November 25, 2013
For the fourth year in a row St.Amant has been named one of the Top 25 Employers in Manitoba. A special supplement was printed in Saturday’s Winnipeg Free Press that featured articles about all of the top workplaces.
Collaboration. Hospitality. Excellence. Respect.
These are the key values that provide the foundation for St.Amant’s programs and services. At the same time, these are the values that help to create a meaningful work environment for nearly 1,600 employees. St.Amant is a health and social service organization that provides services for people with developmental disabilities and autism, explains corporate communications manager Jennifer Rodrigue.
“We’re best known for our residential facility on River Road, but we are also one of the largest providers of community living in Manitoba and offer an extensive program for preschool and school-age children with autism,” she said.
“Working at St.Amant, you feel valued as a person as well as for your contribution to the organization. We have great benefits and progressive, creative staff perks that are not listed in the traditional benefits package.”
These benefits include an on-site gym with a low one-time $40 fee, as well as a health and wellness committee that organizes activities like yoga and snowshoeing.
At their annual health and wellness fair, they provide a service called “Check Your Numbers.” At this event, occupational health nurses are on hand to monitor employees’ bodymass index and blood pressure so they can keep track of it year after year.
St.Amant has strong leadership that values input and feedback from staff at every level.
“This is demonstrated through the bi-annual town hall meetings where staff have the opportunity to ask our President and CEO anything about current or future plans for the organization,” said Rodrigue.
St.Amant also included all staff in the process of developing their five-year strategic plan.
“All staff were invited to fill out a survey and to attend one of many focus groups to offer feedback. This kind of effort demonstrates that management truly values the experience and feedback of staff,” said Rodrigue.
St.Amant also supports older employees as they prepare to transition out of the workplace through retirement-planning assistance and a defined benefit pension plan.
As well, the organization offers the convenience of an on-site child-care centre with priority access for staff. The child-care facility is currently undergoing an expansion to accommodate more infants.
Professional development is another perk, since employees have access to in-house and online training programs in addition to formal mentorship.
“We have really excellent training opportunities because we have access to all of the Winnipeg Regional Health Authority training,” Rodrigue added. “We also host an annual national conference at the Fort Garry Hotel and hundreds of our staff attend each year.”
When it comes to holidays, employees appreciate plenty of paid time off. “Everyone starts with three weeks of vacation time, which is above the norm,” Rodrigue said. “Longer-standing employees move up to six weeks of vacation time.”
In addition to an outstanding benefits package, St.Amant offers its workers an upbeat and social environment.
“We have lots of staff appreciation events. We had a Popcorn Day and a Coffee and Cookie Day where our executive hands out treats and has a chance to chat and thank staff. We had anti-bullying events last year and we’re planning another one for this year,” Rodrigue said. “We went all out for Halloween, handing out treats and hosting costume and monster-making contests. It’s a super-fun environment; we work hard and play hard.”
St.Amant continues to earn recognition for its efforts, since the non-profit has been named as one of Manitoba’s Top Employers for the fourth time.
“The recognition feels really good for the people who work here. It just adds that little bit of pride into the place you’ve chosen to spend your days,” Rodrigue said. “Of course, it also helps when we’re trying to recruit new people. We don’t want to just advertise jobs, but we want to recruit the right kind of people to work here. We need people who have the right motivation and who are really innovative and forward thinking. We want creative people who are looking to make a difference.”
This creative team of professionals can experience the added benefit of knowing that their work has a positive impact.
“At the end of every day, we know that we’re supporting people to live fuller and more independent lives,” Rodrigue said. “That’s what keeps people here.”