For those who do most of their work seated, both at home and in the office, upper back pain can be a serious issue. In this month’s edition of Workday Wellness, we are thrilled to welcome back the amazing Paria Mirazimi from Athletix Academy, as she shares her techniques of Neck & Shoulder Stretching!

So let’s take a break and have a good stretch!

Watch the video here! >>>

Last month we started our new & exciting Team Feature Series, to get to know our team and hear their expert viewpoints! In today’s edition we asked Benchmark’s Vice President of Group Benefits, Marcelina Ayow, to share her view on the following question:

“What do you think is the most overlooked component of a benefits program?”

With over 40 years of industry experience, Marcelina views the Employee Assistance Program (EAP) to be the most overlooked component of a companies’ health benefits. This is the case because most of the time employees are not aware of such programs, and therefore services remain unused.

Check out Marcelina’s full answer in our Youtube video >>>

For our November Community Spotlight, Benchmark is excited to feature the Credit Counselling Society! To learn more about this excellent organization and grasp its mission, we spoke to Tim St Vincent – CCS’s Financial Educator.

The Credit Counselling Society (CCS)is a non-profit initiative with the aim of helping Canadians master financial systems and attain the ultimate economic well-being. The CCS has been in the industry for over 25 years – providing individuals and communities with extensive educational practices and superb counseling assistance.

 Led by the mission statement, “We Help. We Educate. We Give Hope.”, the Credit Counselling Society has already helped over 900,000 Canadians to understand financial pathways and find custom-tailored ways to tap into monetary success.

 Currently, the Credit Counselling Society is eager to keep growing, through the expansion of its educational channels, development of newer learning tools, and widening the organization’s operational outreach!

Tell‌ ‌us‌ ‌about‌ ‌the‌ ‌organization‌ ‌and‌ ‌what‌ ‌you‌ ‌do?‌  
Credit‌ ‌Counselling‌ ‌Society‌ ‌is‌ ‌a‌ ‌non-profit‌ ‌organization‌ ‌focusing‌ ‌on‌ ‌helping‌ ‌Canadians‌ ‌navigate‌ ‌our‌ ‌financial‌ ‌system.‌ Our‌ ‌Mission‌ ‌Statement‌ ‌is‌ ‌We‌ ‌Help.‌ ‌We‌ ‌Educate.‌ ‌We‌ ‌Give‌ ‌Hope.‌ ‌We‌ ‌help‌ ‌individuals‌ ‌and‌ ‌families‌ ‌achieve‌ ‌financial‌ well-being‌ ‌through‌ ‌education,‌ ‌objective‌ ‌confidential‌ ‌credit‌ ‌counselling,‌ ‌budget‌ ‌review‌ ‌and‌ ‌preparation,‌ ‌the‌ ‌correct‌ ‌use‌ of‌ ‌credit‌ ‌, and‌ ‌ ‌debt‌ ‌repayment‌ ‌alternatives.‌ ‌We‌ ‌have‌ ‌been‌ ‌around‌ ‌for‌ ‌over‌ ‌25‌ ‌years‌ ‌and‌ ‌in‌ ‌that‌ ‌time‌ ‌have‌ ‌helped‌ over‌ ‌900,000‌ ‌Canadians,‌ ‌educated‌ ‌over‌ ‌110,000‌ , and‌ ‌assisted‌ ‌our‌ ‌clients‌ ‌in‌ ‌repaying‌ ‌over‌ ‌$1/2‌ ‌Billion‌ ‌of‌ ‌debt.‌ ‌We‌ ‌do‌ not‌ ‌loan‌ ‌money,‌ ‌we‌ ‌focus‌ ‌on‌ ‌education‌ ‌and‌ ‌assistance.‌ 
What‌ ‌are‌ ‌the‌ ‌goals‌ ‌of‌ ‌the‌ ‌organization?‌ 
Our‌ ‌mission‌ ‌statement‌ ‌pretty‌ ‌much‌ ‌sums‌ ‌it‌ ‌up.‌ ‌We‌ ‌Help.‌ ‌We‌ ‌Educate.‌ ‌We‌ ‌Give‌ ‌Hope.‌ ‌Our‌ ‌goal‌ ‌is‌ ‌to‌ ‌put‌ ‌ourselves‌ out‌ ‌of‌ ‌business‌ ‌as‌ ‌Canadians‌ ‌become‌ ‌more‌ ‌educated‌ ‌in‌ ‌how‌ ‌our‌ ‌financial‌ ‌systems‌ ‌works,‌ ‌how‌ ‌to‌ ‌tap‌ ‌into‌ ‌it‌ successfully‌ ‌, and‌ ‌how‌ ‌to‌ ‌avoid‌ ‌the‌ ‌traps‌ ‌and‌ ‌pitfalls‌ ‌inherent‌ ‌in‌ ‌any‌ ‌system.‌ ‌Education‌ ‌and‌ ‌understanding‌ ‌are‌ ‌the‌ keys.‌ 
What‌ ‌have‌ ‌been‌ ‌the‌ ‌biggest‌ ‌impacts/outcomes‌ ‌on‌ ‌the‌ ‌community‌ ‌you‌ ‌serve?‌ 
That’s‌ ‌a‌ ‌tough‌ ‌one.‌ ‌I‌ ‌don’t‌ ‌know‌ ‌that‌ ‌there‌ ‌is‌ ‌a‌ ‌single‌ ‌answer.‌ ‌By‌ ‌helping‌ ‌people‌ ‌pay‌ ‌back‌ ‌over‌ ‌$1/2‌ ‌billion‌ ‌of‌ ‌debt‌ we‌ ‌have‌ ‌kept‌ ‌them‌ ‌out‌ ‌of‌ ‌bankruptcy‌ ‌and‌ ‌the‌ ‌life-altering ‌implications‌ ‌that‌ ‌can‌ ‌bring.‌ ‌We‌ ‌have‌ ‌taught‌ ‌how‌ ‌to‌ successfully‌ ‌navigate‌ ‌through‌ ‌their‌ ‌finances‌ ‌and‌ ‌our‌ ‌financial‌ ‌system,‌ ‌knowledge‌ ‌which‌ ‌they‌ ‌can‌ ‌pass‌ ‌on‌ ‌to‌ ‌others.‌ We‌ ‌have‌ ‌given‌ ‌hope‌ ‌to‌ ‌those‌ ‌who‌ ‌have‌ ‌come‌ ‌to‌ ‌us‌ ‌thinking‌ ‌that‌ ‌there‌ ‌were‌ ‌no‌ ‌good‌ ‌choices‌ ‌left.‌ ‌Again,‌ ‌not‌ ‌to‌ repeat‌ ‌myself,‌ ‌but‌ ‌I‌ ‌really‌ ‌believe‌ ‌it‌ ‌comes‌ ‌down‌ ‌to‌ ‌We‌ ‌Help.‌ ‌We‌ ‌Educate.‌ ‌We‌ ‌Give‌ ‌Hope.‌   
What‌ ‌are‌ ‌some‌ ‌of‌ ‌the‌ ‌biggest‌ ‌challenges‌ ‌the‌ ‌CCS‌ ‌has‌ ‌had‌ ‌to‌ ‌overcome?‌ 
Like‌ ‌any‌ ‌industry,‌ ‌there‌ ‌are‌ ‌some‌ ‌players‌ ‌out‌ ‌there‌ ‌that‌ ‌are‌ ‌less‌ ‌scrupulous‌ ‌than‌ ‌others.‌ ‌One‌ ‌of‌ ‌our‌ ‌challenges,‌ ‌on‌ ‌a‌ more‌ ‌personal‌ ‌level,‌ ‌comes‌ ‌when‌ ‌we‌ ‌see‌ ‌a‌ ‌client‌ ‌who‌ ‌has‌ ‌been‌ ‌to‌ ‌one‌ ‌of‌ ‌these‌ ‌players‌ ‌and‌ ‌paid‌ ‌out‌ ‌thousands‌ ‌of‌ dollars‌ ‌and‌ ‌received‌ ‌little‌ ‌to‌ ‌no‌ ‌help.‌ ‌That‌ ‌hurts.‌ ‌Sometimes‌ ‌these‌ ‌players‌ ‌colour‌ ‌the‌ ‌entire‌ ‌industry,‌ ‌then‌ ‌people‌ don’t‌ ‌seek‌ ‌out‌ ‌the‌ ‌help‌ ‌that‌ ‌is‌ ‌available‌ ‌because‌ ‌all‌ ‌they‌ ‌know‌ ‌are‌ ‌the‌ ‌bad‌ ‌players.‌ ‌That‌ ‌hurts.‌ ‌Then‌ ‌when‌ ‌they‌ finally‌ ‌give‌ ‌in‌ ‌and‌ ‌seek‌ ‌help,‌ ‌sometimes‌ ‌they‌ ‌are‌ ‌too‌ ‌late‌ ‌and‌ ‌we‌ ‌can’t‌ ‌help.‌ ‌That‌ ‌hurts.‌   
What‌ ‌are‌ ‌the‌ ‌goals‌ ‌for‌ ‌the‌ ‌future‌ ‌of‌ ‌the‌ ‌CCS?‌ 
As‌ ‌noted,‌ ‌ultimately,‌ ‌to‌ ‌put‌ ‌ourselves‌ ‌out‌ ‌of‌ ‌business.‌ ‌Until‌ ‌that‌ ‌happy‌ ‌day,‌ ‌we‌ ‌look‌ ‌to‌ ‌expand‌ ‌our‌ ‌education‌ offerings,‌ ‌develop‌ ‌a‌ ‌Learning‌ ‌Management‌ ‌System‌ ‌(LMS),‌ ‌enhance‌ ‌our‌ ‌operational‌ ‌abilities‌ ‌and‌ ‌relationships‌ ‌with‌ lenders.‌ ‌To‌ ‌be‌ ‌seen‌ ‌as‌ ‌the‌ ‌leader‌ ‌for‌ ‌the‌ ‌non-profit‌ ‌sector‌ ‌with‌ ‌respect‌ ‌to‌ ‌credit‌ ‌counselling ‌and‌ ‌financial‌ ‌literacy‌ education.‌ ‌To‌ ‌make‌ ‌as‌ ‌many‌ ‌people‌ ‌as‌ ‌possible‌ ‌aware‌ ‌of‌ ‌all‌ ‌the‌ ‌options‌ ‌that‌ ‌are‌ ‌available‌ ‌to‌ ‌them,‌ ‌that‌ ‌bankruptcy‌ and‌ ‌for-profit ‌providers‌ ‌are‌ ‌not‌ ‌the‌ ‌only‌ ‌solutions.‌ 

Visit Credit Counselling Society’s website today for more details >>>

Check out a FREE assessment for financial Warning Signs>>>


Don’t forget to mark your calendars – our November Webinar is around the corner! Tune in this Thursday from 11 AM to 12 PM EST & join our guest speaker Tim St. Vincentfrom theCredit Counselling Society to learn all about Financial First Aid for HR Professionals!

Accompanied by Benchmark’s Giorgio Follegati, Tim will be covering topics of financial wellness, financial distress & its impact on both employees and employers, as well as discussing current practices & effective monetary assistance strategies!

You don’t want to miss this! Reserve your spot now!>>>

While the pandemic has largely impacted the retail industry and complicated its labour intensity, many employees have realized their working conditions and benefits plans do not satisfy their true needs. Indigo Books & Music Inc. employees across Canada are unionizing, in demand for improved health and dental benefits, paid sick days, and a minimum wage increase.

Back in August, some workers voted to become a part of UFCW Local 1006A. Participation in the union would not only be an important consolidating step but also an opportunity to effectively address issues and be heard.

Read the full article here! >>>