“With 35% of Canadians in the workplace balancing work and care, employers really need to step up and do the right thing, by creating flexible workplaces to support caregivers.”
SVP of People, SE Health
Creating a culture of caring is critical at SE Health. For us, it really begins with our purpose, which is to bring hope and happiness. Our philosophy is that in order to have our staff bring hope and happiness to our clients, we need to make sure our staff themselves are hopeful and happy, and that they feel cared for. We try to do this using a number of approaches that include providing flexibility and a number of resources, along with creating a family dynamic grounded in our values of Love, Work with Purpose and Life Care.
I have had personal experience with caregiving due to a situation with my parents that required me to step away from SE Health for a short period of time. The CEO – my manager – was completely supportive and understanding. My situation is representative of the culture and flexibility SE Health shows within our work environment. Another way that we try to support a culture of caring is through storytelling—giving staff the opportunity to share their own experiences and recognize the support that they received from their respective leader in this regard.
We have also co-designed the “Elizz Caregivers in the Workplace” program to take care of our people who take care of others. This program offers access to one-on-one care planning and navigation support with trained social workers and care coaches to provide immediate and specific guidance. The program offers back-up and respite care case management and support in the event that a challenging issue arises with staff who are unpaid caregivers.
In addition, we recently transformed our performance appraisal process to establish a more individualized approach that encourages our leaders to have ongoing conversations with team members. This ensures that our staff have the opportunity to have candid and honest discussions with their managers about what they need to feel supported to balance their work and personal lives. Another value of these conversations is to help employees grow in the workplace and take advantage of the many professional development opportunities that exist. Our ultimate goal is to help all of our employees grow to their full potential and become the best version of themselves.
With 35% of Canadians in the workplace balancing work and care, employers really need to step up and do the right thing, by creating flexible workplaces to support caregivers. Not only will you have more committed staff, but you will have happier and healthier staff – which will equate to a healthy business in the long run. And that should be a goal for all employers.
-Harvey Foote, SVP of People, SE Health