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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

Regina Leader-Post: Celebrating the Value of Every Person

On December 3rd, 2019, COR was featured in the Regina Leader-Post in celebration of the International Day of Persons with Disabilities.

Read the article below:

To view online, visit: https://www.pressreader.com/canada/regina-leader-post/20191203/282175062982247

Proceeds from 2019 India Night donated to 4to40

 

Read the story on the UofR website: https://www.uregina.ca/external/communications/feature-stories/current/2019/11-07.html

 

 

Our families our coming together!

Over the past several months, COR and Inclusion Regina have been working together to unite our families — consolidating our operations will enhance the programs currently available for people experiencing disability within our community.  Considered complementary to one another, the two organizations will benefit from joining forces because of the increased critical mass that will result, allowing the expansion of services and the potential to add new services.

The people served by Inclusion Regina and Creative Options Regina deserve the best opportunities we can provide. People served, their families and employees will see ‘more’ and ‘better’ as we join forces to make the best use of our resources; our funders will see greater efficiency and stronger outcomes too.

We look forward to an exciting future — building an inclusive community — together!

Visit: www.inclusionregina.ca or www.creativeoptionsregina.ca

 

 

4to40 Transit Travel Training featured on Global News Regina

Regina program helps those with disabilities transition from Paratransit to city buses

Transit Travel Training

For people with disabilities, getting around the city can be daunting. But a unique program launched last year is making a difference in helping those individuals gain freedom and independence.

The Travel Training Program started as a pilot project in 2018 and is a partnership between the city, the University of Regina and Creative Options Regina.

Independence is one of the greatest things that’s come from this program,” said Ben Morris, creative director with Creative Options Regina. “It’s helped people get out there easily and as much as they want to.

“The first person who went through with us in its trial year was actually able to find gainful employment, based on the fact that they had learned to use conventional transit.”

“You had to book [Paratransit] in advance, and sometimes, if you wanted a trip the day of, you weren’t guaranteed a trip,” Pagan said.

But that all changed last year, when the pair made the jump to city transit after graduating from the program.

“We’ve been able to get around the whole city, basically,” Paige said. “Some places that we’ve never been before; other places we are going constantly because it’s our favourite hangout place. It’s just a sense of freedom where we don’t have to rely on Paratransit all the time.”

When it comes to making the switch, it comes down to fear for many. But thanks to transit travel trainers like Dylan Morin, who also went through the program, that fear quickly goes away.

“I’ve seen growth in a lot of people and hopefully it gets the demand off of Paratransit and more on regular transit,” Morin said. “It gives you the freedom and the chance to go wherever you want, whenever you want with hands-on training.”

So far, Morris is calling the program a success, saying the demand is increasing with two people currently on the waiting list.

“We’ve had quite a few asks to come out and speak to different organizations around the city, and every time we are there, we are getting questions about accessing the program,” Morris said.

For Pagan and Paige, the program means new opportunities and a new sense of confidence.

“You can’t live in fear,” Pagan said. “How do you know if you don’t try? I’ve learned that since I moved out, I always try new things and this is one of the best thing that’s ever happened to me.”

View the article on the Global News Regina website.

 

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.

 

Never TMI website promotes accessible and comprehensive sexuality education for people with disabilities

February 13th, 2019, Saskatoon — Saskatoon Sexual Health, Creative Options Regina, and Inclusion Saskatchewan are pleased to announce a new companion website for our modern and innovative sexual wellness initiative Tell It Like It Is! just in time for Sexual and Reproductive Health Awareness Week 2019.

Tell It Like It Is!  is a revolutionary program—It is sex-positive, inclusive, and comprehensive; the purpose is to assist diverse learners in making life choices that promote optimal health and wellness in all dimensions of life. Using a compassionate approach, each module offers various learning opportunities through topics such as: communication skills; hygiene; online safety; developing goals and dreams; building healthy relationships; as well as sexual health education on topics such as STBBIs. Evidence indicates that people with intellectual disabilities do not receive adequate health information and education. “It has been our experience that when health education like Tell It Like It Is! is provided participants experience positive outcomes such as identifying healthy relationships, having the capacity to make informed decisions, and have fewer vulnerabilities to abuse.” Michael Lavis, Executive Director of Creative Options Regina.

This project reaches further than the individuals who participate in the programming, as it aims to support caregivers, educators, healthcare professionals, and the disability services sector by sharing information about existing resources and supports related to sexual health and well-being. The demand for this one-of-a-kind program continues to grow, with interest from all over Canada and North America. To increase access to the project, the Instructor’s Manual is available at no cost online at our new website www.nevertmi.ca. The website was created in collaboration with Strategy Lab (Regina), and will continue to grow as a resource hub for sexual health and wellness education for diverse learners.

The goal with this project is to develop a community of individuals and organizations that will respect, value and celebrate the diversity and uniqueness of people with intellectual disabilities and their collective lived experiences. “We are all entitled to loving, fulfilling, and healthy relationships— Tell It Like It Is! promotes an environment where there’s never too much information, and participants are encouraged to ask questions, challenge assumptions, and gain vital life skills” said Heather Hale, Executive Director, Saskatoon Sexual Health.

To learn more about Tell It Like It Is, we invite the community to join us at an upcoming Community Collaboration and Learning Opportunity in Saskatoon on March 15, 2019: Sexual Health Education and People with Developmental Disabilities.

 

Website: www.nevertmi.ca

Further Information:

United Nations Population Fund: Young Persons with Disabilities: Global Study on Ending Gender-Based Violence, and Realising Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights

 

Thank You Mr. Mikes!

Regina charities get a hand from Mr. Mikes

Regina, SK, Canada / 620 CKRM The Source | Country Music, News, Sports in Sask

Two local charities will be receiving $500 each thanks to the Mr Mikes Steakhouse “Deeds Well Done” program.

Organizations were nominated by costumers between November and December last year.

General Manager of the Grasslands Ryan Pylatuk said the winning charities were then based on the impact they have on the community and willingness to help the most vulnerable.

“Family Service Regina was chosen. They work with seniors, adults, children and pregnant and parenting teens to help strengthen individuals and families by creating safe, inclusive and vibrant communities,” he said.

For the location on the east, Plyatuk said Creative Options was selected.

The restaurant chain further noted this provides them the chance to recognize and give back to those who contribute towards making the community a better place.

https://www.620ckrm.com/2019/01/20/201425/

 

Royal Roads University article on innovation features COR

“These solution-seekers want to tackle problems head on. This is not your traditional way of doing business.”

When you’ve got a big question with no clear answer, it’s time to innovate.

That’s what drew Glenda Tarnowski to Royal Roads Graduate Certificate in Corporate Social Innovation program.

As the director of professional practice for the College of Licensed Practical Nurses of Alberta (CLPNA), Tarnowski provides leadership support to licenced practical nurses (LPNs) in the delivery of safe, patient-centered care.

As the healthcare landscape changes and an aging population increases, so does the need for specialized and responsive healthcare.

She, along with the leadership team at CLPNA asked themselves, “How do we best prepare LPNs to meet the care needs of the changing demographic?”

Social innovation was made for questions like these, says Colleen McCormick, who teaches in the graduate certificate program and brings the principles and practices of social innovation alive as director of Connected Communities BC in the Ministry of Citizens’ Services.

“Social innovation is about co-creating solutions with the people who are living the problems,” she says. “Bringing diverse people and sectors together to radically collaborate on addressing a complex issue at the systems level is what makes the field of social innovation so fascinating to study and play in.”

McCormick says social innovators are driven by social impact, so they don’t care much for “Band-Aid” fixes.

“These solution-seekers want to tackle problems head on. This is not your traditional way of doing business.”

The six-month program is offered through Professional and Continuing Studies and is designed for those looking to incorporate social concerns and solutions into the very fabric of their organizations—whether in government, business or the non-profit sector.

Michael Lavis is the executive director for Creative Options Regina (COR), a non-profit organization that provides supports for adults and youth experiencing disability. He registered for the program to help him identify blind spots within the organization.

“The program is helping us better understand what drives innovation and to dissect and build a strong, healthy vibrant organization that has value for stakeholders,” he says.

Lavis says COR realized the benefit of focusing not only on the people who access supports, but also on caregivers. He says COR knows a strong, vibrant care team is key to providing exceptional care.

“We intentionally shifted our focus and looked at who all of our stakeholders are and what we’re doing to nurture those relationships,” he says. “The program is really helping us frame that.”

Assoc. Prof. Robert Mittelman, one of the program designers, says organizations are increasingly looking to build social needs into their business models.

“Corporate social innovation is about looking forward. It’s about using an intervention to address a social issue, whether it’s a new product, service or a change to how your organization operates,” Mittelman says. “It’s about putting that social issue at the centre of your business strategy.”

The blended program includes three applied courses that introduce participants to the foundations of corporate social innovation, design thinking and the principles of measurement and scale.

“Students go back to their organizations the next day, after a new module is released, and build change right from the start of the program,” Mittelman says.

 

August 28, 2018

By: Lisa Weighton

Click here to view the article on the RRU website.