Recognized as one of Montreal's Top Employers (2019):
By Richard Yerema and Kristina Leung, Mediacorp Canada Inc. staff editors (Jan 30, 2019)
Here are some of the reasons why BFL Canada Risk and Insurance Inc. was selected as one of Montreal's Top Employers (2019):
- BFL Canada supports employees who are new mothers with maternity leave top-up payments, to 100% of salary for up to 6 weeks, and offers a variety of flexible working arrangements to help them adapt to their new role
- Along with helping employees save for the future, BFL Canada provides retirement planning assistance and phased-in work options for those nearing retirement
- BFL Canada encourages employees to take action in their local communities with a paid day off to volunteer and matching employee donations, to a maximum of $5,000 per employee
BFL CANADA provides an environment for employees to become shareholders
Teamwork is a defining factor at BFL CANADA. As managing partner in Montreal, Lisa Giannone finds the cohesive and collaborative atmosphere at BFL to be a tremendous asset that fuels the insurance firm's success.
"People help each other," says Giannone. "For example, we had a client opportunity with a very tight deadline and everyone pitched in, working around the clock to make it happen. Then we celebrated as a team because the company recognizes people for exceptional effort.
Despite the company's rapid growth, BFL still nurtures a family spirit with social company events that bring people closer together.
"We do a lot to ensure our employees are engaged, so they give us their best," says Giannone. "Our people are our most important assets and we want their coming to work to be an enjoyable experience."
In response to a recent employee survey, BFL continues to improve its professional development plan and in-house training for all employees, including mentoring at every level. Giannone mentors a small group of women herself and considers this to be a vital part of her contribution.
"The purpose is to enhance employees' careers and provide them with possibilities to move into leadership roles" says Giannone. "There's an equal playing field here at BFL. Insurance has been predominantly male dominated, so we want to change that. We want to be at the forefront of making that happen."
Giannone is also a shareholder, as are roughly 15 per cent of BFL's employees. That's something president, chief executive officer and founder Barry F. Lorenzetti has encouraged from the very start. The idea of employee shareholders was part of his business plan when he founded the company 31 years ago and that hasn't changed.
"I'm pleased to be able to offer shares to key employees who have contributed significantly to our company, which is 100 per cent Canadian owned and operated," says Lorenzetti. "We reward them specifically for their efforts. You'll find these individuals are working together more than ever because they want to enhance shareholder value."
Another reason he cites for inviting employees to become shareholders is that it reinforces employee engagement, an ongoing challenge for many organizations today.
"We believe in our employees, which adds to the culture and team spirit," says Lorenzetti. "They know that the company is behind them and wants them to become shareholders. It's an idea that's worked well and that was the plan."