Getting to be a Nonprofit Employer of Choice

publication date: Apr 26, 2016
author/source: Ron Laroche

Community Living London is among a select group of nonprofit organizations in Canada to be recognized for exemplary talent management practices that support successful mission delivery in the communities they serve. The agency is one of only 10 organizations to receive the inaugural Canadian Nonprofit Employer of Choice Award, a program administered by Hilborn:ECS, CCEOC Inc. and The Goldie Company.

“We are extremely proud that the [award] recognized the organization for its commitment to its mission and vision and for having so many amazing staff members,” says Michelle Palmer, the organization’s Executive Director. “Our greatest asset is the people who work in this organization. Without them, we wouldn’t be what we are.”

As part of the program, Community Living London was required to complete a comprehensive organizational profile last fall that encompassed many different areas, including communication, employee engagement and involvement. Palmer says the information was gathered with assistance from the agency’s direct support professionals. “The package that you have to complete, first off, is quite remarkable. It’s huge. And I think the advantage of [the exercise] is that it really makes you think within the organization, in a way that you may not have considered before.”

For her, it was important that the organization have a third party assess their performance with input from their staff members. Once the profile was submitted, an employee commitment survey was sent out to Community Living London’s 440 staff in late November. “Employees complete that survey anonymously directly to the Nonprofit Employer of Choice group and then they evaluate whether you are chosen or not.”

Community Living London was notified in January that they had won, and it was this past February that the recognition was made public. In order to be considered for the award, all winners had to achieve a minimum overall score of 75%.

Palmer says some of the areas that Community Living London rated highest in were promoting a positive public image, pride in working for the organization, feeling good about the organization’s product and service offerings, providing ongoing and relevant training, and recommending Community Living London as a choice employer to a friend.

“Our staff always act as though they’re proud to work here and they’re great ambassadors, but when they’re given the opportunity to complete an anonymous survey and to have those come out as the top [areas], I think we were all amazed by it.”

She says the agency will use the recognition to further demonstrate that Community Living London is a valued organization that is strongly committed to not only its mission and vision, but also to its employees.

“Our staff members are true believers that all people should be valued and that all people have a place in their community. They truly are committed to ensuring that people have a good quality of life, and that’s what keeps us earning these awards. It’s because of our staff.”

Applications for the 2016 Nonprofit Employer of Choice Award are currently being accepted, and organizations can apply by clicking here.

Ron Laroche is the Director, Communications, Marketing and Fund Development at Community Living Ontario.



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