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CSA Group supports mental well-being by training some employees in mental health assistance skills.Provided

Prominently featured on the website of CSA Group is an invitation for public input regarding its proposed standard for mental health and well-being in long-term care and assisted-living settings. It’s one of many health and safety standards CSA has produced over the years, and they’ve all had an impact on the company’s own workplace, according to CSA’s president of standards, Mary Cianchetti.

“Walking the talk is on our minds all the time,” she says. “We’re putting the guidance out there. We should be following it ourselves.”

They certainly do when it comes to employee mental health, says CSA planning and financial specialist Marcus Khan. “A lot of organizations talk about mental well-being and tell employees to reach out if they need support, but CSA is pro-active in reinforcing that message. It has trained some employees to be mental-health ambassadors and mental-health first-aid providers so they can offer assistance to others who may be in difficulty, and they’ve poured resources into it.”

After publishing a standard focused on workplace psychological health and safety, CSA implemented the standard within its own workplace and has since invested heavily in mental-health resources and supports for all employees in both its standards organization and its testing, inspection and certification (TIC) business.

CSA’s workplace culture was pro-active and flexible years before the COVID-19 lockdown brought a surge in hybrid schedules, Cianchetti says.

“The thinking was already changing in 2015. I know when it started, I had one child, a toddler, and very soon became pregnant with twins,” says the 19-year CSA veteran. “So I very much appreciated an organization where I could still thrive and have a career in STEM. I could set my schedules with my committees so I knew if I needed to be there for an event for a child or whatever, I could make it work.”

The work CSA does in support of health and safety attracts ambitious people, many with engineering and technical backgrounds, who want to help create a better, safer world, notes Cianchetti, and their values are bound to “permeate into the way we operate.”

CSA’s commitment to inclusivity and diversity, which includes employee resource groups focused on female caregivers and the LGTBQ+ community, has built an employee population well-suited to its needs. Its TIC business attracts major manufacturers from different cultures located around the world. On the standards development side, more than 11,000 volunteers from across Canada and the United States – from different areas of expertise, backgrounds and perspectives – sit on CSA’s standards development committees.

“We develop standards by consensus and that’s how we expect our standards committees to work,” says Cianchetti. “The more feedback the better, and the more perspectives the better. We’re based out of Toronto, quite a multicultural environment. Our people have diverse backgrounds, and we are conscious and appreciative of that.”

It all adds up to a workplace where organizational aims, employee values and work practices mesh tightly, says Khan. “What’s incredible for me is it’s a place where you see so many different people of different backgrounds, origins and cultures working together toward a common goal – and any one of them is always welcome to stop Mary when she’s walking in the hallway and bounce an idea off her.”

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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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