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For Donna Castellano, no two days working at the Workers Compensation Board of Manitoba (WCB) are the same. The senior project manager can find herself juggling multiple initiatives that span many aspects of the WCB’s operations. And she wouldn’t have it any other way.
“I love being busy – for me, the wheels are always turning,” says Castellano. “I found the profession that I truly love because of its diversity and the best part is working with the people here.”
The WCB insures over 34,000 employers and 76 per cent of Manitoba workers. Headquartered in Winnipeg, with regional offices in Brandon and Thompson, it delivers prevention and safety programs as well as compensation and return to health and work services.
To ensure employees have the resources in place to achieve a good work-life balance, the WCB supports its employees with extensive wellness benefits and a special emphasis on mental health. Employees and management are encouraged to share their personal stories of the challenges they’ve encountered during Mental Health Week, and there is extensive mental health and wellness training for team leaders and others.
That commitment is part of the holistic approach the WCB takes to keeping employees healthy, well and safe. Shannon Earle, vice president of human resources and communications, says the WCB looks at employees as whole people with lives beyond work.
“We recognize that employees have individual, unique needs and we strive to be progressive when exploring opportunities to enhance the ways we can support them throughout their career with us,” says Earle.
“We are committed to supporting the evolving needs of our employees in providing opportunities for personal and professional growth, centred on supporting a culture of innovation and collaboration.”
Flexible work arrangements are also key to keeping employees well and engaged. The WCB has a hybrid model that allows employees to work from home part of the time and earn days off. No matter how busy she gets, Castellano knows she can take the time she needs to recharge.
“The WCB really stands behind its model of work-life balance,” she says. “That’s really important because the company recognizes that there is no one-size-fits-all solution. It’s really inspiring to work for such a supportive company.”
Education is another priority for the WCB, with employees receiving in-house training as well as up to 100 per cent tuition support. Earle says investing in learning and development and enrolling in education programs that broaden experience and qualifications continue to be key elements that support employee engagement and retention.
Safety is also a core value at the WCB – not just physical safety but creating an atmosphere where employees can freely express their opinions and give feedback on how the company operates and can improve. Castellano appreciates the regular communications from leaders and executives, the staff newsletter, town hall meetings and other ways that the WCB keeps the conversation with employees ongoing, engaging and meaningful.
Connecting with community is a pillar the WCB has built upon since it was founded in 1916. The highlight for the company is the annual United Way campaign, which has different teams in friendly competition to stage fundraising events. Employees are also encouraged to support a variety of local charities and receive paid time to volunteer in their communities.
“We’re a very caring organization. That’s one of our key values,” says Earle.
“That’s inherent in our culture. Humanity, empathy and caring for our clients, stakeholders and our employees. We hire individuals who are passionate about making a difference and whose values align with our overarching vision of creating a safer Manitoba.”
This article is produced by the Advertising Department of the Winnipeg Free Press, in collaboration with Workers Compensation Board of Manitoba