Following the repatriation of Food Services staff earlier this year, the dedicated team at the helm of this project has remained hard at work preparing for Oct. 14, when Providence Health Care will welcome 329 Environmental Services staff: a figure representing more than triple the number of new staff PHC typically hires over the course of an entire month.

Despite the enormity and scale of this undertaking, the Project Team is decidedly calm and steady. Project Manager Abby Ferris attributes the team’s confidence to a shared commitment to continuous improvement:

“The team continues to prioritize lessons learned from the repatriation of Food Services staff in our approach to repatriating EVS staff. We have been deliberate in preserving the strengths that brought about successes while addressing the limitations that introduced challenges.”

Gathering lessons learned

The complexity of the Repatriation Project means that it is imperative to ensure all voices affected by this change are heard, including the many partners involved in this work. Taking from the success of the person-centred approach used in onboarding Food Services, the Project Team is holding many in-person onsite sessions with frontline EVS staff while scheduling regular touchpoints with supervisors and managers. Being face-to-face with staff also provides the opportunity to gather and address the feedback from transitioning staff.

Replicating what worked well

  • A people-first, high-engagement approach to project delivery to ensure staff needs are prioritized and met.
  • In-person Welcome and Orientation Fairs to ensure people feel supported throughout the onboarding process.
  • Welcome events at each PHC site on Oct. 14 to celebrate and welcome repatriated EVS staff.
  • Dedicated on-site support across all affected PHC sites to resolve any issues related to go-live on Oct. 14; a dedicated team will remain in place for four weeks following go-live to monitor and support the transition.

These tactics contributed meaningfully to a seamless transition and positive onboarding experience for Food Services staff. As one Food Services employee shared:

“It feels good to be part of a team. Thank you.”

Adapting and improving tactics for EVS repatriation

  • Increasing training and in-person support for EVS staff and managers to learn the Andgo scheduling system.
  • Developing training materials and resources available both in print and online to ensure materials are accessible to everyone.
  • Streamlining the Project Team’s workplan to support alignment and coordination between the various department project workstreams.

Carving out time to reflect on lessons learned before project closure allowed the Project Team to adjust its approach accordingly in an effort to build on successes realized in the repatriation of Food Services.

Thank you to everyone involved in this important project: a tremendous team effort across many areas of our PHC People Team (Labour Relations, Recruitment, Staffing, Compensation and Classification, Workforce Strategy, Systems and Analytics and Occupational Health & Safety), Facilities, Operations, Finance, IMITS, Business Initiatives & Support Services (BISS), and Communications; with project management and change management support provided by the Office of Strategy and Results.

Join us on Oct. 14 in welcoming Environmental Services staff to Providence!​