Recognized as one of National Capital Region's Top Employers (2017)
By Richard Yerema and Kristina Leung, Mediacorp Canada Inc. staff editors (Apr 12, 2017)
Here are some of the reasons why Carleton University was selected as one of National Capital Region's Top Employers (2017):
- To address the health and well-being of its faculty and staff, Carleton University created a 3-year healthy workplace plan, focusing on health promotion, mental health and work-life balance -- as part of the initiative, the University offers workshops and info sessions on nutrition, stress and health, and is in the process of creating a university-wide mental health strategy
- Along with 3 weeks of starting vacation allowance, Carleton University offers paid time off during the winter holidays and paid personal days, which can be scheduled at the employees' discretion
- In addition to a hybrid pension plan, Carleton University helps employees prepare for the future with retirement planning assistance and health benefits that extend to retirees (with no age limit)
Carleton University creates a healthy community
Talk about walking the talk. When Carleton University's Tim Pychyl has a meeting on, say, the 20th floor in one of the campus's towers, he takes the stairs -- all of them. Pychyl, an Associate Professor of Psychology and an internationally acclaimed expert on procrastination, knows the importance of exercise to one's well-being. "Physical health is essential for productivity," he says.
That's why he is so bullish on Carleton's Healthy Workplace Plan, an ongoing holistic program that ranges from weight loss clinics to financial planning. Says Pychyl: "The university has turned our workplace into a place that fuels you, rather than consumes you."
One other positive: it produces bonds among the university's diverse communities. "You get to meet so many cool people you would not otherwise encounter," says Pychyl.
Carleton is the first and only post-secondary institution to achieve a Healthy Workplace Level 3 certification from Excellence Canada.Says Pychyl: "The university recognizes that a healthy community for learning has to be comprised of healthy, happy people."
Pychyl often helps kick off the annual campaign's fitness component with a lunchtime lecture on procrastination. "I provide strategies to overcome the barriers people erect to stop them from doing things, such as engaging in fitness activities," he says.
One person inspired by Healthy Workplace is the university's Human Resources Director, Kerri-Lynn Herbert. "There are so many opportunities to get involved in healthy activities," she says. "It is truly motivating," she says. Compared to other places she has worked, Herbert says, total well-being is embedded in Carleton's culture, "which would not be possible without leadership support from across campus." She adds, "Lots of organizations talk about the importance of well-being, but we go above and beyond."
Herbert also credits the Healthy Workplace initiative with creating a shared sense of community among the more than 2,000 staff and faculty who work in Carleton's 65 departments and faculties located in 37 buildings spread across the campus's 150 acres. "A healthy workplace makes us all feel connected," says Herbert.
Supporting work-life balance is another program objective. Indeed, Pychyl is speaking while driving home to pick up his children from school. "I am on a flexible, reduced-time work load, something my wife's employer would not allow," he says.
Adds Pychyl: "When the employer is committed to the person, then the person is committed to the employer. Working at Carleton, I consider myself one of the luckiest people in the world."