Editorial by Lisa McGuire

Safety and sustainable staffing

by Lisa McGuire

A shared critical business concern is affecting virtually every manufacturer in the province today: the problem of attracting and retaining staff.

At last month’s BC Safety Charter Round Table, recruitment and retention was the topic of discussion with company executives. It emerged again as a shared concern of members at our Annual General Meeting in May—not surprising, given record low unemployment and a continued Business Development Bank of Canada (BDC) forecast of labour scarcity 1. According to a recent study, the BDC says, “We do not expect labour shortages to get better for at least a decade.”

In this issue, we share the results of an Angus Reid survey on the importance of workplace safety in Canadian employees’ decisions on where to work, and insights from Deloitte on the specific business culture and process keys to attracting and retaining millennial employees.

We explore innovative solutions Alliance and BC Safety Charter members are employing and look at how they are leveraging health and safety programs to attract, engage, and retain staff.

We visit the newly OSSE-certified Viking Air on Vancouver Island, where a culture of “looking out for employees” starts with an innovative paid training program and continues with a commitment to world-class service, production, and safety.

We see how Richmond’s Goodwin Industrial Electric weaves care for workers’ health and safety into a carefully nurtured family culture and mentorship program. Also in this issue, we recognize the nominees and winners of the Pinnacle Awards, new awards in Joint Health and Safety Excellence and Safety Innovation, and the prestigious Ben Hume Leadership Award.

Through research and anecdotal evidence, the narrative in these pages begins to connect the dots between a company’s commitment to worker safety and well-being and the engagement and loyalty of its workers. In a tight hiring market and limited talent pool, we see opportunity. We invite you to allow us to support you in shaping a business culture that attracts talent and builds long-term trust and loyalty with team members.

1 Business Development Bank of Canada– Labour Shortage: Here to Stay, September 2018–bdc.ca