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Creating a Supportive Workplace: AKA, the Key to Employee Satisfaction

As work environments evolve in Canada, as does the expectations of employees. We are looking to find workplaces that support and understand us, nurture our passions, and create a safe space for us to thrive.

Aangen’s commitment to creating a sustainable, supportive work environment is one of our most important goals. This is especially true for many of us who have shifted to remote work, where the lines between work and our personal lives have become increasingly blurred. In light of this, Aangen aims to support our employees when we can, where we can, however we can.

But how do we manage to do that when many companies cannot? Well, I’m here to give you some of our ways of maintaining employee happiness and providing ongoing support.

1. Meeting people where they are. Support is at the heart of our Chance for Change (CFC) program, which offers at-risk members of our community a job with wraparound support and a focus on providing training for the future they envision for themselves. CFC meets participants where they are in their employment journey to ensure their roles are sustainable and work within the parameters of their needs and obligations. They are also able to speak with our fabulous social worker, Braeda Dowden, for ongoing, personalized support.

2. Trust and flexibility. We offer flexible work hours from home or in-office. If someone needs to take a day off and work a Saturday, that’s totally fine. As long as productivity is consistent and goals are met, our employees are trusted to make decisions for themselves in their best interests

3. Guiding employees towards their strengths. If the last few years have shown us anything, it’s that when employees feel uninvested in their roles they tend to leave. But Aangen employees don’t just stay in one place doing one thing: we move into our strengths over time by having monthly meetings with our supervisors to discuss where we want to be and set future goals. Take me for example: I arrived at Aangen in May of 2021 as a grant writing intern fresh out of college. Now, I continue to write and research grants, but my role has expanded to writing our newsletter, our blogs, and contributing to our website’s copy as needed. As a lover of words, Aangen has allowed me to expand my passion into a role I feel at home with.

4. Extending this trust to everyone, no matter how long they’re with us.

We applied for (and received!) the Canada Summer Job Grant this year, which is a government grant to provide jobs for students ages 15-30 over the course of the summer.

From this, we have currently hired two temporary members to Aangen: Jack Porter and Zahra Haider, who have taken the positions of market researcher and store coordinator, respectively. They have been amazing to have as interns and assist the team, and have also shown themselves to be mature, hardworking, enthusiastic students. As with all employees, our goal is to not only ensure they are getting a role that simply pays them, but an experience that can build out their resume, empower them in future jobs, and help them adjust to the work from home model.

These are just some of the ways Aangen assists our employees. Do you have any particular ways your organization supports their staff? Any tips and tricks you want to share? We’d love to hear them!

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