Media Releases | November 24, 2011

Business students want to make local companies even better

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Lee Maingot, left, Jasmain Parr, Faculty of Management Professor Luc Audebrand, and Kayla Mann with UBC's Faculty of Management go over some of the information that will be provided to area businesses during the What Makes a Top Employer? expo

Lee Maingot, left, Jasmain Parr, Faculty of Management Professor Luc Audebrand, and Kayla Mann with UBC's Faculty of Management go over some of the information that will be provided to area businesses during the What Makes a Top Employer? expo

What Makes a Top Employer? event culmination of hours of research

Local companies will be getting an early Christmas present this year courtesy of business-minded university students.

The results of hours of research will be provided free of charge at the What Makes a Top Employer? expo at the Coast Capri Hotel Monday from 3:30 to 5:30 p.m.

Third-year students from the University of British Columbia’s Okanagan campus Faculty of Management were divided into 35 teams, each taking an in-depth look at a different area where employers can improve their workplace to the benefit of both the company and the employees.

“It’s a mix between a trade show and scientific fair,” says Luc Audebrand, assistant professor with the Faculty of Management.

Each team will present their findings that cover just about every concern a business may have.

Kayla Mann’s team looked at how the design of the office area can foster better communication and innovation among employees.

“A different layout can create a different mood and enhance communication,” says Mann, adding businesses should strive to make the office more of a community rather than individualized units where the employees are separated from each other.

Jasmain Parr’s team looked at the area of feedback and how businesses can get everyone involved so the company knows what to focus on to improve the workplace, while Lee Maingot’s team looked at a new way of handling time off and vacation days.

Maingot says the standard 9-to-5 workday is rapidly becoming a thing of the past as people work from home more on iPhones or other personal high-tech devices.

That means how time off and vacation days are dealt with also needs to change.

Most of the current available data comes from large organizations, but Audebrand says the students focused on small- and medium-size businesses, like those found in Kelowna and the Okanagan.

“It was very important to make this information useful to local businesses,” says Audebrand.

Mann says the expo is a chance for businesses to “get some specific information that we have put hours and hours into.”

The event will also provide a look into the future. Maingot says the employees of tomorrow – this business class included – do not want the status quo when it comes to their work environment, and the expo will give employers a better understanding of what the next generation of employees is looking for in a workplace.

“It’s an awesome opportunity for some great information,” says Mann.

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