Recognized as one of Montreal's Top Employers
By Richard Yerema and Kristina Leung, Mediacorp Canada Inc. staff editors (Jan 31, 2018)
Here are some of the reasons why Blue Cross Canassurance Group was selected as one of Montreal's Top Employers (2018):
- Blue Cross Canassurance Group helps employees plan securely for the future with contributions to a defined benefit pension plan and offers phased-in work options for those nearing retirement
- 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
- In addition to encouraging ongoing employee training and development, Blue Cross Canassurance Group reaches out to the next generation of talent, offering summer employment and a formal orientation program
Blue Cross takes care of staff as well as clients
When something goes wrong when you're far away from home, it can be terrifying. The people who work at Blue Cross Canassurance Group, better known as Blue Cross, understand that when travellers phone them, it is likely they're not having a good day.
For 75 years, employees at the health and travel insurance provider have been answering to the needs of its members through health insurance programs and travel assistance. Blue Cross was created by doctors who wanted to provide affordable access to health care in hospitals. "In the 1940s, many citizens could not afford proper medical care," says Nathalie Rousseau, Director of Human Resources and Internal Communications. "Blue Cross was founded to fill this essential need."
Blue Cross's private health insurance plans laid the groundwork for the hospital insurance that would be taken over by the province in 1961 and the public health insurance system that started in 1969. Over the years, the not-for-profit organization has expanded its services in health and travel insurance. "We continue to be recognized as the leading brand in health insurance and the most trusted brand in travel insurance," she adds. "Our employees are proud to say they are working at Blue Cross."
Nathalie Mirza applied to Blue Cross straight out of school 17 years ago, starting in the 24-hour call centre. "It's very rewarding but it's challenging sometimes," says Mirza, now the Quality and Business Process Advisor in the Travel Assistance Department. "The callers become part of us, and we want to do the best we can."
To Mirza, Blue Cross feels like family, and the people who work there share much in common. "We have empathy, we have dedication," she says. "I look at my colleagues and some have been here 40 years -- a source of inspiration."
Employees work 37.5 hours a week, but they can fluctuate their hours over four weeks; one employee's schedule was shifted so she could complete her master's degree. "They enjoy that flexibility," Rousseau says. "They enjoy the fact that they feel supported -- they know the company cares about them."
In fact, she says the feedback she gets from employees about what they appreciate most is their colleagues and their supportive managers. "For me it is quite special that Blue Cross has achieved a culture promoting teamwork," Rousseau says. "One of our employees mentioned it's because of our culture that we have this great work climate where we truly collaborate and help and support each other."