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Hey there, time traveller!
This article was published 15/03/2022 (264 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.
Genevieve Yoko’s role as a member services supervisor at Fusion Credit Union comes with a lot of “curveballs,” she says, what with supervising a team of representatives while handling day-to-day branch management. But being able to enjoy the Brandon branch’s wellness space keeps her batting a thousand.
Complete with a massage chair, leafy plant and a diffuser and essential oils, the wellness space in the branch staff room is meant to help employees pause, rest and recharge during busy workdays.
“It’s just created a positive energy in our staff room,” Yoko says. “Some workdays are more stressful than others, but you get that peaceful five minutes away and it just helps you relax.”
The wellness rooms, which have been set up at all of Fusion’s 18 branches across Manitoba, were the idea of a group of employees who put forward the suggestion when the credit union solicited ideas internally for innovative projects. Each branch could customize their own space with nap pods or massage chairs and other calming elements such as televisions, books and blankets.
Leanne DeVliegere, Fusion’s chief operations officer, says the spaces are a good example of the organization’s commitment to employee wellness. The credit union has also been undergoing renovations in many branches to make workstations more ergonomic, and offering other benefits like an annual wellness credit that can be put toward anything that would improve employees’ overall well-being.
“Our employees are critically important to the success of our organization, our communities and interactions with our members,” DeVliegere says. “Helping them take good care of themselves and doing what we can to take care of them while they’re working, that’s what we wanted to drive more of – just that reinforcement of how important they are.”
The pandemic added a new component to Fusion’s well-being efforts, DeVliegere says. In 2021, the credit union formalized its work-from-home policy, something it hadn’t offered prior to March 2020, by providing clear expectations for employees to continue working remotely post-pandemic and what’s required of them in terms of maintaining security and communicating with colleagues.
In 2020, Fusion also bumped up the amount of the annual wellness credit for all employees, and introduced additional days off for onsite employees who are impacted by the COVID-19 virus, so they don’t have to dip into sick and vacation days. The organization also sent monthly lunches to all of its branches to recognize employees, and provided all locations more funds to spend on their employee spaces.
“The pandemic has brought a lot of changes, but the organization has been extremely supportive,” says Yoko. “The COVID days were completely unexpected. Thankfully I haven’t had to use mine, but they’re there if I need them.”
In the early waves of the pandemic when her outside social contact was limited, Yoko says she grew closer with her colleagues and they quickly felt like family. But she notes the company has always had a close-knit culture that she values, both at the branch level and with the executive team. The credit union’s chief executive officer is easy to reach, and Yoko says she knows members of Fusion’s C-suite on a personal level and has no trouble quickly scheduling time to speak with them.
“They have a way of making everybody feel accepted,” she says. “It means that much more to me to work for an organization like that.”
This article is produced by the Advertising Department of the Winnipeg Free Press, in collaboration with Manitoba’s Top Employers 2022