orange iconOperational Response Level: Restricted ›

College and Public Relations

Positive Initiatives Propel RRC into Top Employer List for 8th Straight Year

November 29, 2017

WINNIPEG, November 29, 2017 – Does going to work make you happy? Three initiatives at Red River College (RRC) focused on staff positivity have helped the College land on Manitoba’s Top Employer list for the 8th year in a row.

Those initiatives include the wellness initiative known as Healthy Minds, Healthy College, a peer-to-peer recognition program, and a day-long professional development event called RED Forum.

“These are the kinds of programs that can engage staff, help them interact with each other and dedicate time to growing themselves. It’s important for us to provide these types of resources on top of things like a solid health benefits plan, pension, and vacation to ensure staff are motivated and feel proud to work at the College,” said Lindsay Allen, Acting Director, Human Resource Services, RRC. “These initiatives are positive incentives for self-improvement and peer recognition.”

Over the past year, major investments in the wellness and mental health of RRC employees have resulted in the creation of a new, full-time Mental Health Coordinator position, Breanna Sawatzky, who is responsible for the College-wide Healthy Minds Healthy College Initiative. The purpose of this new position is to ensure that RRC is a mentally healthy place to work and learn.

Healthy Minds Healthy College achievements over the past year include a #SICKNOTWEAK talk by TSN and Bell Let’s Talk Day speaker Michael Landsberg, who raised awareness and sparked real conversation about mental health with staff; the College-wide adoption of a new mental health training program from the Mental Health Commission of Canada, called The Working Mind; the second annual Get Movin’ Challenge in February that saw more than 320 employees take on a month-long challenge to achieve a minimum of 7,000 steps per day; and RRC’s first annual THRIVE Mental Health Awareness Week in October that delivered 23 events to staff across all campuses.

“Our employees – and students – are thrilled to see all this happening – the education, activities and conversation. They know help is available, and the conversation creates a greater feeling or normalcy,” said Laureen Janzen, Manager of Counselling & Accessibility Services at RRC. “We’re hoping to send the message that RRC is a place where everyone is encouraged to take care of themselves and each other – mentally and physically.”

This past year the College also launched Cheers for Peers – built on two years of research and consultation with over 150 employees. The result is a simple recognition experience between two employees using a handwritten card. The program was developed by a 24-member Staff Awards and Recognition Committee and is administered by a group of more than 16 Cheers Champions. Since launching, more than 1,600 cards have been written.

RED Forum is a new, full-day professional development event for all 2,600 full- and part-time RRC employees from all nine campuses. Focusing on Relationships, Education and Direction, the inaugural RED Forum was launched in May 2016. Sessions were delivered by employees and external facilitators on a broad range of professional development topics. The day is also an opportunity for staff who may only know each other by email to connect and get to know each other face-to-face.

For more information please visit: