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COR recognized as one of Saskatchewan’s Top Employers (2024)

Big city benefits, an affordable cost of living and time for life beyond the workplace: ‘Saskatchewan’s Top Employers’ for 2024 are announced

REGINA, March 12, 2024 – With its young and dynamic workforce, affordable cost of living and strong economy, Saskatchewan is increasingly identified as an ideal place to build a career with a healthy work-life balance. Employers in the province are responding by taking notice of the leading workplace initiatives and benefits from across the country to entice more people to province’s attractive labour market. The best of these stories were recognized today as Saskatchewan’s Top Employers (2024) were announced by Mediacorp Canada Inc., organizers of the annual Canada’s Top 100 Employers project.

“Saskatchewan has seen a steady increase in new residents, who are attracted to an affordable place where they can put down roots and improve their quality of life,” says Richard Yerema, executive editor at the Canada’s Top 100 Employers project. “Increasingly, your workplace is not limited by geography and Saskatchewan offers the perfect middle ground – literally and figuratively – between both ends of the country. It’s no surprise that people from across the country have identified Saskatchewan as an ideal place to have a satisfying career with a high quality of life.”

Saskatchewan is renowned for offering residents a healthy work-life balance, while providing the advantages of a growing economy. Employers in Saskatchewan have taken notice of the benefits and workplace programs offered elsewhere in Canada to ensure they are competitive nationally. This combination of top-notch benefits and workplace programs along with enviable lifestyle options beyond the workplace has helped this year’s winners attract and retain the talented employees they need to thrive.

“Feeling connected to others and experiencing a true sense of community is a huge part of the draw for Saskatchewan,” adds Yerema. “So many Canadians are searching for a place to live that’s affordable, while still offering the ability to build a fulfilling life outside the workplace. Winning employers in Saskatchewan understand these challenges and are focused on helping their employees achieve those dreams.”

Now in its 19th year, Saskatchewan’s Top Employers is a special designation that recognizes Saskatchewan employers that lead their industries in offering exceptional places to work. Editors at Mediacorp review employers on eight criteria, which have remained consistent since the2 project’s inception: (1) 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. The editors publish detailed ‘reasons for selection’ for these criteria, providing transparency in the selection of winners and a catalogue of best practices for employers and job-seekers alike. The competition is open to any employer with its head office or principal place of business located within the province of Saskatchewan.

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 19 regional and special-interest editorial competitions that reach millions of Canadians annually through a variety of magazine and newspaper partners, including The Globe and Mail. Mediacorp also operates Eluta.ca, one of Canada’s largest job search engines, used by millions of job-seekers annually to find new job postings and discover what the nation’s best employers are offering.

The full list of Saskatchewan’s Top Employers (2024) was announced today in a special magazine co-published with the Saskatoon StarPhoenix and the Regina-Leader Post. Detailed ‘reasons for selection’ for each of this year’s winners, as well as stories and photos about their initiatives, were released today by the editors and are accessible via the competition homepage.

 

 

Saskatchewan’s Top Employers 2024 Winners

3sHealth / Health Shared Services Saskatchewan, Regina

Access Communications Co-operative Ltd., Regina

Andgo Systems, Saskatoon

Bourgault Industries Ltd., St. Brieux

Canpotex Limited, Saskatoon

Cornerstone Credit Union Financial Group Ltd., Yorkton

Creative Options Regina, Inc., Regina

eHealth Saskatchewan, Regina

First Nations Bank of Canada, Saskatoon3

Group Medical Services / GMS Insurance Inc., Regina

Information Services Corporation / ISC, Regina

ISM, Regina

Lakefield LLP, Saskatoon

Legal Aid Saskatchewan, Saskatoon

MLT Aikins LLP, Regina

Nutrien Ltd., Saskatoon

Ranch Ehrlo Society, Regina

Saskatchewan Apprenticeship and Trade Certification Commission, Regina

Saskatchewan Blue Cross, Saskatoon

Saskatchewan Crop Insurance Corporation / SCIC, Melville

Saskatchewan Indian Gaming Authority / SIGA, Saskatoon

Saskatchewan Polytechnic, Saskatoon

Saskatchewan Teachers’ Federation, Saskatoon

Saskatchewan Workers’ Compensation Board, Regina

Saskatoon Police Service, Saskatoon

SaskEnergy Incorporated, Regina

SaskPower, Regina

SaskTel, Regina

Synergy Credit Union Ltd., Lloydminster

Vendasta Technologies Inc., Saskatoon

Recipient of Outstanding Fieldwork Agency Award

On Thursday, March 16, 2023, COR proudly received the Outstanding Fieldwork Agency Award at the University of Regina’s Faculty of Kinesiology and Health Studies 10th Annual Alumni and Awards Dinner.

 

Did you know COR has hosted over 20 UofR fieldwork students the past few years!?! We are thankful for our partnership and proud of all the students whom we have had the privilege of hosting!

 

Receiving the award on COR’s behalf was Ben Morris, Creative Director and Fieldwork Supervisor. In the words of Ben:

“It is my absolute pleasure to be able to be here and accept this award and acknowledgement on behalf of COR today! 

My name is Ben Morris and I am the Creative Director at Creative Options Regina. We support folks experiencing disability in our city to live a life that they choose, rather than one that is prescribed to them. Though the work we do and our approach to care is profound and different, I want to spend a the rest of my time acknowledging the people who help us do some of the mould breaking work that we do. The students.

Who helped COR develop a relationship with the City of Regina’s paratransit program that assists people wishing to transition from paratransit transportation to conventional City of Regina transit- a student did that – Will P. did that.

Who helped lay the groundwork for a financial literacy program specifically made for people experiencing disabilities – a student did that. Leo S. did that.

Who helped nurture a budding DJ’s musical ambitions and not only helped him create his own music, but also taught him to spin his own tracks on a real turn table – AND THEN two Years later collaborated with him again to play a real paid gig – a student did that. Kyle D. and Jordan W. did that.

Who helped me keep the lights on and create virtual programming for 250+ people to do while they were stuck in their homes during the pandemic? Students did that – Zoha M., Saad S., Loki S., Abby G., and Hanna H. did that!

And who helped raise all of these programs from the ashes once the pandemic ended? Students did that. Gowtham P., Amr E., and Ahmad H. did that.

Lastly,

Who helped me write this incredible speech?

A student did that.

When I think about a student’s time with us, whether short or long, I think about a bridge. This bridge that you build is a gateway to your future. But one of my favorite things that just organically seems to happen is that you invite us to come along with you on your journey across that bridge. Sometimes you stay with us through employment, but sometimes you become Doctors, or you build your own yoga studios. By inviting us across this bridge with you, you’re helping open up our world and make the spaces we frequent a little safer and a little brighter. We are now known and seen by you! You share in our stories and we in yours.

Team – It’s an honor to be here, but it’s a greater honor to share this acknowledgement with you – students.

Thank you for sharing your time with us!”

 

Prairie Sexuality and Disability Conference featured in SARC Update (Winter 2023)

We are excited to share an article featured in the SARC Winter Update on the 2022 Prairie Sexuality & Disability Conference. We are still beaming with pride when thinking back to the event made possible because of all our incredible partners, sponsors, presenters, caterers, and resource distributors! We look forward to seeing everyone at our 2023 conference in Saskatoon. Stay tuned!

Globe and Mail Feature: Creative Options Regina takes a gentle approach

This article appeared in the magazine announcing this year’s Canada’s Top 100 Employers winners, published November 18, 2022 in The Globe and Mail.

When Michael Lavis moved to Saskatchewan in 2009 to launch Creative Options Regina, Inc. (COR), a for-impact, charitable organization that provides support services for people experiencing disability, he was inspired by Gentle Teaching, a non-violent approach to supporting marginalized people. But it soon became clear that its concepts of companionship and community should be applied to everyone who works for COR and everything they do.

“We realized it needed to be woven through the fabric of the entire organization,” explains Lavis, COR’s co-founder and CEO. “So we switched from the idea of Gentle Teaching to what we refer to as a culture of gentleness. And we call it that because we’ve applied it across our organization, to all our processes and practices.”

COR employees support hundreds of people living with a wide range of disabilities and complex conditions across Regina. “It became key to start with the caregivers, the people who provide that support,” Lavis says. “Caregiving is an incredibly difficult job, and we needed to ensure that they were feeling safe, valued, respected and cared for.”

That meant creating a supportive community by providing multiple ways for employees to connect, communicate and get help when they need it. They are offered extensive training in the principles of Gentle Teaching, as well as first aid, stress management, suicide alertness, crisis prevention and a host of other skills.

“This sector is defined by high turnover, burnout and little to no training, which is unfortunate,” says Lavis. “But when you invest in people, it’s a valuable investment and it helps you retain your workers because they know they’re important to you.”

There are also many opportunities for informal social connection and celebration of the COR family’s diverse cultures. The workforce includes employees with roots in 55 different countries, as well as members of indigenous and LGBTQ+ communities.

Joana Valamootoo is a cultural advisor who leads events, programs and cultural training designed to bring COR together to celebrate diversity and nurture a culture of belonging at the organization.

“I love learning, and I have had many learning opportunities here,” says Valamootoo, who’s originally from Mauritius. “Gentle Teaching, learning how to talk to people going through a difficult time, sharing my culture with other people – it’s all valuable not just for work but for life outside work. And there are so many events and celebrations, like barbecues in the summer, Christmas parties, activities for both the employees and the people we support.”

Valamootoo also appreciated receiving a care package sent to employees during the pandemic. “These types of initiatives make you want to do your best work, because you know that your employers recognize what you’re doing and want to celebrate you in some way,” she says. “It’s the sense of pride that we have working for COR that makes us want to increase the strength of the organization.”

For Lavis, it’s all about building relationships and making people feel safe, valued and respected. “What we have realized over a number of years is that when our employees are cared for, they in turn provide the utmost care to the people we support,” he says. “And that’s really what has shaped our practices and been the foundation of the work we’re doing.”

Click to view full article.

 

Leading by Listening: the winners of this year’s ‘Canada’s Top 100 Employers’ competition are announced

As Canadians adapt to a new normal of work, finding the right fit becomes a question of choice. This year’s Canada’s Top 100 Employers are leading by listening, tapping into employee feelings and sentiments about the many challenges of the past year. The 2023 winners were announced today by Mediacorp Canada Inc., organizers of the annual competition.

“Employers are trying to find their footing in unfamiliar territory,” says Richard Yerema, executive editor of the Canada’s Top 100 Employers project at Mediacorp. “There is no ‘one-size-fits-all’ approach for hybrid and remote work. Agility and willingness to learn from feedback and try something new is what differentiates this year’s winners.”

Along with managing the return to the workplace, organizations have doubled down on their efforts to support health and wellness, from enhanced programming and resources to increased coverage for mental health services and providing access to mindfulness and meditation apps.

“There really isn’t an alternative to listening to employees and trying to understand how their needs have changed,” adds Anthony Meehan, publisher at Mediacorp “We see a lot being written on trends like ‘quiet quitting’ and employees not wanting to return to their pre-pandemic working arrangements, but the reality is that burn-out and mental health have become significant challenges. Finding ways to ensure that employees can disconnect, rest and recharge has become mission-critical to an organization’s success and sustainability.”

Now in its 23rd annual edition, Canada’s Top 100 Employers is an editorial competition that recognizes employers with exceptional human resources programs and forward-thinking workplace policies. Editors at Mediacorp grade employers on eight criteria, which have remained consistent since the project’s inception: (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. The editors publish detailed ‘reasons for selection’ for these criteria, providing transparency in the selection of winners and a catalogue of best practices for employers and job-seekers.

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 millions of Canadians annually through a variety of magazine and newspaper partners, including The Globe and Mail. Mediacorp also operates Eluta.ca, one of Canada’s largest job search engines, which reaches over two million job-seekers annually and features exclusive editorial reviews from the Canada’s Top 100 Employers project. The company also publishes The Career Directory, now in its 30th year – a free online guide for recent college and university graduates looking for employers hiring candidates from their educational background.

The full list of 2023 winners were announced this morning in a published in The Globe and Mail in print and online. The full list of winners and our editors’ detailed reasons for selection were also released today online.

2023 Winners

Here are the 2023 winners of the Canada’s Top 100 Employers competition. Click an employer name to read our editors’ full Reasons for Selection:

SOURCE: Mediacorp Canada Inc.

Sexuality and Disability Conference featured on CTV News Regina

‘Healthy, loving relationships just like the rest of us’: Talking sexuality for those with intellectual disability

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.