Endy’s director of people and culture discusses the importance of the employee experience; diversity, equity and inclusion commitments; and exploring Toronto.
Q: What top challenges do you face in your role?
A: Working in a remote environment is difficult at times for our employees and the extended isolation can take a toll on their physical and mental well-being. To ensure they feel engaged, supported and connected, we’re focusing on the employee experience.
We frequently check in with them, whether in one-on-one meetings with team leaders or through casual conversations with colleagues. We’ve worked hard to foster a positive work environment and it’s important we find ways to translate that culture into the remote working environment.
Q: What new programs or initiatives are you looking to implement?
A: We want to continue strengthening our DEI commitments. It’s important to us that our employees take a deliberate and self-guided approach to learning about DEI matters. We make the information as accessible as possible for them, so they can take an active role when it comes to these initiatives. Employee wellness is another big priority for us. We’ll continue to implement programs that encourage physical and mental wellness, such as virtual stretch and movement exercises, wellness workshops and social events.
Q: How do you judge the success of a program or initiative?
A: We judge a program’s success through feedback from employees. We conduct employee engagement surveys throughout the year to get a pulse on how everyone’s feeling. I encourage other employers to get real-time feedback from employees, their managers, peers and senior leadership teams.
Q: What programs do you consider the most successful or that you’re most proud of?
A: I’m really proud of our onboarding program. We ensure all new employees have the resources they need to succeed in their roles, but the program also includes connecting new hires with their colleagues through weekly coffee chats and lunches. These casual meetings are a way for us to ensure our employees feel comfortable working at Endy and can bring their authentic selves to work.
Q: What key human resources issues do you expect in the coming year?
A: Recruitment is a candidate-driven market right now. Candidates are interviewing us as much as we’re interviewing them. We take this into consideration because we want to ensure prospective employees want to be here as much as we want them here. Attracting and retaining talent is going to be crucial this year and, to stay competitive, we need to listen to our employees by gathering feedback and conducting competitive analyses to see what other companies are doing in this tight labour market.
Q: What do you like to do in your free time? What are your hobbies?
A: I moved to the [Greater Toronto Area] from Vancouver eight years ago, so I’m still getting to know it. I like to walk around the city, hike and explore new restaurants. I know my route to work and my favourite spots to shop and dine, but there’s so much of the city I’ve yet to explore when it comes to shops, museums and public hiking trails.
Q: What’s your favourite employee benefit and why?
A: The employee assistance program. It’s important to me to be able to talk through my life events, both personal and professional, with someone else. This platform is crucial during these times because, without seeing people in person, you might not know when they need extra support. My other favourite is the selection of products — including a mattress — employees get when they start working at Endy.
Lauren Bailey is an associate editor at Benefits Canada.