Towards the end of 2016, GEF Seniors Housing was once again named one of the Best Small and Medium Employers in Canada (BSME) by Aon Hewitt and Canadian Business magazine. This is the eighth out of nine years that GEF Seniors Housing has been given this designation, but this time around feels especially important.
GEF Seniors Housing was placed in the Platinum category, the highest ranking a business can be named. The staff with GEF Seniors Housing was also ranked at an 88 per cent engagement score, which is not only higher than the average across North America (which is at 62 per cent) but also higher than the average among other Platinum level organizations (which is 80 per cent).
For GEF Seniors Housing’s Director of Human Resources Tracy MacLeod, this score is a significant point of pride. The role the Human Resources Department plays within GEF Seniors Housing is not only to find the best people to fill all the employment positions but to retain those employees and ensure that they are happy with where they work.
“On the one hand, the more business side of things, when you have people who are happy, they will do a better job,” says MacLeod. “On the other hand, and the more important hand to me, when our staff are this happy with where they work, they serve our clients, the seniors, much better. The fact that so many of our staff work in people’s homes is always front of mind. So, when our staff are happy with where they work, the people who live in our buildings have a better quality of life.”
When GEF Seniors Housing’s CEO Raymond Swonek saw the incredibly high engagement score, he knew celebrations were in order. Throughout the winter and into early spring, members of GEF’s senior management team are travelling to the lodge sites, gathering up all the staff who work at the lodges and the adjacent apartments, and serving a hot catered lunch from St. John’s Institute catering followed by a cake for dessert from local bakery Whimsical Cake Studios.
“It’s the staff here that makes GEF Seniors Housing an amazing organization to work with,” says Swonek. “It’s important for me to recognize our staff and demonstrate to them why the BSME designation is so important and why our engagement score is something to be incredibly proud of.”