Gilbert Boileau
President, Adecco Canada

At its heart, a healthy workplace is one that supports its employees. Now, more than ever, we know that the health and safety of employees in the workplace is top of mind for business leaders. It’s why we’ve led our industry’s response to the impact of COVID-19 on organizations across Canada by providing thought leadership that is helping guide our clients through the transition process as workplaces re-open. Globally, our response has been no different. In an unprecedented alliance of key members of the HR industry, the Adecco Group and its alliance partners have joined forces to provide best practices and industry guidance for preparing for the new normal and getting people back to work safely. Read more about this global initiative here.

With Lead Magazine, we’ve always striven to feature voices from Canadian businesses — people like you — who have valuable insight into the way things work on the ground level. So, with this year’s edition, we’re shining a light on how employers can provide safe work environments for their employees. Alongside physical safety, we look at what it takes to create psychologically safe workplaces that encourage employees to be productive and passionate. Some of the articles in this year’s Lead Magazine were written prior to the first reported case of COVID-19 in Canada, but they remain just as important in our new reality for demonstrating a way forward. After all, fostering passion is the way that we — as employers and as a country — support a successful rebound.

To that end, let’s look at the role we play in our employees’ lives.

Employees' passion tank

As employers, our job is to facilitate the performance of our employees. In these times of uncertainty, the function of the new extended workplace — and all the infrastructure built up as part of it, including corporate policies, organizational structure and benefits plans — is still to ignite, grow or maintain our employees’ passion for what they do, even if where they work looks different now.

Why should we be concerned with our employees’ passion? Let’s go back to basics. If we, as individuals, are the engine, passion is our fuel. For a company to thrive, it needs to have passionate people. It needs employees who are dedicated to their job, engaged and cognizant of how their contribution impacts the whole company and society as a whole.

Passion is the driving force of many of our career decisions. Aside from the financial incentive, it’s why we work in the field we do and it’s why we chose to work for a specific organization. To me, a healthy work environment recognizes this importance and puts the right conditions in place to stoke it.

If we want everyone’s “passion tank” to be full, how do we support it?

The first step is to provide an environment where people can feel safe and connected. Creating and maintaining a safe working environment both physically and mentally is the bare minimum. Sustaining a safety culture requires dedication, but it is fundamental to giving your employees the safe space to perform their work, wherever it occurs.

In our first article, Kelsey Trevor identifies how safe work environments affect employees and can influence employer brands. Then, Kristi Hines looks at the new reality of impairment testing to create safe work environments. William Goldbloom identifies how workplace investigations can address a lack of psychological safety among employees and SnapClarity describes the importance of providing access to mental health services. We also look at the impact that resilience has on an employee’s ability to cope with changes. Marla Goddard takes us through some of the ways employers can help foster resilience and adaptability to change in their employees. And Alain Dehaze brings our discussion on safe environments full circle by examining the impact that the COVID-19 pandemic will have on the world of work.

The second step is to bring value to your employees. This can be done through all the value-added programs and initiatives you often associate with workplace wellness. For examples of how to do that, look to the article from Plan International where the charity identifies ways that corporate programs bring employees together. Laurent M. Lapierre, PhD and Silvia Bonaccio, PhD then look at the role managers play in providing a fully supportive environment for their employees’ mental health.

Finally, support your employees’ passion by sharing your own. Model passion through coaching and mentorship programs to ignite excitement in your employees. And, by adding fun to the equation, you can encourage connection with your fellow colleagues by sharing your passions, as demonstrated by our last article on the Adecco Group’s health program, Win4Youth.

A big thank you to our contributors this year for sharing their expertise and for continuing to help Lead Magazine highlight relevant topics in workforce management. We hope you enjoy our look at healthy workplaces across Canada in this edition of Lead Magazine.

Gilbert Boileau, President, Adecco Canada

Gilbert Boileau

President, Adecco Canada

Gilbert was appointed as Adecco’s President in 2017, following a successful two-year stint as our Regional VP for Québec. He has over 25 years’ experience in the staffing and consulting industries, in a variety of sales and executive leadership roles. He is recognized for his ability to create, support and leverage key business initiatives, and has a passion for growing business that is equal to that of the most driven entrepreneurs. Prior to joining Adecco in 2015, Gilbert held leadership roles with major companies in which: he grew regional offices that became the dominant player in their respective market; acquired, integrated and managed various staffing companies across Canada and the US; and, built and managed successful sales and delivery teams in various markets. He has a degree in mechanical engineering from Université de Sherbrooke.

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