Recognized as one of BC's Top Employers (2023):
Mediacorp Canada Inc. staff editors (Feb 13, 2023)
Here are some of the reasons why Community Living BC was selected as one of BC's Top Employers (2023):
- Community Living BC encourages ongoing professional development through subsidies for professional accreditation, career planning services, and leadership development programs
- Community Living BC supports its new mothers with maternity and parental leave top-up payments (up to a full year of leave) and provides parental leave top-up for fathers and adoptive parents (up to 35 weeks)
- Community Living BC hosts a wellness webinar series on topics related to self-care, and participates in GoodLife's health and wellness incentive program (participating employees can earn points for completing wellness-based activities such as exercise, reading, and volunteering)
Community Living BC ensures staff have strong support
When Brenda Pielle started her job as a facilitator with Community Living British Columbia (CLBC) 18 months ago, she was impressed not just by the extent of the training provided by the provincial Crown agency – which helps the province’s 27,000 adults with developmental disabilities connect with the supports and services they need – but also the support system that accompanied it.
“I appreciate that, especially as a new person trying to learn things, there’s truly a culture of support and encouragement in the agency,” says Pielle, who worked in the disability field for more than 17 years before joining CLBC.
In addition to completing the required training, there are further, timely online courses available to employees, “so there’s a lot of encouragement and support to keep growing and developing your skills and knowledge,” she says.
Pielle is one of two staff working in CLBC’s office in Powell River, which is only accessible by ferry, and they look after the needs of 200 individuals. They still feel connected to the rest of the organization, though, as they meet online every two weeks with staff from the regional office to discuss any difficulties or concerns they have with their caseloads.
And the support extends beyond the office doors, Pielle says, because there are times when those who care for others need care themselves.
“After coming out of the pandemic, there’s a recognition that it’s been a difficult time for our staff and a very difficult time for the individuals and families we serve,” Pielle says. “CLBC started something called a ‘wellness series.’ Once a month, we have an option to join a webinar about stress management or managing distractions, helping your productivity or positive psychology, topics that are all about self-care.”
CLBC offers other wellness programs as well, ones that not only encourage staff to take care of themselves but also to stay connected with other employees across the province. There’s a “Good Life” program, for which employees earn points, and prizes, for things like recycling, volunteering, going for a walk or getting a flu shot. The “Get Moving” challenge, meanwhile, sees teams earn points for physical activity. “We have a friendly competition with other teams,” Pielle says, “and it’s fun.”
Pielle also enjoys receiving the employee e-newsletter, which strengthens her connections with other CLBC staff. “They put photos in so that we’re always seeing what other people are up to. The e-newsletter and the photos build that good team feeling, like we’re all in this together.”
For CEO Ross Chilton, it’s about taking the best of what CLBC did during the pandemic – such as regular online meetings with employees and the hybrid work model – and incorporating them into the post-pandemic workplace.
“I think we’ve learned through the pandemic that the wellness of our employees – physical wellness and emotional wellness – is essential to our success,” Chilton says.
“So we have continued to have online learning opportunities for people to learn everything from self-care, to conflict resolution, to even how to conduct effective meetings using Microsoft Teams. It’s such an efficient way to engage such a large number of our employees.”
The articulation of a new vision and clarity of values has helped shape CLBC in recent years, Chilton believes.
“We want to be an organization that’s culturally safe, helpful, accountable, respectful and kind,” he says. “We wanted to make sure that, as an organization, these values are present every day in our work, in how we are with each other, or with the people that we support, and in how we are when things are hard.”