Recognized as one of Saskatchewan's Top Employers (2019):
By Richard Yerema and Kristina Leung, Mediacorp Canada Inc. staff editors (Feb 12, 2019)
Here are some of the reasons why Saskatchewan Workers' Compensation Board was selected as one of Saskatchewan's Top Employers (2019):
- WCB Saskatchewan supports its new mothers and fathers (including adoptive parents) with maternity and parental leave top-up payments to 75% of salary to 17 weeks, and also offers employees the option to extend their leave into an unpaid leave of absence
- WCB Saskatchewan's healthy lifestyles committee manages a unique lifestyle rewards program that includes desk deliveries of fresh fruit, lunch and learn sessions with guest speakers and a monthly lifestyle newsletter
- WCB Saskatchewan actively supports workplace diversity and inclusion, honouring important dates such as National Aboriginal Day, International Day of Pink and World Day for Cultural Diversity
Empowering WCB staff to make meaningful changes for customers
Even though Amber Van Parys was hearing impaired when she starting working for the Saskatchewan Workers' Compensation Board in 2008, she had no trouble fulfilling her duties as a claims entitlement specialist, thanks to her hearing aids and a special phone and headset provided by her employer. "I was able to do my job happily and without stress," says Van Parys, in an email.
But after returning to work following the birth of her two children, her hearing had worsened so much that she was no longer able to use the phone. "I had encountered great stress at this point in my life," writes Van Parys. "How was I going to work?" When it was clear there was no technology to help her use the phone, the WCB created a new job for her. "I could not be more grateful to them for doing this for me," she adds.
"Often people are reluctant to declare a disability," explains Stuart Cunningham, vice-president of human resources & communications. The WCB has a policy of contributing up to $5,000 to help employees with disabilities. "We're hoping more people will feel comfortable enough to say, 'I'm suffering. Can you help?'"
At the Saskatchewan WCB, there are new values and a new vision, Cunningham says, as leadership shifts from the traditional "command and attempt to truly empower our staff to identify and make meaningful changes to their work in support of excellent customer service."
Every level of the organization is involved in the shift. Managers are encouraged to develop their frontline staff into critical thinkers; frontline workers are being asked to identify what processes are causing problems, and then suggest possible solutions. "This new culture has empowered us to contribute to solving the process problems that get in the way," says Van Parys. "That allows everyone to maximize their potential as people and employees."
That, in turn, means employees are able to provide better service to customers. "What we're really trying to do is to get better at talking about the type of culture and work environment we're trying to create and why we're trying to create it," says Cunningham. "Yes, it's about serving our customers in a better way, but we're confident that, through focusing on an exceptional customer experience, we can also fix some of the problems that frustrate our staff on a day-to-day basis."