On January 24, The Columbia Valley Chamber of Commerce and Columbia Valley Economic Development hosted a workshop focusing on employee attraction and retention. It was a very successful event with over 20 Columbia Valley businesses in attendance.  Jenn Moss opened the session introducing employers to programs offered through Kootenay Employment Services and WorkBC.

Michelle Taylor, Campus Manager of College of the Rockies Invermere informed businesses of the training opportunities available through the college. They offer health and safety, administration, leisure courses and so much more. If your business required training, and you do not see in their course guide or online, reach out to Michelle and they can make it happen!

Caitlin Hall-Sharp is the new Human Resources Manager at Home Hardware Invermere; but she is not new to HR. Caitlin is a Registered Professional Recruiter and Certified Change Management Practitioner. She spoke to several strategies from posting your job to a successful onboarding process. “A job post should have more than required credentials” Caitlin says, “it should evoke a feeling of what it will be like to work at your business.” Noting onboarding is more than just a day. “What is their first week like? Their first month, first few months. Make sure they know the little things like if a door is tricky to open or how the coffee machine works.” She laid out the importance of ensuring the employee is a fit for your business right from that start.

Culture plays a crucial role in the workplace as it not only affects employee satisfaction and happiness, but also shapes the overall atmosphere and drives the success of a company. Ullr Bar is a shining example of successful workplace culture. “Our culture begins prior to onboarding. It starts in the Interview. We want to understand our future employees and we want them to understand us” says Charly Ion, co-owner “We want the potential and current employees to know that they have support system in place for whatever their needs are.” To see more of their culture firsthand, visit their Facebook page. Or better yet, stop by for dinner.

The Eva Joseph Early Learning Centre (Little Badgers) took a bold move with their operations, moving staff to a four-day work week. High staff turnover and burn out is reality facing the early childhood education industry.  Carrie Rickards and her team recognized this at their centre and decided to offer a four-day work week. The change has been a fantastic adjustment, resulting in lower turnover and more energized and happy staff.

At the Columbia Valley Chamber of Commerce and Economic Development, we are here to support businesses as you navigate the staffing shortage. If you are hiring, please post your positions on www.workcolumbiavalley.ca. If you have any questions about programs or subsidies available, please reach out to Theresa Wood at advisor@cvchamber.ca