a handful of clients who lack internet and even phone connections. At other times, they have walked customers through the process of using online banking services so they don’t have to visit a branch.

Kevin Michael, vice-president of commercial banking, says First Nations Bank of Canada employees recognize their role isn’t just providing financial services. It’s about helping Indigenous communities build their economies and generate wealth.

“What we do really benefits people’s lives in northern communities,” he says, adding many employees are from northern Saskatchewan.

A similar sense of purpose is shared among Creative Options Regina employees, which is a good thing because demand for services has expanded during COVID-19, Lavis notes.

The fact the organization has been able to meet this demand is “testament” to the efforts of its staff.

“We attract good people because of what we do,” Lavis says. “Still, even I’m just really amazed how everyone stepped up in this difficult time.”

As an employer, Creative Options Regina has looked to help its staff be at its best by creating a workplace that meets their needs while addressing any concerns. That has built a united organization.

“When you have that sense of common purpose — you feel like you’re part of something bigger than yourself and you’re making a difference — the job doesn’t feel much like work anymore.”

 

2021 Winners

Here are the 2021 winners of the Saskatchewan’s Top Employers competition. Click an employer name to read our editors’ full Reasons for Selection:

Read the full article published in the Regina Leader-Post and Saskatoon Star Pheonix on February 4th, 2021: https://www.canadastop100.com/sk/

 

Proud to be a 2020 Saskatchewan Top Employer!

A deep reservoir of outstanding workplace practices: ‘Saskatchewan’s Top Employers’ for 2020 are announced’

REGINA, Feb. 12, 2020 – Saskatchewan’s economic fortunes might be slowly turning the corner, but employers in the province are increasingly taking steps to improve their workplace practices and human resource policies. The best of these programs were recognized today, as Saskatchewan’s Top Employers for 2020 were announced by Mediacorp Canada Inc., organizers of the annual Canada’s Top 100 Employers project.

“We continue to see a deep reservoir of outstanding workplace practices in Saskatchewan,” says Richard Yerema, Managing Editor of the Canada’s Top 100 Employers project. In good economic times and otherwise, Saskatchewan employers are a source of progressive human resource policies that the rest of Canada would do well to study. This year, our editorial team paid particular attention to initiatives that aren’t costly or expensive – but make a meaningful difference in employees’ lives. These kinds of programs raise the bar, as other employers can easily emulate and improve upon them.”

This year’s list of winners comprises 30 employers from across the province, with good representation from most areas of Saskatchewan’s economy. These employers lead their peers when it comes to programs such as: helping employees balance work with family commitments; engaging employees to make a difference in the community; developing employees’ skills and training so they are ready for tomorrow’s economy; improving employee health and wellness, particularly mental health; and helping staff prepare for the second half of their careers and life after work.

“These are challenging times as the economy regains strength in Saskatchewan and across Western Canada,” adds Kristina Leung, Senior Editor at Mediacorp. “But after 15 years, we can say with confidence that the province’s best employers take the long view, paying attention to the needs and aspirations of their employees. Saskatchewan is the place where many of the values that define Canada were formed – when it comes to progressive workplaces and forward-thinking employers, it’s no different. The province is still a quiet leader, with some of the best employers in the nation.”

Some of the initiatives noted by the editors include:

  • Along with generous vacation allowance, Saskatchewan Research Council helps employees recharge, with up to 18 additional paid ‘flex days’ per year – a portion 2 of which must be scheduled during winter holidays and up to 10 unused days may be paid out in cash at the end of the year.
  • Yorkton-based Cornerstone Credit Union provides tuition subsidies for employees who enrol in outside institutions and academic scholarships for employees’ children pursuing post-secondary studies (to $1,000).
  • Potash manufacturer Nutrien supported over 2,500 charities and community groups in the past year, focusing efforts on food solutions, youth and education, health and safety, and community building – the company encourages employees to invest their time as well, providing one paid day each year to volunteer.
  • Saskatchewan Polytechnic provides maternity leave top-up payments for new mothers, new fathers and adoptive parents (to 100 per cent of salary for 17 weeks) – and the option for employees to extend paid leave into an unpaid leave of absence.
  • Regina-based property manager and developer Harvard Developments offers an IVF subsidy (to $12,000) and provides maternity leave top-up for new mothers (to 100 per cent of salary for 17 weeks).
  • Information Services Corp. / ISC, based in Regina, helps employees plan for the future with retirement planning assistance and a defined contribution pension plan – employees nearing retirement can also take advantage of phased-in work options.

This year marks the 15th anniversary of the Saskatchewan’s Top Employers competition, a special designation that recognizes employers in the province that lead their industries in offering exceptional places to work. Employers were evaluated by the editors at Canada’s Top 100 Employers using the same criteria as the national competition: (1) Physical Workplace; (2) Work Atmosphere & Social; (3) Health, Financial & Family Benefits; (4) Vacation & Time Off; (5) Employee Communications; (6) Performance Management; (7) Training & Skills Development; and (8) Community Involvement. Employers are compared to other organizations in their field to determine which offer the most progressive and forward-thinking programs. The annual competition is open to any employer with its head office in Saskatchewan; employers of any size may apply, whether private- or public-sector.

Founded in 1992, Mediacorp Canada Inc. is the nation’s largest publisher of employment periodicals. Since 1999, the Toronto-based publisher has managed the Canada’s Top 100 Employers project, which includes 18 regional and special-interest editorial competitions that reach over 15 million Canadians annually through a variety of magazine and newspaper partners. Mediacorp also operates Eluta.ca, one of Canada’s largest job search engines, which reaches millions of users annually and features editorial reviews from the Canada’s Top 100 Employers project. Mediacorp also hosts

Canada’s largest conference for senior-level HR professionals, the Top Employer Summit. This year’s conference took place in November and featured a performance by Coeur de Pirate, one of the most popular musicians in the French-speaking world.

The full list of Saskatchewan’s Top Employers for 2020 was announced today in a special magazine published in the Saskatoon StarPhoenix and Regina Leader-Post. Detailed reasons for selection for each of the winners, with hundreds of stories and photos, were released by the editors today and are accessible via the competition homepage.

Further information:
Stephanie Leung, Assistant Editor, 416-964-6069 x5334

Source: Mediacorp Canada Inc. www.mediacorp.ca

 

Saskatchewan’s Top Employers 2020 Winners

3sHealth / Health Shared Services Saskatchewan, Regina
Access Communications Co-operative, Regina
Cornerstone Credit Union Financial Group, Yorkton
Creative Options Regina, Regina
Flaman Sales Ltd., Saskatoon
Fries Tallman Lumber Ltd., Regina
Group Medical Services / GMS Insurance, Regina
Harvard Developments Inc., Regina
Information Services Corp. / ISC, Regina
ISM Canada, Regina
K+S Potash Canada GP, Saskatoon
Mosaic Company, The, Regina
Nutrien, Saskatoon
Pattison Agriculture Ltd., Swift Current
Ranch Ehrlo Society, Regina
Saskatchewan Apprenticeship & Trade Certification Commission, Regina

Saskatchewan Blue Cross, Saskatoon
Saskatchewan Crop Insurance Corp., Melville
Saskatchewan Indian Gaming Authority, Saskatoon
Saskatchewan Liquor & Gaming Authority, Regina
Saskatchewan Polytechnic, Saskatoon
Saskatchewan Research Council, Saskatoon
Saskatchewan Workers’ Compensation Board, Regina
Saskatoon, City of
Saskatoon Police Service
SaskPower, Regina
SaskTel, Regina
Southeast College, Weyburn
Synergy Credit Union, Lloydminster
Vaderstad Industries Inc., Langbank

It’s not goodbye, it’s see you later!!

One of the most important questions I ask every new applicant that wants to join COR is why did you apply here and most will say it’s because they want to help people. Whenever I’m gathering feedback in our annual survey about what everyone likes about COR, the vast majority of answers will say they love the people. And whenever I’m meeting with someone to do an exit interview, I’ll ask what they will miss the most about COR and everyone always says they’ll miss the people.

It is with a heavy heart that I announce I will be transitioning out of my role with COR to join the Human Resources Team at the University of Regina. This is something that found me by surprise and presents an opportunity to further my professional development in such a way that I couldn’t miss out on. Although I am excited for this new challenge, it feels bittersweet because I’m also saddened to leave you all. There’s nothing that can replace the culture at COR. We’ve got something really special here and I’m forever grateful that I got to be part of it. I’ve grown as a person in ways that I could never have imagined and probably still haven’t fully realized.

I remember applying for the position on a whim with tempered expectations and soon after found myself feeling excited about the possibility of becoming part of something very unique. I remember saying I’d be happy to fill any position available and upon stepping into my role I felt like it was too good to be true. I remember thinking about how I didn’t want to fail or let anyone down or have someone find out I wasn’t good enough. For the first several months I referred to a dozen different sticky notes and jotted down things like “don’t say shift!” or “what’s a CLSD?” What I learned very quickly was that COR is a safe place to learn and grow. You can make mistakes, step out of your comfort zone and truly make a positive impact in the lives of others. I’ve been lucky enough to be here for almost four years and in that time I’ve had the pleasure of welcoming many of you into this family and watching many others develop into absolute rock stars.

You are all amazing people and you have taught me so much in ways I cannot describe. You are the most caring, compassionate and supportive people I’ve ever met and I’m grateful to have worked with you. As COR continues to thrive in the community, challenge the status quo and change the way our society views and values people, I am excited to watch and support all the work that will continue to make our community a better place.

Thank you COR for taking a chance on someone who didn’t know much other than the fact he wanted to help people. I am grateful for all the opportunities I’ve had to grow personally and professionally. It’s not goodbye, it’s see you later!!

Rory McCorriston,

COR Family Member

 

Caring for the caregivers is key for Creative Options Regina

Caring for the caregivers is key for Creative Options Regina

Employees at Creative Options Regina with a client. Supplied photo  

The job of providing supports for people with disabilities or those struggling with their mental health can take a heavy toll, though Creative Options Regina discovered when you care for the caregivers it benefits both the clients and the company.

This is their second year being named as one of Saskatchewan’s top employers. This year will mark Creative Options Regina’s 10th year in business though executive director Michael Lavis notes it was about seven years ago when the company started to refocus their efforts to create a healthier and happier work environment for their employees.

“The field of work we are in may not be physically demanding, but it’s very emotionally demanding,” he explained. “We need to ensure our employees feel supported and have the supports they need to be doing well both physically and mentally to be able to provide the quality care.”

Lavis said the key to providing this supportive work environment was to understand the needs and wants of their employees, which he credits as being the non-profit’s most valuable assets, and make sure they felt valued, respected and that their voices were being heard.

Not only do they offer their more than 200 employees flexible hours — including the opportunity to work shortened and condensed work weeks — and the option to telecommute, they also encourage the employees to share their passions — leading to the introduction of a number of sports teams, clubs and fun nights out.

“It’s about facilitating relationships both in and outside of work,” Lavis said. “When you think about the amount of time people spend in the workplace throughout their life, you would hope they have those relationships and connections with their coworkers.”

Putting these extracurricular activities in place is generally at a very minimal cost to Creative Options Regina, Lavis said. Even when there is a fee — such as the $1,000 entry fee to participate in the Regina Dragon Boat Festival — the amount of time and the number of employees who come out to support is more than worth it.

“All summer long they practice once a week, they’re engaged in this physical activity and connecting by doing something that they all love. So to me, thats $1,000 well spent,” he said. “Sometimes you just have to give it a try.”

Though Lavis notes it’s not always easy to manage the different needs of all their employees, he says this approach has also helped them retain employees longer — which in turn has helped maintain a sense of trust with their clients alongside the high quality of care they are known to provide.

“In the support services sector the turnover rate is quite, quite high and we’ve been year after year between nine and 14 per cent — which is a fraction of the provincial average,” Lavis finishes. “I believe a big part of that is because of the work environment we are cultivating and the attention we pay to our employees.”

Click here to view article on the Leader-Post site.

 

Proud to be a 2019 Top Employer!

Preparing employees for tomorrow is what makes this year’s ‘Saskatchewan’s Top Employers’ stand out from the crowd

 

REGINA, Feb. 13, 2019 /CNW/ – A lot of employers talk about the need to train employees to make sure they have the skills needed to create the products that will be in demand tomorrow. But only a few leading employers have put these words into action. That’s the message from this year’s Saskatchewan’s Top Employers, announced today by the organizers of the Canada’s Top 100 Employers project at Mediacorp Canada Inc.

Saskatchewan is unique in Canada in having a significant public-sector component to its economy combined with relatively modest levels of immigration,” says Richard Yerema, Managing Editor of the Canada’s Top 100 Employers project. “For employers, this makes it even more important to ensure their existing employees have the skills needed to succeed in tomorrow’s economy. More than in other parts of Canada, Saskatchewan employers have a significant incentive to develop the skills of their existing workforce.”

“We see Saskatchewan employers taking a greater role in preparing their employees for tomorrow’s skills,” adds Kristina Leung, Senior Editor at the Canada’s Top 100 Employers project.  “With softer prices for many of Saskatchewan’s primary commodities, more organizations are realizing they have to move up the value chain to compete internationally.  The best way to do this is with employees who have the skills needed to create products and services that the world needs.”

Here are some of the notable initiatives that the editors recognized this year:

  • Regina-based ISM Canada, a subsidiary of IBM Canada Ltd., operates a company-wide program called ‘Think 40’ that strongly encourages employees to complete a minimum of 40 hours professional development each year.
  • Saskatchewan Crop Insurance Corp. encourages ongoing employee development through full tuition subsidies for training courses, whether or not the course is related to an employee’s current position.
  • Saskatchewan Indian Institute of Technologies builds on its role as an educator by promoting employee skills development through in-house courses and subsidies (to $1,500) to obtain various professional certifications.
  • Saskatoon Police Service reaches out to the next generation through a dedicated summer jobs program for Aboriginal students, as well as a special outreach program to youth who are newcomers to Canada and interested in a career in policing.
  • Synergy Credit Union in Lloydminster encourages a culture of learning with tuition subsidies for courses that help employees improve their skills, plus cash bonuses (to $1,800) on the completion of particular training programs.

Now in its 14th year, Saskatchewan’s Top Employers is a special designation that recognizes Saskatchewan employers that lead their industries in offering exceptional places to work. Employers throughout Saskatchewan were evaluated by the editors at Canada’s Top 100 Employers using the same criteria as the national competition: (1) Physical Workplace; (2) Work Atmosphere & Social; (3) Health, Financial & Family Benefits; (4) Vacation & Time Off; (5) Employee Communications; (6) Performance Management; (7) Training & Skills Development; and (8) Community Involvement. Employers are compared to other organizations in their field to determine which offer the most progressive and forward-thinking programs. The annual competition is open to any employer with its head office in Saskatchewan; employers of any size may apply, whether private or public sector.

Founded in 1992, Mediacorp Canada Inc. is the nation’s largest publisher of employment periodicals. Since 1999, the Toronto-based publisher has managed the Canada’s Top 100 Employers project, which includes 18 regional and special-interest editorial competitions that reach over 13 million Canadians annually through a variety of magazine and newspaper partners. Mediacorp also operates Eluta.ca, the largest Canadian job search engine, which includes editorial reviews from the Canada’s Top 100 Employers project and is now used by almost 8 million users in Canada each year. Mediacorp also organizes the Top Employer Summit, Canada’s largest annual conference for senior-level HR professionals.

The full list of Saskatchewan’s Top Employers for 2019 is attached. This year’s winners were announced today in a special magazine published in the Regina Leader-Post and Saskatoon StarPhoenix. Detailed reasons for selection, with dozens of additional stories and photos, were released this morning and are accessible via the competition homepage.

Saskatchewan’s Top Employers
2019 Winners

3sHealth / Health Shared Services Saskatchewan, Regina
Access Communications Co-operative Ltd., Regina
ClearTech Industries Inc., Saskatoon
Cornerstone Credit Union Financial Group Limited, Yorkton
Creative Options Regina, Inc., Regina
Group Medical Services / GMS Insurance Inc., Regina
Harvard Developments Inc., Regina
Information Services Corporation / ISC, Regina
ISM Canada, Regina
K+S Potash Canada GP, Saskatoon
Pattison Agriculture Limited, Swift Current
Ranch Ehrlo Society, Regina
Saskatchewan Apprenticeship and Trade Certification Commission, Regina
Saskatchewan Blue Cross, Saskatoon
Saskatchewan Construction Safety Association, Regina
Saskatchewan Crop Insurance Corporation / SCIC, Melville
Saskatchewan Indian Gaming Authority / SIGA, Saskatoon
Saskatchewan Indian Institute of Technologies / SIIT, Saskatoon
Saskatchewan Polytechnic, Saskatoon
Saskatchewan Research Council / SRC, Saskatoon
Saskatchewan Workers’ Compensation Board, Regina
Saskatoon Police Service, Saskatoon
Saskatoon, City of, Saskatoon
SaskPower, Regina
SaskTel, Regina
Solvera Solutions, Regina
Southeast College, Weyburn
Synergy Credit Union Ltd., Lloydminster
University of Regina, Regina

SOURCE Mediacorp Canada Inc.

For further information: Anthony Meehan, Publisher, 416-964-6069 x1464