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The hybrid work model at the WSIB involves employees working from home, office and in the field, to help balance personal life and career.Provided

Vinita Nansi may work from home, but she still feels strongly connected to the culture at the Workplace Safety and Insurance Board (WSIB).

“The meaningful work we do to help people recover after a work-related injury or illness just makes you feel good,” says Nansi, a senior business analyst in IT. “I love hearing stories about how we’ve helped people get back to what matters. It gives you a sense of accomplishment that we are making a difference.”

Being able to work remotely is a family-friendly benefit that Nansi appreciates. The WSIB’s hybrid work model means employees work from a mix of home, office and in the field to help balance their personal lives and career. Nansi goes into the office once a month to meet with her team or for a town hall meeting.

“It’s working out great,” she says. “Our team is so in tune with each other, and our managers are always there to help us. We also have lots of programs that support health and wellness, like our twice-daily meditation breaks. I attend the morning session because the breathing exercises and meditation prepare you for the rest of your day, and then I join in later for the lunchtime stretch.”

Anna Filice, chief people officer, says that when return to work became an option, the organization thought carefully about how and where people do their work best, because they’d seen some great productivity gains in the remote work.

“Our engagement scores actually went up, so we didn’t want to lose that momentum,” she says. “But we also recognize that being together in the office has some benefits around collaboration, engagement, culture building and making sure we maintain our connections. We think we’ve struck the right balance between home and office work.

“When we do come to the office, it’s with purpose, so we make a deliberate effort to have in-office days. Typically, our time in office together is very planned and focused. We do a lot of town hall sessions where we bring the group together, often with a mixed agenda – a bit of networking, information sharing, opportunities for feedback and some learning. There’s always a bit of fun infused into it too.”

Learning is a big part of professional growth and development at the WSIB, with programs ranging from extensive skills training to leadership development. All employees have free access to a platform with online training courses as well as to tuition assistance. Nansi plans to upgrade her skills on cloud management and artificial intelligence, using the tuition reimbursement program.

Beyond learning opportunities, Nansi says what she appreciates most is that employees have a voice at the WSIB.

“The communication channels are open,” says Nansi. “Upper management has regular meetings with us where we express what we want to say. We’ve seen results coming out of that – it’s not a top-down approach at all.”

Filice says the WSIB recently did an exercise to assess how employees felt about their personal values and the organizational values and found a strong alignment between the two.

“Our whole mantra at the WSIB is we’re here to help, and you can immediately feel that here,” says Filice. “When we did that values exercise with our employees, we landed on accountability, collaboration, integrity and empathy. Those are core to how we show up, how we interact and in our service delivery for customers.

“Our employees have opportunities to achieve their professional goals and highly competitive benefits, but it’s the work that makes a difference in people’s lives that really sets us apart. We’re very mission driven. In a nutshell, our values are our culture.”

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Advertising feature produced by Canada’s Top 100 Employers, a division of Mediacorp Canada Inc. The Globe and Mail’s editorial department was not involved.

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