00:32 – Learn more about Beyond Rewards and their various services
07:30 – Free webinars for businesses, offered by Beyond Rewards
09:20 – Webinar popularity and feedback
10:27 – Webinar next steps, i.e., how to dive deeper
10:52 – The importance of preparing for pandemic and of future planning
13:40 – Reflections on working from home, going forward
Eventbrite: FREE Webinars
Jason Bavington (00:02):
Hi everyone! It’s Jason with DUX — Your Local City Guide and welcome to another episode of our video blog. It’s my pleasure today to introduce Lynne, who’s the owner of Beyond Rewards, which is an organization based in Guelph, that is doing some really interesting things to support and help other businesses and other organizations during our current Covid 19 crisis. So Lynne, welcome to the call. Thanks so much for joining us today. Thank you very much. Yeah, so it’s exciting to have you on the call. I wanted to know if you could just tell our audience a little bit more about Beyond Rewards, what the organization typically does. You know, in the pre-Covid world and how you would assist various companies and organizations.
Lynne Bard (00:46):
So Beyond Rewards, HR is an HR consulting company. So we help small to medium sized businesses with everything HR. So right from the recruitment stage. We help post for your new employees. We screen them right through to helping the employees while they’re working with you, with employee relations policies and procedures, training your team. We do workplace investigations. So if there’s a harassment investigation, we have a team that does that. We have three PIs on staff and we also help on the exit side. So we help with the outplacement, so sitting down and coaching your employees on the exit side to help them find new employment. And if the owner needs assistance with that termination, then we will come in and actually do that for them as well. So we’re basically a full service HR consulting company. And then on the other side myself, I actually do HR coaching. So I coach business owners on their role as HR. So if you were the business owner and a company with staff and you had to look after all the HR stuff every day, I would help coach you on what your role is in the HR.
Jason Bavington (02:05):
I see. So that’d be a good support system for businesses. And I imagine particularly small businesses who don’t have a lot of HR resources in house and, you know, they might not really have the need to devote a lot of time and energy into those resources. So knowing that you’re there to step in with hiring and all the different aspects of employee management would be a really valuable tool for these businesses so they can focus on why they’re in business in the first place. That’s right. I can appreciate how you play a very valuable role and, probably, the more businesses that have an opportunity to work with you, the more they realize, “Oh hey this, this makes my life so much easier. Where was Lynne last year!” You know?
Lynne Bard (02:49):
Exactly, yes. We like to help take that off your plate a little bit so that you can focus on on your business and growing your business and we will help manage, your team either onsite at your place or from our office.
Jason Bavington (03:03):
That’s great. So now as of the time of the filming of this call, we’re still deep in the midst of Covid-19 so Lynne, I imagine you’ve seen a lot of changes with your business clients and then the business environment in general. Tell us a little bit more about how Beyond Rewards has adopted and pivoted to the current environment to continue to offer value and substantially greater value to the businesses during this current time.
Lynne Bard (03:28):
So we chose to actually all work offsite ourselves, so we are experiencing that too. We understand that whole move transition. We initially helped our, some of our clients with that move home transition on what they needed to do. A lot of them weren’t prepared so they didn’t have the VOIP phones, they didn’t have the technology to be able to work with their teams. So along with their IT support and everything, we’ve been kind of helping them a little bit with that too, just so that they could get transitioned to work from home. Because a lot of businesses didn’t plan for this to happen and they weren’t prepared for should anything ever happen. So what we’ve been doing as well as we’ve been providing complimentary webinars through our Events. You can log in or register through our Eventbrite page and they’ve been, we’ve been doing it now for four weeks and right from what are the government supports? How do you apply for them?
Lynne Bard (04:36):
What are the repercussions of accessing those, like the paybacks on the loans and if an employee goes off on the CERB, what happens if you apply for the wage subsidy and you backdate it now the employees owe that money back. So working through all of those processes and the webinars we’ve been doing that. Along with, right now, helping them with their ramp ups. So next week we have one on actually what you have to have in place to go back to work in your office or your retail outlet or whatever it is. What safety precautions have to be in place and walking them through that. So we have a series of six webinars that we were doing. We’re actually going to have eight by the time we’re done because we’ve had them, a couple of them, a few times. So just to keep people up to date and it’s been really good.
Jason Bavington (05:30):
Yeah. And I can see how valuable that service would be to people considering, you know, how fast everything moves and how the party line from government kind of changed as they were kind of feeling the whole thing out and trying to establish policies and procedures and all. Everything behind the scenes that we don’t see that needs to make CERB happen and make wage subsidies happen. And also all of it’s happening very, very quickly. And sometimes the rules would change. They would be modified and tweaked. So having webinars available like that to help navigate businesses through all the changes and like you said, you know, potential repercussions or outcomes of an employee goes on CERB and we do the wage subsidy or vice versa. How do we navigate all that and how do we keep the paperwork, you know, where it needs to be. So everything is accountable. So, yeah, it’s a very valuable service.
Lynne Bard (06:19):
In addition to that, we’ve been, I myself personally, I’m as an HR coach to business owners. I have sort of a sub branch of Beyond Rewards. It’s called the HR Coach. And I’ve been providing a quarter hour a week at no charge to business owners to just call, let their, all their frustrations out. Say this is what I’m dealing with. Or, I can’t deal with this, you know, I’m really stressed and just giving them an outlet to talk and you know, privately and in a safe place to work through some of those feelings that they’re feeling. So, something I’ve been doing as well and I’m doing that right through to the end of May right now. It may be longer depending on how long we’re in this emergency.
Jason Bavington (07:07):¶
Having these, having a shoulder to lean on basically is really, really important because this is all new for all of us and it’s a very different world. Lots of anxiety out there, lots of stress out there. So, you know, having people that are in the know and can help you out both professionally, but you can also share things personally is a good compliment. So, I’m going to share my screen with everyone and take a look at your Eventbrite. Okay. So here’s your regular Beyond Rewards website. And what we’ll do is we’ll put links to all this in the blog post and we’ll put a link to your Eventbrite page here. So maybe just walk me through the Eventbrite page. What we see here.
Lynne Bard (07:47):
Okay. So right now we have three additional sessions coming up. So the one coming up next Tuesday, we actually have two guest speakers along with myself. We’re doing a panel presentation next week. And Ron Campbell from Acute Environmental is going to be speaking to everyone about health and safety and talking about all the things you have to have in place. So the six foot rule that is really 36 square feet. When you figure out how many people per square foot you can have in your location and talking about every other desk for people to sit at, type of thing. So all of those rules the government’s put in place. He’s going to talk about that and getting back in. And then Dale Wilcox is going to talk about the leader’s responsibilities to their team and how they can support them. And I’m going to talk about that whole return to work or recruitment piece and what you need to do to be compliant around that and bringing your teams in. So that’s going to be a really good session.
Jason Bavington (08:53):
So anyone can click on one of these links. So the events I see are free to register. Then find out more just by reading … wow, lots of detail. I like detail! Detail is great. And then, are the events, are they like a Zoom call?
Lynne Bard (09:07):
It is a Zoom. We are using Zoom for the meetings right now. Yes.
Jason Bavington (09:11):
That’s great. And yeah, as standard with any Eventbrite, people are able to share things on LinkedIn and all the other networks. So that’s a good way to spread the word. So, how has feedback been so far for your events? Are you happy with the turnout? What are people thinking about all this great information that you’re sharing with everyone?
Lynne Bard (09:29):
We’ve had really good feedback and most people have registered for the additional sessions. The first one we, when we talked about the government supports, of course it was, we’re really busy. We had 75, I believe, people who registered for it. And the other ones have been between 25 and 35. I’m expecting this one because it’s talking about, again, compliance related things will be a lot more. We can take up to a hundred people. So we have 100 in our Zoom. So there’s lots of room for people to register. But the feedback has been great and we have, I have a lot of people reaching out afterwards to ask for clarification. An,d as a result, I’ve had a lot of people, business owners reach out for that free quarter hour week, just to talk. So I probably have a full day a week that I devote to helping businesses with that. So business owners.
Jason Bavington (10:26):
And yeah, and that was going to be my next question. If people want to come come to you for more information or they got a lot of good content on the webinar but they really feel that this webinar was like really my step one and now I really need to do my deep dive so they can come to you for the 15 minutes and then arrange something more long term to really, really take advantage of the services that you have to offer. So is there anything that you would change? Looking back now you’ve had a chance to do a few of these webinars and some of the feedback, what would you do differently?
Lynne Bard (11:00):
I don’t know that I would change anything with the webinars because they’re set up to progress the clients through the steps they have to go through. Maybe be a little more prepared and have when I saw the pandemic coming, because I do have a background in pandemic planning and business continuity. So I should’ve seen it coming. But I was so busy working on other things that I didn’t prepare.
Jason Bavington (11:25):
You know, you know, Prime Minister Trudeau is hiring, right?
Lynne Bard (11:28):
Yeah. I know. No thank you. But I probably would have had things and I would have, I really recommend that other people have things ready to go for that move / transition to working from home and things a little bit more because we had the VOIP phones but we didn’t have them set up to move to be remote. So don’t think about
Lynne / Jason (11:54):
those things. So I think it’s really important to have things in place that people can quickly transition so that there is less downtime. And that’s something I think I would, as much as I know what I needed to do, making sure that those things are in place and I really encourage business owners to do the planning. We have a second wave coming potentially. And so they have an opportunity to prepare and be ready for it. Yeah, and I think as with you and the majority of people out there, this pandemic did catch everyone off guard. It kind of just, for all intents and purposes, for the most part it kind of just came out of nowhere, right? And now we’ve stumbled along and now we’ve kind of got our footing and now we’re kind of used to it and we’re able to now better prepare for what’s to come.
Jason Bavington (12:39):
So, I would agree. I think there’s going to be a lot of businesses and organizations that … all that planning stuff they kept putting off, it was boring and it’s not fun and it’s not really making us money. It’s probably going to come to the forefront, if anything, out of necessity, but also for preparedness because we know that this is now a thing and it can be a thing in the future. Having that ability to prepare and having resources such as Beyond Rewards available to attend webinars, get some basic information and then dive deeper with you is very, very valuable. And I think companies will probably set a higher ranking for that in their organizational structure and their strategy simply because once bitten, twice shy, right?
Lynne Bard (13:24):
Exactly, exactly. But, I think we can utilize a lot of the things we’ve been doing and continue doing them. You know, the, the Zoom meetings, the webinars. There’s going to be a lot of employees that are saying, well, we’ve been working from home for over two months, can we continue to work from home? So that whole work from home culture I think is going to be resuming. You know, it’s not going to be a short term thing. People are going to want to go back. A lot of companies were getting away from that again. But I think it’s going to be a new culture again with employees wanting to work from home.
Jason Bavington (14:03):
I think so. And we’ve seen that through other interviews that we’ve done with other companies. They just started to realize that, you know, because there might’ve been a stigma about working from home, but now that there’s, they just had the, “we’ve been forced to do it” right. But the outcome is they find, ohh, two thirds of employees are actually working better from home than they do in the office environment, for a variety of reasons. So yeah, I think there’s a lot of benefits to that and it’s a good opportunity for businesses to kind of reevaluate things that they might not have considered or given a lot of weight to in the past. Cause it could potentially make the business a lot better. Less overhead, happier employees, or efficient business. So yeah, it’s kind of interesting to see how these dynamics are playing out. And I don’t know about you, but I’m going to invest in Zoom the moment they go for their IPO, so…
Jason Bavington (14:52):
Oh yeah, definitely. So today we had Lynne with Beyond Rewards sharing all the good things that Beyond Rewards is doing to support other local businesses and organizations from an information knowledge standpoint. Giving a lot of good advice. Filtered advice that is coming down from the government in a way that we can understand, as individuals. So what we’ll do is if you’re watching this video anywhere else, but on our website, head on over to dux.city. That’s d u x . city. Click on our blog link and then you’ll see a post for Beyond Rewards. And what we’ll do is we’ll post links to the Beyond Rewards website, as well as links to the Eventbrite page so you can register and sign up for the free webinars. Be sure to share that with your other business staff and your colleagues. There’s a lot of excellent content there and I encourage you to check it out and attend the webinars. So again, my name is Jason with DUX — Your Local City Guide. Lynne, thank you very much for being on the call today. It was very informative and your webinars are fantastic. And I celebrate the work that you’re doing for the business community and helping all of us better understand the future that’s both here now and coming ahead. Thank you. My pleasure. Take care everyone. Keep sharing and supporting your local goodness. Again my name is Jason. We’ll talk to you soon. Cheers.