Gord Smith Healthy Workplace & Bike Friendly Workplace Award
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Note: The Gord Smith Healthy Workplace & Bike Friendly Workplace Awards will be suspended for 2020, and instead temporarily replaced with awards to recognize the efforts of businesses and workplaces in supporting their employees and community throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. The July 31st deadline will be extended accordingly to ensure that there will be enough time for each applicant to submit a complete application for the new awards. We are working to make the application process as simple as possible so as not to create an additional burden for businesses and workplaces dealing with the realities of COVID-19. A further update will be made once the process becomes finalized in the coming weeks.
The Gord Smith Healthy Workplace & Bike Friendly Workplace Awards Program
The Windsor-Essex County Health Unit and the Working Toward Wellness (WTW) Workplace Wellness Committee are pleased to present The Gord Smith Healthy Workplace & Bike Friendly Workplace Awards Program for 2019!
Gord Smith is a pioneer in Workplace Wellness promotion in Windsor-Essex County. He has worked and volunteered tirelessly to advocate and support inclusion of comprehensive workplace wellness programs for Windsor-Essex County employees. As Chairperson of Heart Health Action Windsor-Essex and Go For Health, Gord demonstrated leadership in the field of workplace wellness and was instrumental in initiating the Windsor-Essex County Healthy Workplace Awards program.
The Healthy Workplace Awards
Recognizes local employers that provide comprehensive workplace wellness programming. This is not a frivolous award. Indeed, award recipients must demonstrate a strong commitment towards improving health by promoting and supporting a comprehensive approach to wellness programming for employees, and ideally, for family members and retirees.
The Bike Friendly Workplace Awards
Recognizes local employers that support employees to use their bicycle as a form of active transportation. The award demonstrates the employer’s commitment to employee well-being and overall community health.
The program is available to all workplaces in Windsor-Essex County, regardless of the company size or how established the workplace wellness program may be. Award-winning employers will receive an awards plaque that can be proudly displayed at their workplace, a custom e-signature for their e-mails, and community recognition at the annual awards ceremony.
The Windsor-Essex County Health Unit, Working Toward Wellness Committee, Canadian Mental Health Association – Windsor-Essex County Branch, and Family Services Windsor-Essex are proud to honour the 31 recipients of the 2020 Healthy Workplace Awards and all other local businesses for their outstanding efforts to prioritize the health, safety, and mental well-being of their employees, customers, and communities during the COVID-19 pandemic.
2019 Awards Recipients
Canadian Mental Health Association Windsor-Essex County Branch
Essex Power Corporation
Hiram Walker & Sons Limited
Windsor-Essex County Health Unit
Windsor Regional Hospital
Bulimia Anorexia Nervosa Association
Greater Essex County District School Board and It’s Joint Employee Assistance Program
Hôtel Dieu Grace Healthcare
Ottawa Street Dental Office
Windsor-Essex Bilingual Legal Clinic
Family Services Windsor-Essex
Gold Level 2:
Bonduelle Canada Inc. Tecumseh
Green Shield Canada
Sexual Assault Crisis Centre of Essex County
St. Clair College of Applied Arts and Technology
The Corporation of the City of Windsor
Gold Level 1:
K+ S Windsor Salt Ltd.
The Corporation of the Town of Tecumseh
The Corporation of the Town of Amherstburg
Silver Level 2:
The Corporation of the Municipality of Leamington
Silver Level 1:
JC Fresh Farms LTD.
The Corporation of the Town of Lakeshore
Bronze Level 2:
AlphaKOR Group Inc.
Bronze Level 1:
Concours Mold Inc.
Habitat for Humanity Windsor-Essex
Leggett & Platt
St. Clair College of Applied Arts and Technology
Windsor-Essex County Health Unit
Bonduelle Canada Inc. Tecumseh
The Corporation of the City of Windsor
K+S Windsor Salt Ltd.
The Corporation of the County of Essex
The Corporation of the Municipality of Leamington
The Corporation of the Town of Tecumseh
2018 Gord Smith Healthy Workplace Award Recipients
Read stories here about the 2018 Gord Smith Healthy Workplace Award Winners’ hard work and commitment towards enhancing the health of their employees.
The Windsor-Essex County Health Unit held an alPHa Challenge event called a Pirate Treasure Hunt. This year, all staff were provided with 30 minutes of paid work time to participate in the Treasure (Scavenger) Hunt, which consisted of different areas around their offices where they participation in physical activity or other healthy lifestyle behaviours. Some of the different points on the Treasure Map were bike racks, and the trail systems around the offices.
The Corporation of the Town of Tecumseh (Town) is committed to the health and wellness of its employees. This year, the Town and its Wellness Committee organized an event entitled “Gardening with Casey”. Casey Colthurst, Manager of Parks & Horticulture provided a basic organic gardening course to interested employees, emphasizing that gardening was a great way to get in some exercise and receive the benefits of fresh air and mental health wellness. The employees were informed of the activity through their monthly Wellness Newsletter. The Town displays their commitment to promoting and supporting physical activities for its employees through their newsletters and employee workshops.
This year Essex Power held an its first annual Employee and Family Flu Shot Clinic. The clinic was held on site and during working hours to allow for staff participation. The week prior to the clinic, staff were provided with information via emails and posters about flu prevention and the importance the flu shot plays in prevention. Their flu shot clinic was well attended by employees from multiple work locations.
The Canadian Mental Health Association, Windsor-Essex County Branch is committed to employee health and wellness. They have a committee of various staff who meet throughout the year to discuss health and wellness, as well as plan wellness activities. These activities and education sessions aim to promote healthy lifestyle choices for all employees and their families. Their wellness program encompasses various benefits available to staff including a Family and Employee Assistance Program, Corporate GoodLife Fitness Membership and Change4Life Portal (for plan members) through GreenShield. They also have a staff lounge with fridges, toaster oven, microwaves and dishwasher. Their staff intranet includes wellness resources on various topics such as sun safety, staying hydrated and self-care tips. Following their Wellness Survey in 2017, they focused on initiatives that staff members had expressed interest in. Some activities included: Noon Hour Yoga Sessions for Staff, Arthritis Information Session, Healthy Eating For Optimal Health, Hypertension Lunch and Learn, Suicide to Hope Training, Ergonomic Chair Replacement Program, Creating a De-Stress Bin and Puzzles, Flu Shot Clinic for Staff, Walking Wednesdays and a Suicide Prevention Walk.
Windsor Regional Hospital is dedicated to the welfare of its employees though physical activities and proper nutrition. As a hospital, they believe in “practicing what they preach” and encourage all staff to live the best lives they can. It is for this reason that they committed to having programs and services that support physical activity at work and provide healthy food choices throughout the hospital. The Healthy Lifestyles Program offers comprehensive wellness through physical activity and information to their staff that they can easily translate outside of the workplace and in their homes. During lunch, they offer Yoga for 45 minutes, Pilates and Stretch & Tone for 1 hour. All three programs are very popular at their hospital. Employees have commented that Yoga is helping them balance their work and lifestyle. It has helped them to have their physical and mental balance, which in turn has a direct effect on their work.
Redoe Group began their Wellness journey just over 7 years ago and are proud that they have come such a long way. In 2018 they held their 5th Annual Wellness Week which included a yoga demonstrations; nutrition, Lunch N’ Learns on the prevention and warning signs of the most common cancers in men, building resilience and improving your mood; as well as participation contests all week. The grand prize at the end of the week was a Fitbit Versa. They held their 7th Annual Bike to Work Week in July, and participated in the Big Bike Ride for Heart and Stroke in June, with the company matching all donations. They pride themselves on being an organization that is socially responsible. They are committed to the health and wellness of their employees, their families and the community.
For the 8th year in a row, Hiram Walker & Sons Limited shut down its offices and operations on June 7th, 2018 to join 18,500 global employees in more than 100 community projects to help achieve the United Nations’ sustainable development goals! This year Hiram Walker & Sons Limited partnered with Swim, Drink, Fish and the University of Windsor to conduct water testing on the Detroit River. They also gave back to our city by improving a space where the neighborhood could come together. This year they returned to Ford City to build upon the impactful work from the prior year by cleaning and painting fences in alleyways, restoring flower beds and roadside planter boxes, restoring resident garden beds, and building the community garden irrigation system. This initiative was a success not only for the community, but also for their passionate employees who are proud to dedicate their time and support this local initiative.
BANA has been committed to enhancing workplace wellness and has recently updated it's policy manual to ensure these wellness endeavors are a priority. With a small staff of only 9, BANA realizes the importance of physical activity, as well as self-care and mental health, and thus has introduced walking breaks to allow staff to take time away from their desks each day. These walking breaks are 20 minutes and can be taken at any time during the day when it does not conflict with scheduling. Walking meetings are also encouraged, when appropriate. This is a year round opportunity for staff to take some time outdoors, to step away from the office, clear their minds and get physically active so they can return feeling refreshed and productive. The BANA staff participated in a survey where they unanimously agreed that these walking breaks have enhanced their productivity and workplace wellness.
Gold Level 2
The Corporation of the Municipality of Leamington is committed to promoting a healthy workplace environment for employees. In 2018, they concentrated on Prevention and Awareness with a focus on Healthy Eating, Physical Activity and Health and Safety. Highlights of their initiatives included their annual Active Week which now includes a Wellness Fair, cooking classes and BBQs, as well as a growing health and safety program. They also had many other fun events such as a nature walk, a pickleball tournament and a relaxing colouring session. They encouraged staff to walk/bike to work during Active Week and all of their departments received fruits and vegetable from nearby farms.
This year the Corporation of the City of Windsor Wellness Program successfully executed their Workplace 2018 Wellness Plan. They joined in on the National Campaign of Mental Health week, and extended the campaign for the entire month of May to have a Mental Health Month. They offer a number of workshops and presentations to allow staff to learn, talk, reflect and engage with others on several issues relating to mental health. Some examples of topics covered included: when grief comes to work, the power of social media, how employees' can support their kids mental health and understanding the management of sport related concussions just to name a few. Additionally, employees were encouraged to come to Charles Clark Square and participate in a 1 km walk or roll along the riverfront to celebrate a Downtown Core Partnership Wellness Event! The City of Windsor and the University of Windsor took a stand for Mental Health in support of the CMHA Sole Focus Project and National Mental Health Week.
CenterLine (Windsor) Limited is proud to promote and encourage a healthy and active lifestyle. Their Wellness Committee organized several activities and challenges this year that were subsidized by CenterLine. They are currently in the final stages of expanding a walking path that will connect their newest facility to their existing ones. This 1.5 km long path offers a safe and dedicated space to engage in physical activity during breaks, lunches and is a means of travel between facilities. They are proud to be a company that offers such a wide range of activities, challenges and resources to employees and their families and they look forward to providing additional opportunities throughout the years to come.
Bonduelle Tecumseh hosted a Health Challenge contest from Jan 21st to Feb 24th, 2018. Participants kept a weekly log for five weeks documenting their food/drink intake, exercise, and sleep information. The idea behind the challenge was for participants to be more mindful of their health and wellness so they can identify areas for improvement. Participants had a chance to win weekly prizes if they submitted their logs on time. All logs submitted were entered into a draw for a final $100 gift card grand prize.
Gold Level 1
The Town of Amherstburg focused on mental health and emotional wellness as part of their corporate wellness program. They raised awareness by offering mental health webinars through their employee assistance program provider, Morneau Shepell. Webinar topics included Mental Health in the Workplace and Coping & Resilience in the Workplace. In September, they held a Sleep Tight Challenge where employees were challenged to get 7 – 9 hours of sleep each night during the challenge. Employees documented their sleep on a scorecard and points were awarded for achieving recommended levels. Employees then earned ballots depending on their overall point level and a raffle was held for a one hour massage gift certificate. Employees were also provided with a Sleep Guide with information. Their management group was certified in Mental Health First Aid through training provided by the Mental Health Commission of Canada. Managers received training on how to provide support and guidance to employees, how to comfortably have conversations about mental health issues and how to best offer support.
St. Clair College has taken many steps over the last several years to become a healthy workplace. Their Wellness Committee is well supported by their Senior Operating Group who realizes that the successful operation of their business is reliant upon its employees. The importance of employee health has now become a corporate value. Working together, a supportive environment has been created to assist their employees to strive towards better health, both mentally and physically. This the transformation of many of their workers has contributed to an overall positive work environment, which further affects their community at large. They would like to thank the many community partners who have contributed to their wellness initiatives and have been always ready to share their expertise.
Silver Level 2
identified that that there was an increase in reported needle stick injuries at Hotel Dieu Grace Healthcare. With a goal to eliminate all needle stick injuries at Hotel Dieu Grace Healthcare, a Sharps Program was implemented. This program included the creation of an annual inventory list, which identified what types of Safety Engineered Needles were being used in each department, implemented an annual audit and finally hands-on return demonstration training for all clinical employees. As a result of this annual Sharps Program, their needle stick injuries have steadily declined each year. In fact, as of the time of this submission, we have had zero (0) needle stick injuries for 2018.
Greenshield Canada started 2018 off with a little Mindfulness. Their Mindfulness program is available to all staff on their Change4Life portal and supports their overall focus on health and well-being via their My Health Advantage Program. The Program guides participants through the techniques and concepts behind mindfulness. Employees are encouraged to complete a series of six sessions at their own pace, with each session combining audio and video components, as well as onscreen education materials and a workbook. Incentives to win a $100 Visa gift card and mindfulness journals helped kick off the program and entice employees to complete a session of the program. During their Mental Health Week, staff received a handy guide to keep Mental Health resources in one place. These were delivered with a “brainy” magnet to hang on their fridge. Their Leadership team received an educational presentation on them how they can be advocates for Health Management by supporting employees with the resources available to them through Green Shield Canada benefits, Bounce Back, Change4Life, Big White Wall and Mourneau Shepell.
Children First had a workplace mental health campaign during Mental Health Week, May 7 through 11, 2018. During the Week, the agency promoted a mental health awareness/anti stigma campaign including the following activities. They posted awareness messages and mental health resources on their Wellness bulletin board. They sent e-mails to all staff to promote planned activities and provide resources on mental health in the workplace. The agency also provided a small budget for snacks and raffle prizes for the last event in the week.
Bronze Level 2
The Sexual Assault Crisis Centre had a Walking Challenge to encourage staff to take regular breaks to get outside the office and walk around their local residential neighborhood. They posted sign-up sheets in their lunchroom with weekly draws and a final grand prize draw to help encourage participation. All of their employees participated in the challenge.
Yoga in the workplace has become a topic that JC Fresh Farms feels extremely passionate about. It started as something that was an absurd idea, to pay our employees for yoga sessions during work hours. The nature of their industry is extremely fast paced and time sensitive, so it didn't seem practical. The one class they started two years ago, has turned into an ongoing element in their workplace. Employees are now asking when the next session is. In the midst of their peak seasons, they have managed to find time to schedule yoga sessions in for the employees. Not only has it given employees helpful tips and tools to help with strenuous labor, but it helps with the stress of the job. They have been very fortunate to have employees who support their beliefs in wellness and see the positivity it brings into the workplace.
Financial Fitness participated in Langlois Community Hub Walking and Activity Challenge. They arranged for a Personal Trainer and Certified Wellness Coach to hold several 15-20 minute active training sessions onsite at their office building. He led staff in active stretching exercises that could be completed at their workstation throughout the workday. Staff had an opportunity to build skills by practicing the activities that they continue to use since the event.
Family Services Windsor-Essex held a Walking & Activity Challenge, as part of the Langlois Community Hub, for 4 weeks in May 2018 to kick off the spring. The goal was to increase the physical activity level of their staff during the workday. They encouraged people to go for a walk, as well as to schedule regular times to get up, walk around, stretch, deskercise, etc. throughout the workday. They sent emails to all staff inviting them to participate and to complete pre and post event surveys. In the post event survey, 80% of office Hub staff participants indicated that this activity influenced them to make positive lifestyle choices.
Bronze Level 1
The Town of Lakeshore is committed and accountable for providing a safe and healthy work environment for its staff through a proactive occupational health and safety program. One way the Town fulfilled this commitment was by purchasing large 64-ounce insulated water containers for their outside workers. This helps to ensure that they always have an adequate supply of water during the day to proactively prevent any heat related disorders while working outside during the hot summer month. It also reduces their environmental footprint by decreasing the amount of unnecessary plastic water bottles that may otherwise have been used. Their Supervisors and Managers regularly communicate with Human Resources to monitor the weather alerts and ensure staff are given longer or more frequent breaks during high heat and high humidex days.
The Owners and Senior Management of Empire Communications are vitally interested in the enrichment, health and wellness of its workers. They encourage employees to take charge of their physical and mental health, while ensuring Management takes a holistic approach to worker health that includes workplace safety, a supportive environment and employee empowerment. One of the ways they promote workplace wellness is by offering healthy snacks as an employee perk. They find that they all benefit from increased motivation and productivity and greater teamwork and camaraderie -- snack time draws people away from their desks to a communal area to chat and encourages healthy habits at the same time.
In November 2016, Assisted Living Southwestern Ontario implemented an Employee Wellness Committee to improve the overall well-being of employees. Since that time, they have made incremental changes with a specific focus on nutrition. Meals prepared on-site through their Job Skills Training Program are available for employees to purchase for a nominal fee. The menu was revamped and included fresh greens and vegetables that are seasonably grown on site. In some instances, leftover produce is available for staff to bring home. They replaced chocolate bars and processed snacks for purchase with healthier options: freshly made banana bread that is portion controlled and a fresh fruit bowl. Their newly adopted Healthy Meetings criteria is used not only for meetings but also at social events including BBQ’s, parties and more. Their agency wide Canada Day BBQ this year included salads, quinoa and fruit as opposed to chips and fried snacks.
JC Fresh Farms – Bronze 2
Our first year applying for the Gord Smith Healthy Workplace Award was in 2018. When we came across this award, it was very important for us to be a part of it. It has always been a priority for us to promote a healthy workplace environment. We are fortunate to have a wide range of employees from different countries, and promoting wellness through various events and training brings us all together.
Family Services Windsor-Essex – Bronze 2
At FSWE, “wellness” is our business, so we see first-hand the important workplace wellness. As many as 30% of all unscheduled absences from work are related to personal/family concerns and mental health struggles. By providing a well-managed workplace wellness plan that supports your employees and their families, you are investing in your business. To help facilitate your wellness program and reward your team’s progress, we encourage all companies to apply for a Gord Smith Healthy Workplace Award. Whether you are a large corporation or a small storefront operation, you can start a wellness program today. You and your employees will be glad you did!
Hotel Dieu Grace Healthcare – Silver
The Gord Smith Awards are an opportunity for Hotel Dieu Grace Healthcare to demonstrate that employee health is instrumental to the resources we provide. Participating in the Gord Smith Awards ensures that we keep employee wellness at the forefront each year. It is also an excellent opportunity to collaborate with our community partners and share resources for enhanced employee health within Windsor-Essex County.
CenterLine (Windsor) Ltd. – Gold 2
Since the implementation of our workplace wellness program 5 years ago, we have seen an increase in focus at work, productivity, morale, and job satisfaction. Receiving a Gold Level 2 Gord Smith Healthy Workplace Award reinforces that CenterLine is doing a good job at promoting health and wellness, not only for our employees, but for their families and the community as well.
Bulimia Anorexia Nervosa Association – Platinum
Regardless of organizational size, promoting a healthy workplace is attainable. Progressing in the past three years from a Bronze level to a Platinum level required an investment in time and resources. Receiving the Gord Smith Healthy Workplace Award is a wonderful recognition of our efforts; but the real reward is our lasting wellness. We look forward to working together on a healthier community.
Canadian Mental Health Association – Windsor-Essex County Branch – Diamond
As proud recipients of the Diamond Level Award category for the past few years, we take great pride in supporting a comprehensive wellness program. The Gord Smith Awards has allowed us to showcase our commitment to workplace wellness. These awards highlight that we not only care about the health and wellness of the clients we serve but of each other as well. The Working Toward Wellness (WTW) Committee provides great resources for how to implement cost effective wellness programing that contributes to staff wellbeing, from free webinars to fun workplace challenges.
2018 Bike Friendly Workplace Award Recipients
Read stories here about the 2018 Gord Smith Bike Friendly Workplace Winners’ commitment to promote employee well-being through active transportation.
The Windsor-Essex County Health Unit held one-hour lunchtime workshops at each of their three offices called Cycling for Health & Well-Being. The workshops aimed to advance the WECHU’s bike friendly workplace culture while also providing awareness raising, education, and skill-building activities for staff. Each session promoted bicycling as a safe and health promoting activity for staff and their families.
The Corporation of the Town of Tecumseh continues to promote its Bike Friendly Workplace Policy by circulating information to employees on the benefits of biking to work, providing bike safety information and by encouraging employees to take advantage of its bike friendly facilities and incentives, which include change rooms, showers, bike racks and company vehicles for work related business. In 2017/18, the Town of Tecumseh continued to incorporate biking to work into its Fitness Fridays’ Activities. During Fitness Month (June) employees were once again challenged to bike to work. In order to increase participation among those employees who live farther away, a common meeting area at a nearby park was organized and an experienced cyclist mapped out a safe route and led the way to Town Hall.
Redoe Group is proud to be a Bike Friendly workplace. Over the last 7+ years they have purchased a bike rack and promoted riding your bike to work. They annually take part in the Big Bike Ride for Heart & Stroke, and hold their own annual Bike to Work Week. During Bike to Work Week, they have contests and information about taking care of your bike and bicycle safety for their employees. They look forward to continuing to promote bike friendliness to their employees, their families and the community.
The Corporation of the Municipality of Leamington is committed to the health and well-being of their employees and their families. By being a bike friendly workplace, they encourage their employees to use active transportation to commute to work and to choose cycling as a way to be active with friends and family. Since 2011, Leamington has been on a roll promoting cycling through our Bike Friendly Workplace Policy, incentives and facilities. Three large bike racks were added to their uptown core area for staff and residents. With yearly additions to their municipal trails, employees and residents can easily commute around the town and to work. The Corporation provides prizes for staff who ride their bikes to work during Active Week. They offer amenities such as change rooms and showers for staff so that physical activities and biking to work are encouraged.
St. Clair College values a safe, healthy and appealing work environment. As an educational institution, the college wishes to promote a healthy lifestyle and is committed to establishing a supportive environment to lead the way towards workplace wellness. What better way than to promote biking to work as a healthy lifestyle alternative. Their Senior Operating Group in collaboration with their Wellness Committee realizes the importance and benefits of workplace wellness and its impact upon the success of their organization and community.
The City of Windsor’s Workplace Wellness Program encouraged staff to support Bike Month in June 2018. Staff were informed about various cycling opportunities available in the city during the month of June. Employees were encouraged to bike as a means of transportation and recreation and to get active. This year, the Wellness Committee and the City of Windsor’s Environmental, Sustainability and Climate Change Office teamed up to encourage City of Windsor employees to participate in the National Commuter Challenge and leave their cars at home. Employees who chose to walk, cycle, carpool/ride-share or take public transit to work between June 3rd to 9th could register for their chance to win a gift card! As part of the promotional campaign for the National Commuter Challenge, booths were set-up at a number of City of Windsor facilities to engage employees in conversation with an Environmental/Wellness Champion to learn more about the National Commuter Challenge, different initiatives currently going on within those areas, and why the celebration of active and sustainable transportation is so important.
As part of their wellness program, Bonduelle Tecumseh actively promotes the benefits of safe cycling and encourages their employees to ride to work. Bonduelle Tecumseh supports cycling to work as it promotes employee fitness, stress management, and their commitment to a sustainable environment. To meet their goal of being a Bike Friendly Workplace, they maintain bike facilities; provide biking incentives and education through newsletters, posters, and contests. They also have a Guaranteed Ride Home Program to support their employees who bike to work. This program ensures in the event of bad weather, a flat tire, or an emergency at home, cyclists can always get a ride home.