Notice: COVID-19 resources, information and plans for current and upcoming academic terms. Learn more.

Business Essentials Program

Courses at-a-glance
Spring 2021 Courses
Fall 2021 Courses

Lead your team and organization as you adapt to the changing business landscape.
FileListen to CCE's director, Christie Schultz, talk about the program on CBC Radio

Business Essentials Photo 1    Business Essentials Photo 2

Let the Business Essentials digital badge program help you and your team adapt with confidence to these changing times.

Delivered by industry experts, this program has been carefully curated for Saskatchewan businesses who have been impacted by the pandemic and also for those wanting to gain foundational tools for business success with immediately applicable skills relevant to any industry. This digital badge program will provide insights on critical areas required for successfully adapting and overcoming challenges. Participants will learn how to embrace change during uncertain times; understand stress and the importance of resiliency; how to use a crisis to spark process improvements and innovation; how to navigate difficult conversations; and how to deliver an outstanding customer experience to retain and grow your business.

This program consists of six three-hour modules delivered remotely over two consecutive weeks via CCE Community and Zoom. Upon completion, successful participants will boost their resume with the achievement of a digital badge.

Students complete the program as a cohort from start-to-finish and must commit to all of the dates listed.

  • Who should take this program: Employees in retail, hospitality, automotive, manufacturing, customer service and more.
  • Pre-requisite: None
  • Modules to complete: Six three-hour modules
  • Number of hours: 18 virtual classroom hours plus take home work
  • Achievement: Business Essentials Digital Badge
  • Course Fee: $1,425

Grant & Subsidy Funding

Our non-credit programs may qualify for the Re-Open Saskatchewan Training Subsidy (RSTS) and Canada-Saskatchewan Job Grant Funding. Please note that these are employer-driven programs. The employer must apply on behalf of their employees.

RSTS application deadline is June 30, 2021.


Type Module Instructor Upcoming
Required Order, Disorder, Re-order...
Embracing Change During Uncertain Times
Penelope Popp TBD
Required Understanding Stress and Resilience
Jacquie Messer-Lepage TBD
Required Using Crisis to Spark Process Improvement and Innovation
Laura Soparlo TBD
Required Customer Experience - Retaining and Growing Your Business - Part I
Dawn Kobayashi TBD
Required Customer Experience - Retaining and Growing Your Business - Part II
Dawn Kobayashi TBD
Required Navigating Difficult Conversations Jacquie Messer-Lepage TBD

Module Descriptions

Module 1 - Order, Disorder, Re-order...Embracing Change During Uncertain Times


Change is constant.  The people side of change management is a critical component to successfully implementing a change management framework, whether it be small tweaks or large-scale transformational change. Change management process is a framework for creating new business practices, shifts in organizational structure or culture changes within an organization. 

Applying a framework and developing an implementation plan for change is beneficial when people require new roles, behaviors, skills or outcomes.  By formally addressing change as its own unique entity, implementing diligent communication and proactively seeking to understand people’s tolerance for the changes, you can establish credibility and embrace the discomfort of known and unknown changes.

In this module, participants will explore some models for assessing change tolerance and learn new skills to ensure stakeholders are more likely to buy into change and be committed to its implementation.

In this module, you will:

  • understand the patterns of change and why its necessary;
  • increase your ability to develop a change management plan;
  • explore best practices for change management; and
  • practice applying a change model.
Module 2 - Understanding Stress and Resilience


Do you find yourself struggling to understand the behaviour of others?  Is it “stressing you out”?  What is stress anyway? 

This module will provide participants with insights into the common causes of stress and why human beings respond as they do when things fail to go their way.  We will cover how personality influences stress levels and why different approaches to managing difficult situations can either amplify or reduce your feelings of stress. 

Within the module, you will also have an opportunity to explore the concept of resilience and some of the more common approaches to increasing your capacity to withstand the pressures of life. 

The intended outcomes of this module include:

  • Gaining insight into identifying and managing triggers of stress in yourself and others;
  • Learning to recognize how personality differences impact stress and methods of coping;
  • Added insight into personal stressors and resilience levels; and
  • Understanding of approaches to managing stress.

Module 3 - Using Crisis to Spark Process Improvement and Innovation


 “To effect change, there must be a stimulation of a magnitude that means companies cannot do anything but make bold decisions to survive.” ABI's Chief Research Officer Stuart Carlaw – Mar. 25, 2020

During these unprecedented times, businesses and organizations have been forced to rethink how they respond to their customer’s needs and to provide their products and services in very different ways.  As new delivery methods emerged out of necessity to stay viable, many businesses began to challenge the exiting processes.  Were they the most efficient?  Did they actually add value for the customer, or do we do this just because we have “always did it this way”?

Sometimes it takes a crisis to jar us out of our habits, and look at things differently.  New ways of thinking and doing may actually increase quality, reduce response times, add more service options, increase service times, and reduce costs!

Process improvement involves the practice of identifying, analyzing and improving existing business processes to optimize performance, improve quality for the best customer or end-users experience.  Innovation is a new creative idea or new imagination in the form of a device or method arising from new business requirements, unarticulated customer needs, or changing market demands.  How can your organization or business take the incentive that has emerged out of the past few months and apply it towards the development of an improved and/or innovative process?

In this module, you will:

  • understand what is meant by process improvement and innovation;
  • learn the steps that can be used to improve processes;
  • identify signs of poor processes causing waste; not adding value to the customer;
  • understand what is needed for successful improvement efforts and avoid pitfalls; and
  • practice some basic tools in process improvement to get you started.

Modules 4 & 5 - Customer Experience - Retaining and Growing Your Business - Part I & II


Businesses across the globe have felt the pressure to understand their customer experience at a much deeper level. With a major shift in the consumer purchasing journey, businesses have had to rethink strategies all while keeping safety and customer experience top of mind. 

Your customer experience is on center stage, now more than ever before. Customer retention is crucial to the long term sustainability of your business. As Consumers pull back on spending and ensure they receive value in a safe trusted environment, it is critical to examine the elements of customer retention, customer and employee experience in which to create the most conducive environment for your business to thrive.

In this two-part module, participants will explore customer retention concepts, introductions to the employee experience that help them understand how these impact businesses, employees and customers.

In this two-part module, you will:

  • Understand customer retention concepts;
  • Calculating your customer retention rate;
  • Explore how customer experience and customer retention, impacts your bottom line;
  • Introduce the employee experience and correlation to customer retention; and
  • Introduce customer retention strategies which also include elevating the employee experience

Module 6 - Navigating Difficult Conversations


Do you find some conversations too difficult to manage – or have you encountered situations where you wish you had handled a discussion more effectively? 

As we navigate new approaches to interacting, making certain our message is received as intended can be a significant challenge.  Moving from face to face conversations to virtual environments adds an additional layer of complexity that is often unfamiliar and can be riddled with potential pitfalls.

This module will provide you with an opportunity to explore different approaches to communication and to uncover personal triggers within difficult conversations.  You will learn about the importance of flexibility in approach, and why being curious can help move a conversation past disagreement.

The module will cover the following key areas:

  • Personal triggers in difficult conversations;
  • Assessing your communication style(s);
  • Identify best practices for sharing perspectives; and
  • Build new skills, gain knowledge, and learn tools to support effective communication.

Use Filters in the Online Registration System

You can use the Filters on the Program Search page to browse all Centre for Continuing Education programs or Career Development courses.

Filter Type Filter Description
Location Centre for Continuing Education All programs offered through the Centre for Continuing Education
Program Category Badge: Business Essentials All courses within the Business Essentials Badge program
Department Career and Professional Development All courses and certificates offered by Career Development at the Centre for Continuing Education

There are other filters as well so you can narrow your search as much, or as little, as you want.

Have an Idea for a Course?