“Communication, collaboration and, above all, commitment equal connection at World Vision Canada,” says Trionne Phillips, director, operational excellence.
From weekly prayer gatherings hosted mainly by president and CEO Michael Messenger and featuring guest speakers, to monthly Ask Any Question meetings and quarterly all-staff meetings, the mostly remote staff at World Vision Canada are provided with multiple opportunities to engage with leaders and each other. They also come together in person at twice-annual get-togethers at their Mississauga, Ont. headquarters, to have fun before the summer and at the start of the new fiscal year in October.
“Through these meetings I feel like there is a mechanism to have my voice heard, regardless of my place in the organization,” says Phillips.
The global non-profit relief, development and advocacy organization helps the most vulnerable girls and boys living in the world’s most dangerous places to overcome poverty and experience the fullness of life.
“Fundamentally our work comes alongside communities, donors, partners and governments to change the way the world works for children, and we use a partnering approach,” says Messenger.
He says the work relationship at the organization is more than just a workplace.
“At World Vision, we can really explore and understand the nature of a relationship that goes beyond just being colleagues, but really means having a shared calling,” he says.
In fact, when Phillips did her research before her job interview nine years ago, she found her values aligned very much with those of World Vision – values such as putting a priority on people by respecting their dignity, uniqueness and the worth of every individual, and practising open working relationships.
“I felt very connected with the organization from the day I started. I received a very, very warm welcome,” she says. “From the word ‘go’ I felt there was a connection.”
Messenger adds that connection ties in with the organization’s goals of protecting children and encouraging donors.
As one of 90 per cent of employees across the country who work remotely, Phillips finds a variety of ways to enrich her connections locally but also with international colleagues.
One of those international opportunities was sharing in a global employee forum where she was paired with another employee in a question-and-answer format.
“What I loved about participating in the global town hall was I was able to connect in a meaningful way with my colleague from Guatemala and present our culture,” Phillips says.
With regards to national reach, Messenger is proud of the transition to remote work and adds there is a bonus as the organization considers its approach to finding talented employees.
“We’ve really benefited because it’s expanded the number of talented people who we can bring into our organization with the right skills regardless of where they live in Canada,” he says.
Phillips is also a part of a mentoring program for employees who want to mentor or be mentored. A volunteer mentoring committee matches people with similar skills, for example. It’s all about coaching and connecting.
“They will match you with someone of similar interests,” Phillips says. “The organization also facilitates a program that you undergo together to support mentoring.”
Phillips says this is one of her favourite online supports. “I love this. This is just another of the many, many tools we have to connect.”
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