Stay Wild Natural Health – Living Wage Certified

Stay Wild Natural Health Becomes Living Wage Certified

Leah Langlois Stay Wild Natural Foods

It was recently announced that Stay Wild Natural Health has become the first business in Pemberton to become Living Wage certified – a powerful action businesses are taking to address social inequality. The real Living Wage is a voluntary rate paid by employers who choose to go above and beyond the government minimum to ensure their staff are always paid a wage that covers the cost of living.

Studies show that by increasing minimum wages it will translate in a rise of local retail sales, increase engagement, productivity and reduces turnover of workers, recruitment and training costs. The Chamber reached out to Stay Wild’s owner Leah Langlois to learn more about how offering a better quality of life through a Living Wage can contribute to strengthening our community.

What inspired Stay Wild to become Living Wage certified? I’m lucky to employ hardworking, caring employees, and it got to the point where I was self-conscious of what I was paying my staff. I want to retain and employ staff that care to be part of Stay Wild – ultimately, they are the ones that make it what it is! When I implemented the increase of wages, it was to celebrate the staff I have currently have. This wasn’t a hiring plug initially for me. Of course, I hope in the future when we do have a staff turnover, I will be able to attract more people to apply.

I understand that you started paying the Living Wage before becoming certified. Is the current Living Wage of $24.08, the rate you pay all staff regardless if they are entry level or long-term?
I was paying all staff a living wage prior to certification; however, the wage increase in November was substantial (it jumped 17% to $24.08/hour) which meant that most employees received a second raise once the new numbers were released. So yes, we have staff that make above the current Living Wage because they deserve to be compensated for their hard work and commitment.

Did you find becoming Living Wage Certified to be a difficult process?

It was really easy! I encourage all businesses to reach out if they are interested in learning more.

I feel that you were working towards becoming certified throughout 2022. Can you explain why this was a lengthy process for you? 

It was, but my timing was unfortunate. They had just been in transition of new management, and it was closed down for a few months. However once back up and running it has been seamless. You have to show employee wage guarantee. In return you are mentioned on their website, receive window decals (mine haven’t arrived quite yet) and can use their logo for advertising. There is a yearly fee to be part of the program, amount differs on size of the business.

Living Wage is based on a family of four, but I understand that you offer it to all employees. Can you speak to why this is important? 

Living wage is based on a family of four; however, I can’t imagine paying my staff different levels due to their family circle. I have some staff with families and some that live with their parents. What matters to me is that they show up, with a positive attitude ready to have a great day with staff and customers alike. Also, note that to be part of the Living Wage, you must pay your staff all the same regardless of the family dynamic.

Did you see a shift in employees’ happiness/work ethics when you made the wage increase? 

I think it is a pretty special and important thing for the barrier between owner and staff to dissolve. I truly care and appreciate my staff; I think if anything the wage increase solidifies that. I also give them 30% off storewide, paid breaks, and staff meals. I want them to be absorbed into the healthy lifestyle – it’s contagious and my hopes are that it will pass on to the customers.

Why do you think there is a problem when it comes to recruiting and retaining staff in this area, and what can we all do to change this? 

I’m hoping that by creating a supportive, healthy, and fun environment it will in the future make hiring for me easier and less often. I guess my advice is, to make your business a place where you’d want to work. 

Fore more information: 

Click link to website here

Phone: 236 558 2635

Email: info@livingwageforfamilies.ca

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What inspired Stay Wild to become Living Wage certified? I’m lucky to employ hardworking, caring employees, and it got to the point where I was self-conscious of what I was paying my staff. I want to retain and employ staff that care to be part of Stay Wild – ultimately, they are the ones that make it what it is! When I implemented the increase of wages, it was to celebrate the staff I have currently have. This wasn’t a hiring plug initially for me. Of course, I hope in the future when we do have a staff turnover, I will be able to attract more people to apply. 

I understand that you starting paying the Living Wage before becoming certified. Is the current Living Wage of $24.08, the rate you pay all staff regardless if they are entry level or long-term? 

I was paying all staff a living wage prior to certification; however, the wage increase in November was substantial (it jumped 17% to $24.08/hour) that most employees received a second raise once the new numbers were released. So yes, we have staff that make above the current Living Wage because they deserve to be compensated for their hard work and commitment.

Did you find becoming Living Wage Certified to be a difficult process? It was really easy! I encourage all businesses to reach out if they are interested in learning more.

I feel that you were working towards becoming certified throughout 2022. Can you explain why this was a lengthy process for you? It was, but my timing was unfortunate. They had just been in transition of new management, and it was closed down for a few months. However, once back up and running it has been seamless. You have to show employee wage guarantee. In return you are mentioned on their website, receive window decals (mine haven’t arrived quite yet) and can use their logo for advertising. There is a yearly fee to be part of the program, amount differs on size of the business.

Living Wage is based on a family of four, but I understand that you offer it to all employees. Can you speak to this. Living wage is based on a family of four; however, I can’t imagine paying my staff different levels due to their family circle. I have some staff with families and some that live with their parents. What matters to me is that they show up, with a positive attitude ready to have great day with staff and customers alike. Also, to note that to be part of Living Wage, you must pay your staff all the same regardless of family dynamic.

Did you see a shift in employees’ happiness/work ethics when you made the wage increase? I think it is a pretty special and important thing for the barrier between owner and staff to dissolve. I truly care and appreciate my staff; I think if anything the wage increase solidifies that. I also give them 30% off storewide, paid breaks, and staff meals. I want them to be absorbed into the healthy lifestyle – it’s contagious and my hopes are that it will pass on to the customers.

Why do you think there is a problem when it comes to recruiting and retaining staff in this area, and what can we all do to change this. I’m hoping that creating a supportive, healthy, and fun environment it will in the future make hiring for me easier and less often. I guess my advice is, make your business a place where you’d want to work. 

Interested to learn more? 

 info@livingwageforfamilies.ca

236 558 2635

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