How Rise is aiding the Canadian not-for-profit St. John Ambulance
Client Stories 5 minute read

How Rise is aiding the Canadian not-for-profit St. John Ambulance

Megan Orr | March 2, 2023

Part of one of the world’s oldest humanitarian organizations, St. John Ambulance is at the forefront of providing first-aid training, CPR training, and medical assistance to people in need. We’re honoured to help St. John Ambulance support their employees and continue their mission.

As a not-for-profit, St. John Ambulance wanted something reliable and easy to use for their HR and payroll needs. As Rick Stewart, VP of Operations at St. John Ambulance Alberta, explains: “We're not-for-profit and have 50 salaried employees, so we don’t want or need complicated payroll and HR systems”.

Formerly using ADP for their HR and payroll, Rick recalls that “ADP is a very big product; it's got a lot of moving parts. It’s complicated and expensive. We have no need for that.”

Wanting “something just easier to use” with a more user-friendly interface is what prompted Rick to search for a new combined HR and payroll solution. St. John Ambulance Alberta now uses Rise for all of their HR and payroll needs, including time off, recruiting, and performance management. 

"ADP, I used to dread going in there... I actually enjoy using Rise."

When asked how Rise has impacted his management and day-to-day life, Rick says: “Well, to put it simply, I do not dread using the tool. ADP, I used to dread going in there. I’d actively avoid it because it was so big and so complicated. I was afraid to change things within it because I never knew what would happen if I did.”

Laughing to himself, Rick recalls his fear of using ADP, making mistakes, and how “quite often, if you change one thing, there are downstream effects. And then to go back and fix it is double the work, or triple the work sometimes”. With Rise, on the other hand, Rick admits he’s “not scared of the software”. 

“I’m not dreading it. I actually enjoy using Rise,” he continues. “It's freed up a bunch of my time, just by making it simple. And me not having to learn things and dread making mistakes, I think that's what I enjoy the most about it.”

“Rise is a sweet spot fit for companies that might not have a paid professional who can dedicate 100% of their time to HR, payroll, and benefits.”

Rick notes how HR and payroll solutions he previously used, such as ADP or Ceridian, “can be great, but they’re also very big, they’re very expensive, and they need dedicated professionals to run those softwares. With Rise, it’s so intuitive and easy to use that anyone can do it.”

Another advantage that Rise has is being an all-in-one platform. As Rick explains: “I was able to put everything into one employee profile—it's all in one spot and that’s really nice, having everything in Rise. I don't have to go find a spreadsheet for this or that. I don’t have to go find the birthday spreadsheet and risk missing anniversaries or other important things. It’s a relief!”

“It’s also very easy to move employees through the whole ‘hire-to-retire lifecycle’ without having to manage separate databases or spreadsheets,” Rick continues. He noted how important this feature is, especially for people like Rick who are doing multiple jobs. 

Rick loves Rise’s recruitment feature as well. “It’s fantastic [and] so intuitive”. He’s particularly happy with having everything in one place and not having to do data entry in multiple places or move information from one application to another during the recruitment process. 

Rick also mentions that both he and his employees love the mobile app. Because the St. John Ambulance team is spread across Alberta, the Rise mobile app is a great way for employees to connect and easily keep track of things for their dispersed team. Rick notes, “our employees love the mobile app. It’s a really nice feature.”

“Whenever I’ve had to reach out to the support team, they have been fantastic.”  

Rick also notes how he’s made suggestions in the past for ways that the Rise platform could work better and has noticed that his suggestions have actually been incorporated into new software releases. “It shows me that Rise is actively listening to clients and our feedback, which is refreshing,” he remarks. 

Rick is also pleased with Rise’s custom roles and permissions, and the ability to clearly see who has permissions to view what within the Rise platform. In the past, with applications like ADP, he noted how everyone was very careful about what they put in writing because “the security on the notes was very convoluted”. 

“The weekly touch base is awesome.”

Moving forward with Rise, Rick is excited to fully launch the Rise performance module and that he's been “pretty impressed” by the software’s features. He mentions check-ins in particular, saying that “the weekly touch base is awesome. I thought that's a nice way to make your employee know that you're there, you're talking, you're listening, and they have an opportunity to just touch base”. 

He also notes some other benefits of regular check-ins for employees. Rick comments that so often with performance reviews, whether supervisors mean to or not, there’s a tendency to focus on what employees can improve rather than focusing on all the things they’re doing well. “Having a weekly touch base allows you to keep track of the good stuff as well, the ability to document everything within Rise helps to improve the employee experience and satisfaction,” he explains. 

As Rick summarizes: “Rise hits all my target points, simple, easy, well supported, those kinds of things that are really critical to a not-for-profit.”

Learn more about St. John Ambulance by visiting their website.

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