What if the crisis we are experiencing could be used to achieve something better? This is the challenge that Valoris for Children and Adults of Prescott-Russell is taking on.

By mandating some 15 employees, the integrated social services agency hopes to bring out recommendations aimed at innovating professional practices and learning from the past few months.

COVID-19 has shaken up everyone’s life and work habits. Fixed schedules, mandatory office attendance, communication methods, driving to and from work: many things that were taken for granted and set in place have done a complete 180. Adaptation was quickly necessary in many organizations to keep their heads above water. But what will happen once life returns to normal?

“Change is the only constant in our lives,” says Hélène Fournier, Executive Director of Valoris. “A crisis such as this pandemic is a time of stress and uncertainty, but it is also an opportunity to learn and think differently.”

“The current situation will not be permanent. And we want to be ready for the post-COVID phase.”

Valoris decided to use the knowledge and learning of an entire organization to create a better tomorrow for the people it supports and for its employees. A post-COVID committee was therefore created and given the mandate to make clear recommendations to the agency’s management. The discussions focused on six major themes: the modalities of services, the work environment, time management, the use of technology, communication methods and organizational culture.

“Our employees are committed to the community they know and work with. It was an obvious choice to offer them this mandate,” Fournier says. “No one is in a better position than them to propose ideas that will have an impact on the people we support and on their colleagues.”

The work of the post-COVID committee is coming to an end, as the drafting of recommendations is well underway. These proposals will be made taking into account several elements: the impact on the community, the well-being of employees, the concern for efficiency in the workplace, the need to adapt to a new reality and the challenges encountered in recent months.

“I look forward to reading the results of this collaborative effort. I am confident that it will maintain our position in Ontario as an innovative organization that adapts and turns challenges into solutions,” concluded the Executive Director.