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 Blue Cross Canassurance Group was selected as one of Montreal's Top Employers (2019):
- Blue Cross Canassurance Group supports new mothers with maternity leave top-up payments (to 95% of salary for up to 17 weeks) and provides the option to extend their leave into an unpaid leave of absence
- Along with helping employees save for the future, Blue Cross Canassurance Group offers a number of financial benefits including signing bonuses for some employees, year-end bonuses for all and discounts on company products and services
- Blue Cross Canassurance Group encourages ongoing employee development with tuition subsidies for courses taken at external institutions and also reaches out to the next generation of talent, offering summer employment and a formal orientation program
Employees help Blue Cross build for the future
Earlier this fall, Isabeau Normandin joined Montreal-based Blue Cross Canassurance Group, a provider of individual health and travel insurance plans, as vice-president, talent and culture, and her timing couldn't have been better.
"We're in the midst of a modernization," says Normandin. "We're building the future and involving the employees in the planning. That creates a lot of excitement."
The modernization includes, among other things, more flexible work arrangements, working remotely and a move by the end of 2019 to a new building on McGill College Avenue in the heart of downtown. There have been a number of changes in the senior management, including a new president and chief executive officer - Sylvain Charbonneau - who promptly decided the organization needed to upgrade the workplace.
"When he met with employees, one of his first concerns was the quality of our offices, the amount of natural light and the air we breathe," says project manager Jose Luis Duque. "I was surprised how quickly it happened."
The new building is located above the McGill College Metro station, a big plus for employees who commute in from the suburbs. The central location also makes it handy for students at the city's four universities; Blue Cross has traditionally hired students to work part-time or on contract in the organization's two call centres.
Some students take full-time positions with the organization after completing their studies. Duque started in a sales position in one of the call centres while still a student and 16 years later he's still with Blue Cross. "It was one of the few organizations that allowed you to work between 8 a.m. and 6 p.m.," he says, noting that others offered only evening or overnight shifts.
Duque has since moved on to a series of more responsible positions, which is in keeping with the organization's policy of supporting mentoring and career planning for its employees. "We support and invest in our employees in a number of ways," says Normandin. "We provide in-house training and pay for professional certifications. We love to see them grow and develop."
Apart from all that, Duque has stuck with Blue Cross for another reason. "You hear horror stories about organizations pushing sales," he says. "I've never had to defend or follow instructions that were unethical towards clients or employees. It's always about clients and employees first."