Put employees first

Put employees first

< Back to Articles | Topics: Trends

This is a guest post from Medavie Inc.
(Member since 1993)


Greg Bambury
Human Resources Officer

There is no playbook. When the COVID-19 pandemic hit, organizations quickly adapted to transition employees to a working from home model, while maintaining culture and ensuring business objectives were met. Looking beyond the pandemic, employers have choices to make in considering their future workplaces – with an aim to maximize the benefits of employees working remotely, on location or both.

For some, remote work has ample benefits and cost savings. For others, it has its drawbacks and can leave people feeling isolated or alone. Some employees will tell you, a day in the office was a social experience where friendships were forged, connections were made and work families grew.

The workplace of the future requires innovation, collaboration and a concerted effort to build and maintain strong connections among colleagues. Most importantly, the future does not look the same for everyone.

At Medavie we are committed to fostering a culture of engagement, regularly consulting with our team, across markets, is our top priority. We’ve been issuing a series of confidential surveys to our team members to better understand how we can continue to provide relevant support, without forgoing the strong workplace culture we have all worked hard to create and maintain.

Employers across the country are taking a hard look at their operating models and exploring new ways to keep employees engaged and supported in this ever-shifting landscape. We share the same goal of making a meaningful impact in the lives of our colleagues. We aim to continuously and intentionally improve on our desired culture. We believe in actively and authentically promoting the physical, mental, emotional and financial wellbeing of our team members, and subsequently, our clients, partners, plan members and communities.

At Medavie we emphasize that living our values and delivering results fuels our mission of improving the wellbeing of Canadians. We know people are looking to work for organizations that support balancing career and personal lives; that encourage work-life balance – even when kitchen tables have become office desks. For us, we want our colleagues to see we care about their health and wellbeing, as equally as enabling them to successfully contribute to the results of their business. We aspire to have our team members look into the mirrors of both their professional and personal lives and be confident in both aspects of their reflection.

We see the purpose in what we do and want to contribute toward a healthier Canada. Values are inherent to culture and need to resonate in key processes such as talent development, performance management, recognition, leadership development and onboarding. A values-based culture is the essential ingredient of a healthy workplace. Our mission is more than a poster on a wall – it is our purpose.

It’s also about taking the time to listen and learn; implementing feedback channels where individuals feel comfortable expressing an idea or opinion and knowing that their voices are being heard – especially through these challenging times. As well, equipping frontline managers with practical tools and techniques to respond to their team’s needs through these challenging times, while empowering them in a remote and hybrid environment.

Ensuring organizational resilience means sourcing, hiring, promoting and supporting people who are curious and committed to creating positive change. Employers should be focused on a growth mindset culture, where people are encouraged to try new approaches and learn from them. Building an ongoing progress by communicating with employees goes a long way to retaining and attracting the right people for your organization, or to put it more accurately, the right brand ambassadors for your business.

Our guiding principles have helped us to this stage – consulting, communicating, supporting and executing – and we will continue to lean on these guideposts to create an environment that allows everyone to do their best work. We have a duty to ensure our workplace culture thrives while operating virtually, ensuring regular outreach and check-ins, and presenting opportunities that respect individual differences – home lives, productivity levels, preferences and other factors.

Working remotely cannot dilute culture. Employers can maintain rapport and trust through compassion, regular engagement, two-way feedback channels and by making time for personal connections.

The pandemic has given us a tremendous opportunity to challenge our paradigms and reimagine our workplace so that it thrives. The accelerated adoption of digital tools, flexible management and strong organizational structures has expedited our progression towards the future of how we conduct business.

We can enable our colleagues to feel successful personally and professionally, at home or in the office and as those solitudes continue to merge the most human elements of purpose, community and caring are at the heart of wellbeing for all Canadians.

< Back to Articles | Topics: Trends

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