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The future of our workplaces? Hiring and managing staff during a pandemic

Working remotely, evaluating performance and creating flexibility for staff are all factors of the new normal, local employment service says
BAY Spotlight title image_Yes Employment Services

For many, securing meaningful employment can be challenging for a variety of reasons. Since 1982, Yes Employment Services Inc. has assisted individuals with finding work and returning to school. It also provides access to training, which allows clients to become productive members of the community. 

The pandemic has certainly created challenges for many job seekers and employers alike. To accommodate the sudden shift to a remote environment, local employers have had to re-imagine the way they hire, onboard and manage new staff. Yes Employment Services Inc. CEO LeeAnne Maille says, “Employers have had to re-evaluate their job descriptions to make sure they include the skills required to be effective in a remote environment. They also have had to redesign their onboarding processes to make sure training is effective and new team members feel welcome.”

Maille adds that employers also need to determine how they will evaluate staff performance remotely. “There may be a shift from relying on observables to evaluate performance to now include more emphasis on deliverables,” she says.

When asked what some of the challenges are for businesses during Covid-19 and how Yes has adapted its services Maille said, “The challenges faced by local businesses mirror very much what we have heard from owners across the province. When looking specifically at employee issues, employers have had to be more flexible with their staff – in particular those who are caregivers or have health concerns that make them more vulnerable. It has been important for employers to support their staff and accommodate where needed.”

Yes Employment Services Inc. has continued to provide services and training programs throughout the pandemic. Maille explains that most of the team works from home while serving employers via virtual means. She adds that employers can book in-person services by appointment only. “We continue to support employers in hiring and onboarding new staff. For eligible employers, there are funding opportunities to offset the cost of hiring or training current staff. We also offer Workplace Diversity Training to help employers retain international talent.”

Despite the operational challenges Covid-19 has presented, there have been successes and positive outcomes of the 'new normal.’ “We’ve always known that the future of work was going to include the increased use of digital methods of doing business. As a result of the pandemic, we have certainly been forced to embrace the changes sooner than we would have otherwise.”

Over time, Yes has grown and expanded its program base, staff complement and local and provincial partnerships. Operating under a volunteer Board of Directors, Yes Employment Services Inc. is a community-based, non-profit organization that empowers individuals to reach their full potential and contribute to the growth of the community.

For more information on Yes Employment Services Inc. and its programs, call 705.476.3234, email [email protected] or visit the organization’s website.