Service Hospitality rebrands with a view to the future

BY ANDREW LIVINGSTONE

On March 27, the Service and Hospitality Safety Association of Saskatchewan rebranded itself as Service Hospitality, a shorter name that will simplify communications in the future and shift the focus onto the organization’s clients. “Surprisingly enough, the name Service and Hospitality Safety Association of Saskatchewan Incorporated doesn’t roll off the tongue,” said George Marshall, the organization’s CEO. “We realized maybe we don’t have to be as descriptive, and maybe we should find a very simple formula for naming ourselves … We named ourselves, essentially, after our customers, and our customers are about the community services industry and the hospitality sector.”

Marshall said that Service Hospitality’s clients have welcomed the change. “It’s wonderful,” he said. “I think there’s a gratefulness from our customer base and from our stakeholders and partners.” The rebranding is one of many improvements that the non-profit has made over its 22-year history. “The 4,100 businesses of the service industry and the hospitality sector came together, formed this organization, and they ultimately governed this organization with the support of WorkSafe Saskatchewan,” said Marshall. “For the first 15 years of our existence, we tried to figure out the best way we could serve our employer base and the best products we can develop, but I’m proud to say we’ve hit our stride in the last eight or nine years or so.

“We’ve grown from an organization that used to deliver training and presentations to about 800 people a year to one that, last year, reached an audience of about 46,000. So, it’s been phenomenal. The industry has risen to the occasion, and it’s led to great results, and because of that – because of the work that the industry has done and that we’ve done with them – compared to 10 years ago, there’s about 800 less injuries per year.”

Although that reduction pleases Marshall, Service Hospitality is dedicated to eliminating workplace injuries entirely. “We have health and safety certification programs that help employers get to the point where they comply with legislation – and then exceed legislation requirements so that they’re truly a successful environment,” he said. “We envision this world of injury-free workplaces – healthy and safe workplaces that are successful at what they’re trying to do, and that are prospering in their business.”

 

That vision of an injury-free workplace of the future is what makes Service Hospitality’s outreach programs to elementary and high schools so relevant. “We sponsor a day called Youth Safety Education Day, where we’re working with the future workers in Saskatchewan and trying to give them a healthy and safe mindset when they come into the industry,” said Marshall.

“Every year, 30,000 kids participate and 200 different organizations partner with us. We’re proud of our partnership with WorkSafe Saskatchewan that helps us deliver on that, so that’s something that we’re extremely proud of. In our industries, young worker injuries are going down three times faster than any other demographic, so there’s already been a big return.”

In all demographics, Marshall said that substance abuse remains a developing concern for Service Hospitality, “not just the changes in cannabis legislation, but the impact of drugs and alcohol on the service sector.”

Service Hospitality is also very proud of its partnership with the Canadian Mental Health Association to address the growing importance of mental health in the workplace. “There was a legislation change a couple of years ago with Workers’ Compensation where psychological health and safety really became a compensable injury, and, as a result, it’s a huge deal in the workplace health and safety side,” said Marshall. “We have a best practice group of 100 organizations across every industry in Saskatchewan, with which we’re working to improve their psychological health and safety and develop best practice resources and tools that any organization in Saskatchewan can use.

“This is something that we’re doing which, I think, is on the leading edge not just in Saskatchewan, but in Canada.”

Reprinted with permission of Postmedia

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