Townhall recording now available: Weren’t able to join us live this week? No problem! Employees can now access the recording of Tuesday’s townhall with our CEO on the COVID-19 employee portal. Help us improve future live events by sharing your views via this short survey (three minutes) by Wednesday, March 3 at 4 p.m. ET. All answers will remain completely anonymous. An Outlook invite for our next live townhall on Tuesday, March 23 at 1 pm. ET will be sent to you next week.
Temporary suspension of Kelowna collections: As we continue to navigate our way through the pandemic, this week, our team in Kelowna responded quickly to another unprecedented situation. After we were notified that two collections employees working in the region tested positive for COVID-19, the local Medical Health Office recommended that select employees self-monitor and book an asymptomatic test. Given this guidance, we have asked these employees to temporarily remain home and seek testing as a precautionary measure. This recommendation will impact our ability to operate collections for the next few days. We have completed a risk assessment, and at this time we do not anticipate that this decision will impact national collections targets, other Canadian Blood Services sites or hospital and patient needs. We are in contact with all impacted employees to provide support and keep them updated on their return. We anticipate resuming collections in the Kelowna region on Monday, March 1, 2021.
Celebrate Employee Appreciation Day with us all week long: Employee recognition happens all year-round, but leading up to Employee Appreciation Day on March 5, we are taking a special moment to pause and give thanks for the important work you do each day on behalf of patients in Canada. We’re going beyond our normal celebrations to make this year’s event fun and memorable, while ensuring the safety and well-being of our teams. We’ve got week-long events planned both onsite as well as virtually (including cooking lessons, comedy show and more). So, you can participate no matter where you work! Register for events and find more details about how we are celebrating you on Connect.
Additional peer support for caregivers added: Following the important discussions about mental health that took place as part of Bell Let’s Talk Day on Jan. 28, a second virtual drop-in for working caregivers has been added to a growing list of mental wellness supports. Meetings are held on Wednesdays at 1 p.m. and Fridays at noon. To join, please email firstname.lastname@example.org. Sarah-Beth Barrett, a senior consultant in organizational development in Ottawa Ont., reached out when things began to get overwhelming. “It’s comforting to find common ground with colleagues and to know I am not alone in this,” she says. “We can show up as ourselves and share whatever is on our minds without judgement.” Read more on Connect.
How we help patients with rare diseases: The first-ever Rare Disease Day was marked in 2008 on Feb. 29. The date itself is rare, appearing on the calendar just once every four years. Since then, Rare Disease Day has been recognized annually on the last day of February, including in Canada. We support many patients with rare disorders. Read about some of them at blood.ca/stories.
Question of the day: With stress and anxiety at an all-time high, are we considering having mental health workshops and training included as part of our ongoing training as employees of Canadian Blood Services?
This is a really important question — one which our team in PCP has been putting a lot of thought into as part of our work on Canadian Blood Services’ mental health strategy refresh. As we head into the next fiscal year, we are focused on supporting employee mental health and wellbeing through new offerings included, but not limited to ‘lunch and learn’ sessions, workshops for teams and new content to support employees in their day-to-day.
If you are looking to learn about new ways to support yourself, a colleague or your team, there are lots of existing resources to help while we work on the new offerings, including:
Lifespeak: Employees have access to hundreds of on-demand video modules led by certified professionals on important topics such as stress management, thriving through change, conflict management and diversity. Visit the platform (blood.lifespeak.com) and login with our corporate ID (thrive).
Free and trusted online courses:
- Mental health awareness for leaders, via LMS.
- The mental health awareness in the workplace course, offered by government of Canada provides an introduction to why mental health in the workplace is so important. You will learn the difference between mental wellbeing and mental illness, factors that put people at risk and the roles of early intervention and promotion of mental wellbeing at work.
- Bounce Back is a free skill-building program offered by the Canadian Mental Health Association of Ontario designed to help us manage low mood, mild to moderate depression or anxiety, and stress or worry.
Contact our team at email@example.com for more details about organizing tailored mental health awareness sessions for your team, including or accessing the workshops such as those offered through the Working Mind.
For more mental wellness resources, visit connect.blood.ca/employeesupports.
About your digest
This digest will highlight the latest policy and employee support measures, resources to help you manage our new reality and original content like articles and videos to remind us that what we do matters. No access to email? No problem — all this information and more can be found on blood.ca/employees from any device, no login required.
Click here to read past editions of your digest.
Have questions? Check out blood.ca/employees or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org