Calgary Employer Forum

Prioritizing Wellness, Marking Milestones, and Investing in Young Talent: A Retention Strategy

 In Blog

Case Study: Boys & Girls Clubs of Calgary

The Boys & Girls Clubs of Calgary (BGCC) hires over 200 staff, plus another 300 of youth through their Calgary Stampede Work Experience program. As an employer, they have faced challenges recruiting and retaining qualified staff.

Over the past 3 years, leadership has surveyed staff to learn more about how they can improve the employment experience. Throughout this process BGCC have been committed to transparency and open communication with staff.

Since the beginning of this initiative, leadership has made many changes, big and small, to Human Resources policies and practices. At the time of this writing, staff turnover rate has decreased from 42% to 25% for staff who choose to voluntarily leave the organization. But, there is still work to be done. Here are three quick hits that BGCC believes made an impact for staff:

  1. Wellness Days: Changed the current allotment of 12 sick days into 7 sick days and 5 wellness days. This means that staff can still have enough sick days to receive Short Term Disability if needed, but they will now have the flexibility to access days for their own wellness. The spirit of Wellness Days is that work can be tough, life can be challenging and sometimes staff do not feel well enough to thrive at work. Staff need to take time away to recharge.
  1. Work’iversary: All staff now have their “work’iversary” off to mark the accomplishment of another year of being a remarkable teammate at BGCC. The organization wants people to retire as BGCC’ers and so want to signal that journey every single year with a day that honours and celebrates staff.
  1. Leadership Greenhouse Cohort: The Leadership Greenhouse is a dedicated experience to support BGCC’s next generation of leaders with training in both the art and science of leadership. In 2017, 12 emerging leaders at the program coordinator level comprised the first cohort. Over the year, the cohort works with external leaders in the community to learn about communication, strategy, character, competencies, the changing landscape of leadership and leading over a lifetime. This initiative aims to increase the competencies of these leaders, refine their character, and support the compelling vision that each leader has.

For more information about the Boys’ & Girls’ Clubs of Calgary work to increase their retention rate and employee satisfaction, contact: Tanya McCagherty at

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