Over the last 6 months, I have had the pleasure of getting to know Causeway as the new Executive Director. Causeway is a diverse agency that has been serving the community for over 40 years and I am humbled to be a part of the team that continues to make a difference in the lives of people in our vibrant community. As part of my orientation as Executive Director, I thought it was important to get to know Causeway from a hands-on perspective, starting with our three social businesses. It was an opportunity for me to work alongside the people we serve through our employment programs and services, and to really feel and understand our impact.
In the summer, I had the pleasure of going on a mini “road trip” to meet up with Dave Segaert and the crew at Good Nature Groundskeeping.
Laying the Groundwork for Success: My Day Working for Good Nature Groundskeeping
In June of this year, I traded in my office shoes for work books and set out bright and early to meet the Good Nature Groundskeeping crew for a typical summer work day. By working with GNG, I was given the chance to learn how the business operates and experience the impact of working in an employment-based social enterprise for myself.
Most jobs during the summer sees each crew member coming together bright and early before the heat of the day sets in. This day was no different and I met up with the crew at 7am. As the crew got to work, I took a moment to appreciate my surroundings. I witnessed the whole community around me come to life as everyone started their days. Our task that morning was to clean up debris and garbage in a community housing site, as well as cutting grass. Each crew member at GNG knew their job well and each person was incredibly focused on the tasks they were responsible for. Their work is meticulous and they took their job very seriously. It was hard to miss the amount of pride coming from each crew member over their work. The crew was a well-oiled machine that worked diligently under the leadership of GNG’s Operational Manager, Dave Segaert. Before I knew it, my day at GNG wrapped up, but the impression it left with me will last a lifetime.
Good things happen when you invest in people
Good Nature Groundskeeping is an example of what happens when you think about hiring differently. Its mission is to provide supportive employment opportunities for people who have barriers to employment such as disability or mental illness. Over its 10 years of operation, GNG has successfully grown into a sustainable and competitive business ad part of what makes the business so successful is its commitment to its mission and the investment into its employees. GNG works with each crew member to meet them where they are at to help them develop skills and gain experience. By investing in the crew, we are building their confidence and motivating them to take pride in the work they are doing. Each crew member brought their own set of unique talents and skills to contribute to a job well done and add value to the business.
Because GNG puts people first, the business has been able to compete and provide a service to the community like no other. Their great attention to detail and their determination to do the best job they can is what makes GNG a competitive and successful business. If more businesses invested in people and committed to creating inclusive workplaces, their businesses would thrive and they would be helping to make the community stronger. I am grateful to Dave and the crew at Good Nature Groundskeeping for including me in their work day and I am excited to see GNG grow as a competitive business, and grow its impact on people and the community.