Providing a favourable work environment for employees has become a daily challenge for many SMEs. This is especially important at a time of full employment, with millennials increasingly present in the labour market.

Tellingly, a survey by Deloitte found that 61% of millennials expect to leave their current job within the next four years. What can be done to keep them?  

Every business has specific features that it must take into consideration when formulating a strategy to retain good resources. At J2, the challenge stems from the fact that its purchasing experts work as consultants on the premises of outside customers. But J2 has had a positive impact on its employees’ work climate for over a decade now.

Cassie Morin, HR Business Partner at J2, shares 4 tips for improving and maintaining the work environment in an organization.


1. Happiness at work evaluation

J2 relies on 3 main pillars to foster happiness at work: training, transparency and openness. And each of these 3 aspects is favoured by employee happiness evaluations. Frank, constructive feedback from employees is used to make improvements to processes.

This is why J2’s purchasing experts can complete a questionnaire allowing the company to gauge their level of happiness. This non-mandatory survey yields a per-person average and an average for the business. Employees’ comments allow HR to determine how both the work climate and the purchasing experts’ happiness index can be further improved.

The happiness survey is a formidable tool for:

  • Measuring performance over time
  • Staying focused on expectations and results
  • Offering support close at hand
  • Hearing what employees have to say about problems and issues


2. Organizing outside activities

Since most J2 employees work in different environments, the company needs to kindle their sense of belonging to the organization in a lasting manner. With this goal in mind, J2 holds regular team meetings.

Nothing beats bringing the entire team together to:

  • Take company training
  • Share what is going on in their work
  • Discuss good practices
  • Get to know the members of their team
  • Have fun being together

These meetings let J2 employees connect with people that their daily work does not always bring them into contact with.

We encourage mutual help and social events. We go to shows, organize barbecues, family activities, and so on. In our daily lives, we see each other a lot. We work hard to ensure that employees stay connected to us.  

— Cassie Morin


3. Visits to employees working on customers’ premises

Another extremely important way of fostering happiness at work is going to see each purchasing expert regularly to stay in touch and check that everyone is content. This is what Dominique Ouellet, consultant director with J2, does on a regular basis. She is thus able to provide advice and support not only to employees but also to the customers they are serving.  

Cassie Morin explains:

“Dominique has a great deal of experience in the world of purchasing. She is able to provide support to our buyer employees, explain the reasons for decisions that have been made, follow up on issues and lend credibility to our operations.”

Person-to-person follow-up in the environment where each consultant works lets J2:

  • Check that each employee gets their project off to a good start
  • Maintain a good relationship between buyers and customers
  • Gather on-the-spot feedback from purchasing experts  
  • Vary the mandates given to each consultant
  • Highlight employees’ achievements


4. Providing good working conditions

Last but not least: to foster happiness at work, an employer must provide good working conditions. This is vitally important, especially in a context of labour shortages.

Group insurance, pension plan, paid vacation weeks… J2 does not stint on ways to offer a good work climate to the employees that contribute to its success.

Join the J2 purchasing team and become part of a close family and a highly stimulating environment.