The topic for this Member Support and Information Exchange meeting was Organizational Wellness. We spoke about how members and their staff are faring, asked questions, and raised some issues. This topic was chosen in response to member concerns about individual and organizational wellness and how it relates to recruitment and retention.
Questions from the group:
- What is Mental Health vs Personal Struggle?
- How are organizations discussing transitioning back to the workplace with their staff?
- What does policy around transitioning back to the workplace look like, as PHO Orders loosen?
- Consideration that staff members are being impacted by more than just doing their jobs. The are also impacted personally by the pandemic, in their own daily lives.
- Some organizations have kept all programs operational with limited staff.
- Other organizations have had to carefully review policy and make necessary amendments: a prime example provided was to redefine / reclassify certain programs that are essential, such as prenatal care and supports.
- What is Mental Health vs Personal Struggle: one member described making this differentiation as part of a proactive and positive way to address/manage staff morale issues.
- Flexibility is needed to be competitive when recruiting/retaining staff, although challenges come with this, too. Some ideas shared include understanding the challenges and benefits of staff working from home, and reviewing internal policy regarding sick leave, vacation leave, and how wellness and or family days can be introduced.
- Putting ‘staff wellness’ into policy – people drawn to the industry are ‘the caregivers’ – there is a need to care for them too.
- Consider review of eligibility for benefits: some organizations offer benefits right away vs after a waiting period.
- Training, Education, Professional Development on the job: one organization has increased this as a staff incentive.
- Clinician positions difficult to fill. New clinicians moving from schooling directly to Health Authorities or private practice before CSS – CSS as ‘training ground’ is becoming a thing of the past.
- Many facing staffing shortage: one organization has had to shut a program for days due to lack of staff.
- Wage redress is in the works, however, organizations need staff now.
- Uneven competition with both private sector and private practice, particularly with positions that require specific certification, i.e. Clinicians.
- Wage levels and incentives are on very different levels. Government funded positions/programs in community social services (CSS) much lower than private – onboarding incentives are a challenge for CSS.
- Ability to plan for sustainable positions without dedicated and increased funding is challenging.
Members asked for access to the games provided during The Federation’s last June Conference (2021). Those interested can contact email@example.com (who ran the party game breakout room).
The goal of the Member Support and Information Exchange meetings is to support you, our members, as leaders in your organizations and communities. It is a time to raise your policy and practice concerns or questions so that we can bring them to the attention of our government partners or others.
MSIE calls are held the 2nd Thursday of the month:
- Mar 10: 10:00 –11:00 AM (topic to be determined)
- Apr 14: 10:00–11:00 AM (topic to be determined)
- May 12: 10:00–11:00 AM (topic to be determined)
If you are looking for support with your virtual accreditation, you are welcome to join Federation members on our monthly virtual accreditation calls. These happen on the 3rd Friday of the month, with the next call happening Friday, February 18th from 11:00-12:00. Please contact Pam or Stephanie for more information at firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com
Community Social Services Training Fund (CSSTF)
There are two workshops being offered in March 2022: Culturally Welcoming & Inclusive Volunteer Programs and Financial Literacy & Empowerment. To register or learn more, visit The Federation’s website. Navigate to the Training tab at the top, and click on Subsidized Workshops. Members and non-members are welcome to apply.
Participation is easy:
- Complete the online application to the CSSTF. Upon approval, The Federation can cover your attendance fee.
- Complete the workshop registration process for the specific training that you have been approved for. CSSTF coordinators will provide specific course registration links when applications have been approved.
And applications are still open for training fund monies. Even if your organization has received grant funding in previous rounds, you are now eligible to receive round 3 grant funding for additional training.
Support to Practice Supervision Training
Since April 2021, The Federation has partnered with Community Action Initiative and CityU to offer an innovative, cohort-based professional development series called Support To Practice Supervision Training. Support 2 Practice Supervision Training helps you understand the spectrum of supervisory responsibilities and equips you with the necessary skills to meet the unique needs of your clients and staff. We are pleased to be offering eight more cohorts, happening now through to the end of 2022. Registration is now open for Cohorts 7 and 8. Learn more and register on our website!
Wishing you wellness!
The Federation Team