Carrie Taylor is the founder and principal ergonomist at Taylor'd Ergonomics Incorporated. She launched the company in 1995 after working six years in the field. Taylor’d Ergonomics approaches its consulting role as part of a client’s team instead of as an external expert; the ergonomists are trained and equipped to facilitate all aspects of a successful ergonomics program for organizations that are not large enough to need a full-time ergonomist. Clients usually come to Taylor'd Ergonomics Incorporated because employees in their workplaces have reported strain/sprain injuries or discomfort. Taylor and her team of ergonomists in London, Cambridge, and Mississauga work on-site to develop solutions that improve work design, productivity, quality, and employee health. Clients come from a broad range of sectors, including municipalities, manufacturing, food processing, packaging, and offices. A good mix of regular ongoing work, design projects, and one-off assessments keeps the work interesting.
COVID-19 required the company to change the way many things were done, at least at the start, although remote design projects continued uninterrupted. During the spring lockdown, Taylor’s team took the opportunity to focus attention on social media content development, the online store, and internal processes. The company has been using technology to its best advantage, both internally and with clients. Team meetings became virtual, with frequent Zoom or MS Teams check-ins throughout the day. A remote assessment process was developed for office employees who were required to work from home. A free e-learning program for home office employees was also developed, with customization offered for employers who wished to install it on their intranet, with 50% of the proceeds going to Food Banks Canada. For about two months during the spring lockdown, the ergonomists were unable to visit clients, which presented a huge challenge as their on-site work practices depended on being present in the workplace. Training a new ergonomist without in-person contact was also challenging. In June, regular clients started bringing them back into the workplace. Most of these clients provide essential services, so their processes continue through the second lock-down. Working on-site requires the ergonomists to sign in with a survey, wear a mask all day, and speak a little louder to be heard.
Taylor is halfway through the “Grow My Business” accelerator program. She joined because she wants to grow her team, to seek out more of projects the team enjoys most, and to prepare the company for her retirement within the next five to ten years. Prior to the program, her networking efforts had been focused on making and maintaining connections with clients and with colleagues in her profession. She had few connections with business owners who operate consulting businesses. Through the program, she has made connections with other entrepreneurs, some in similar businesses in other sectors. She says it has also been good to hear from and talk to business owners at different stages of their business growth. Having been in business for so long, she was initially skeptical about how much she would get out of the program but participating has forced her to take a step back and look at how her business works, and where improvements could be made.
Her mentors have gone above and beyond with their support. In addition to providing encouragement and forcing her to consider problems from a different perspective, they go out of their way to provide guidance for problems that she has been trying to tackle on her own. They have also pointed her towards useful resources such as funding to improve the online store and organizations that are helping with specific marketing challenges.
Glodeane Brown is the Founder and Editor of the Culture Fancier blog where she regularly writes about arts and culture events, and interviews creative professionals. She is an arts management professional living and working in Kitchener, Ontario.
The Women Entrepreneurship Centre (WEC), as part of the Lazaridis School of Business and Economics at Wilfrid Laurier University, is dedicated to empowering women entrepreneurs of every age, stage and culture to achieve their business dreams. We believe in fostering leadership. We believe that everyone deserves an equal shot at success. We believe in connecting you with the right people, skills and support to make it happen.
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