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Recognized as one of Saskatchewan’s Top Employers (2022)

The pandemic and the rise of remote work are turning Saskatchewan’s historical challenges into benefits.

Saskatchewan companies have historically hired at a disadvantage to more populous provinces, but the past years saw so much uncertainty in the global employment market that Saskatchewan seems to be acquiring a more powerful appeal to workers. Global swings in traditional work cultures could benefit its workers as much as its big employers — a trend that can be seen by looking at some of the most popular and successful companies in the country.

Each year, the Canada’s Top 100 Employers competition releases its picks for the best employers in each region of the country, analyzing a wide range of factors to help applicants figure out which companies offer the best work environments. Now, 2022’s Saskatchewan ranking has arrived to highlight those companies that have continued to offer creative, competitive compensation and benefits packages even while dealing with a host of local and global difficulties.

The winners are chosen based on multiple criteria, including compensation and benefits, the work and social atmosphere, the work environment, training and upward mobility and community involvement — all of which were pushed forward by a healthy level of competition between public- and private-sector employers.

Continue reading to learn why COR was selected as one of Saskatchewan’s Top Employers…

 

2022 Winners

Here are the 2022 winners of the Saskatchewan’s Top Employers competition. Click an employer name to read our editors’ full Reasons for Selection:

 

Source: https://www.canadastop100.com/sk/

Canadian HR Reporter, 2022 5-Star Rewards and Recognition Award

This year, COR received the Canadian HR Reporter 5-Star Rewards & Recognition Award for a company sized 100-499 employees!

Click here to visit hrreporter.com to learn more


Rewarding dedicated employees

If there was ever a time when employee rewards and recognition (R&R) were needed, it’s during the ongoing pandemic. As many people struggle — whether they are retail or health care front-liners, or parents working from home while taking care of their kids, or single people increasingly isolated from coworkers — feeling valued and appreciated by their employer is much more important.

To that end, several Canadian organizations not only maintained an impressive focus on recognition during the past two years, but upped their offerings to recognize the hard work of staff and boost morale. Canadian HR Reporter spoke with three of the 13 5-Star Rewards and Recognition winners to learn about their unique programs.

Continue reading

COR Receives Canada’s Healthy Workplace 2021 Great Employer Award

COR has once again received Canada’s Healthy Workplace Great Employer Award by Excellence Canada and Canada Life. We are so very proud of our COR family and tremendously grateful to everyone who has supported our effort in building a healthy workplace! Read about the award below:

Excellence Canada announces the 2021 Canada’s Healthy Workplace Month® Great Employers

TORONTO, Dec. 06, 2021 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Excellence Canada is pleased to announce the 2021 Canada’s Healthy Workplace Month® Great Employers. These organizations are being celebrated for their planning and actions to foster physically and psychologically safe and healthy workplaces, striving to continually improve across four main areas of focus, namely:

Physical Health

This element of a healthy workplace refers to how well an organization supports employees to develop and maintain healthy behaviours (exercise, nutrition, sleep, etc.) reduce unhealthy/risky habits and make optimal use of health care opportunities. It also refers to workplace due diligence regarding Occupational Health and Safety (OHS) and the management of workplace influences that may contribute to injuries, disabilities and/or fatalities. Facility design, including air quality, noise, lighting, and other physical workplace factors are also important aspects that impact employee physical health and well-being.

Mental Health

This element of a healthy workplace refers to how the organization encourages a supportive workplace culture – the foundation of a healthy workplace. This element speaks to how the culture encourages respect, trust, support, and inclusivity. It refers to communication styles and patterns of relationships and values that influence employee health, safety, and well-being.

Social Health

Social well-being in the workplace reflects employee relationships with coworkers, interactions with management, and a sense of belonging within the organization as a whole. It is a measure of an employee’s interpersonal relationships both inside and outside of work and includes aspects such as connectedness, collaboration, recognition and rewards, engagement, influence, growth and development, and intellectual health.

Community

Being a socially responsible organization empowers employees to leverage corporate resources at their disposal to do good. Formal social responsibility programs boost employee morale and productivity in the workforce. This element of a healthy workplace refers to the interrelationship between the workplace, the community, and employee health, safety and well-being, including the way organizations are involved in the community, support environmental stewardship, economic responsibility, and social justice; and how employees are encouraged to participate, volunteer, and ‘give back’ to the community.

This year’s recipients are, in alphabetical order:

AGS Rehab Solutions Inc. Mississauga ON
CanmetENERGY-Ottawa, Natural Resources Canada Nepean ON
CHEO (Pediatric health care and research centre) Ottawa ON
Connecting Care & Points West Living Edmonton AB
Creative Options Regina Regina SK
Hamilton Health Sciences Hamilton ON
Health Standards Organization (HSO) Ottawa ON
Lethbridge College Lethbridge AB
McMaster University Hamilton ON
Saskatchewan Blue Cross Saskatoon SK
Unbounce Vancouver BC
WorkTango Toronto ON

Find out what it takes to be a Canada’s Healthy Workplace Month® Great Employer

About Excellence Canada
Excellence Canada is an independent, not-for-profit corporation that is committed to advancing organizational excellence across Canada. As a national authority on Organizational Excellence, Healthy Workplace®, and Mental Health at Work® awards, Excellence Canada provides excellence frameworks, standards, and independent verification and certification to organizations of all sizes and in all sectors. It is also the custodian and adjudicator of the Canada Awards for Excellence program.

“Canada’s Healthy Workplace Month” , “Healthy Workplace”, and “Mental Health at Work” are Registered Trademarks of Excellence Canada.

Michael Lavis earns Canada’s Most Admired CEO — Broader Public Sector for 2021

In 2021, COR CEO Michael Lavis earned the title of Canada’s Most Admired CEO in the Broader Public Sector from Waterstone Human Capital.

Learn more about 2021’s winners here.

Michael Lavis

Michael Lavis is the founding CEO of Creative Options Regina (COR) — a for-impact, charitable organization that develops personalized support services for people experiencing disability in Regina, Saskatchewan. Under Michael’s leadership, COR has grown to become one of Saskatchewan’s largest support providers serving both vulnerable youth and adults in-care. Michael is passionately committed to nurturing a culture of gentleness within the workplace, transforming care by focusing on employee experience.

As a purpose-driven leader, Michael embraces a culture of continuous learning, recently completing a MA in Leadership with a specialization is values from Royal Roads University. Additionally, he has a MA in Human Security and Peacebuilding, coupled with a BA in International Relations from the University of Saskatchewan, and has completed a number of leadership certificate programs. Michael has over fifteen years of global experience developing opportunities for marginalized individuals; from South America to Africa, and Southeast Asia to Canada, Michael has worked and researched extensively within various international organizations. Michael is passionately committed to strengthening the disability services sector in Saskatchewan and to forge out new beginnings for the province’s most vulnerable citizens. In addition to his work at COR, Michael serves on the Board of Directors of Service Hospitality, Caledonian Curling Club, and is an advisory committee member of the Conference Board of Canada’s Council on Workplace Health and Wellness. COR has been recognized as one of Canada’s Most Admired Corporate Cultures – Broader Public Sector (2020), one of Saskatchewan’s Top Employers (2018-2021), Canada’s Top 100 Employers (2021), and recipient of Canada’s Healthiest Workplaces Award (2019 & 2020).

Proud to be named among Canada’s Top 100 Employers (2022)

Today, we celebrate our entire COR family!

When we laid the foundation for COR twelve short years ago, we knew we wanted to be different. We embraced the life work of Dr. John McGee and wove his philosophy of Gentle Teaching throughout all aspects of our organization. We partnered with leaders around the world to listen, learn and mould COR into what it is today!

What we didn’t realize at the time was the uniqueness of what we were crafting together! We nurtured a caring community of people by leading with purpose and rallying around a set of shared values. Together, we cultivated an environment where people feel safe and valued, while continuing to rally a growing cadre of people around a common vision: Empowering People, Inspiring Change. 

For us, nurturing a Culture of Gentleness has proven to be the perfect counter story to outdated narratives of support. At COR, we support people not clients; we craft companions not employees; we build homes not houses; we see value and dignify rather than find fault and humiliate; we engage with community rather than watch it pass us by.  And we CARE – for our entire COR family.

Our continued growth (and impact) over the past decade has garnered both provincial and national attention, most notably achieving Saskatchewan’s Top Employer recognition (2018-2021), Canada’s Healthiest Workplace Award (2019-2020), along with Canada’s Most Admired Corporate Cultures Award (2021). And today, we again raise our heads with great pride as we have just been awarded the prestigious CANADA’S TOP 100 EMPLOYERS Award for 2022.

Canada's Top 100 Employers 2022

COR is proud to be named one of Canada’s Top Employers 2022

We are so tremendously grateful to everyone who has supported us and championed our efforts over the past decade – this recognition is because of you! We are so incredibly thankful.

To our COR family: Thank you for making a difference in the lives of those we serve – everyday! We are so proud to have you as part of our family.

 

With immense gratitude,

Michael and Jim

 

Click to read full announcement.

Revealed: Best Places to Work (2021) by Canadian HR Reporter

Today, Canadian HR Reporter unveiled its list of top employers based on key metrics, employee feedback — COR is incredibly proud to be recognized as one of CANADA’S BEST PLACES TO WORK (2021).

Revealed: Best Places to Work 2021

Cover Page: Canadian HR Reporter Magazine

 

 

Looking to hear more about why Creative Options Regina is among the 2021 Best Places to Work, Canadian HR Reporter spoke with Casey Sakires, employee experience advisor.

 

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/

 

COR Recognized as Canada’s Most Admired Corporate Cultures

It’s a big day for the COR family!! Thanks to you, we’ve proudly accepted a prestigious award: Waterstone Canada’s Most Admired Corporate Cultures.

We have been grateful this year to receive several culture-related awards that truly embody both what it means to be a member of the COR family, as well as what we’re trying to accomplish at COR every single day.

What Makes COR Special?

For the third straight year we have been named one of Saskatchewan’s Top Employers, in 2019 we were recognized as one of Canada’s Healthiest workplaces by Canada Life and Excellence Canada, and now COR has been named one of Canada’s Most Admired Corporate Cultures by Waterstone Human Capital; but why? If you ask around, you’ll find a common theme – it’s the people and their values.

Everyone at COR is a passionate individual who embodies our culture of gentleness to the fullest. We nurture a culture of belonging, lead with purpose and we approach people with compassion. 

When we embarked on this journey ten years ago, we were determined to challenge the status quo and demonstrate that care could be done differently – to afford the people we serve a real opportunity to have choice and control in their lives, putting each person in the driver’s seat of their own destiny. Moreover, we focused on our employees – the most important people in the organization – for if we take good care of all our family members, they will in turn provide exceptional care to the people we support and their families. It’s that simple! 

Staying true to our roots, we continue to be guided by the principles of Gentle Teaching and remain committed to nurturing within our organization a culture of gentleness and belonging, where everyone feels safe and valued. There has been an incredible amount of learning and growth over the past ten short years; we are forever grateful to the many incredible people who offered their wisdom and have served as mentors along the way.

As we forge ahead, we will continue to focus on:

  • our employee experience, with a particular emphasis on workplace flexibility and cultivating strong leaders;
  • strengthening our formal mentorship and leadership development initiatives, while deepening our coaching culture;
  • embracing a holistic approach to wellness by nurturing a healthy mind, healthy body, and healthy life;
  • building strong, resilient teams that will allow COR to further expand and support the evolving needs of our community;
  • ensuring values and purpose alignment throughout the entire organization;
  • supporting the people we serve and their families to live their lives to the fullest; and
  • establishing even stronger connections within our community, partnering with those who share a common vision of fostering a community where everyone’s gifts and contributions are welcomed and celebrated.

THANK-YOU — we are so very grateful for your contribution to our growing organization and we are proud to have you part of our family. 

 

Stay safe,

Michael Lavis

 

Link to November 26th, 2020 Press Release.

Safety Centered Leadership Award Recipient — Thank you Service Hospitality!

Earlier this month, we were honored by our provincial safety association as the recipient of their annual Safety Centered Leadership Award. We are beyond grateful for Service Hospitality’s continued support and guidance in assisting us in keeping our COR family safe! Read their article below:

Our 2019 Safety Centered Leadership Award Goes To…

Michael Lavis from Creative Options Regina!

“Thank you Service Hospitality! I am humbled by this recognition. People are at the heart of our organization — our approach to safety is holistic ensuring everyone feels safe and valued:  employees, people supported, families, partners, volunteers and stakeholders — everyone! Our success has and continues to be, the result of a highly committed, compassionate, creative group of people that make up the COR family. Even during these challenging times, we are growing stronger together, rallying as one and discovering innovative ways to build community while adhering to strict health and safety protocols. We are determined to challenge the status quo and demonstrate that care can be done differently. We are so grateful for the support and guidance you — Service Hospitality — provide us and look forward to continued partnership into the future. Thank you.”

This year we presented the Executive Director of Creative Options Regina, Mr. Michael Lavis, with Service Hospitality’s most prestigious award, the Safety Centered Leadership Award. Michael’s commitment to health and safety doesn’t arise out of needing to meet legislated requirements – he truly believes a healthy and safe workplace is a productive and sustainable one. While the health and safety of his staff at Creative Options is a priority, he also demonstrates a passion for the safety of all workers in Saskatchewan.

Creative Options Regina, and Michael himself, are known for starting trends – not following them. He thinks outside the box and offers various resources to his staff to support their physical and mental health. An example of this is when Michael realized, although nutrition planning was provided through their employee benefits package, it was not being utilized by staff. So instead of waiting for staff to seek out nutritionist services, he brought the nutritionist to the office so the support was easily accessible to all employees.

Michael has also shown a passion for health and safety by…

  • Being a valued member of Service Hospitality’s Mental Health Best Practice Group, where he has led in the area of psychological health and safety in Saskatchewan community organizations.

  • Not being afraid to challenge big ideas and make insightful recommendations in front of the Health & Safety community. This shows he is not a complacent bystander, but an active participator.

  • Has sat on the Service Hospitality board of directors for 3 years and advocates for what he believes in and what is right in the community and industry.

  • Being heavily involved with Youth Safety Education Day by sponsoring and attending YSED events, and joining forces with Service Hospitality for Smile Cookie Day at Leboldus High School in 2019.

Michael is passionately committed to strengthening the disability services sector in Saskatchewan and to forge out new beginnings for the province’s most vulnerable citizens. He understands that the business of caring for people starts with the wellness of its own employees.

Thank you to Michael for being a leader, setting an example, and always breaking through the glass ceiling of health and safety in our province and beyond its borders!

View the article on Service Hospitality’s website.

 

Conexus Kindness Capital Fund Recipient — THANK YOU!

COR is a proud recipient of the 2020 Conexus Kindness Capital Fund! A HUGE THANK-YOU to our entire COR family for their commitment and dedication to making a difference during these challenging times. You are all truly an inspiration and we are so incredibly grateful!

Thank you Conexus for encouraging a return on kindness by recognizing 40 individuals and businesses with $5,000 to continue their acts of kindness. You are a community champion! We are humbled by your recognition.

Learn more at: https://www.kindnesscapital.ca/