Recognized as one of Saskatchewan's Top Employers (2019):
By Richard Yerema and Kristina Leung, Mediacorp Canada Inc. staff editors (Feb 12, 2019)
Here are some of the reasons why Saskatchewan Blue Cross was selected as one of Saskatchewan's Top Employers (2019):
- As part of the company's health benefits plan, Saskatchewan Blue Cross offers a wellness spending account of $300 annually to help subsidize related expenses
- Saskatchewan Blue Cross supports ongoing employee development with generous tuition subsidies for courses related and indirectly related to their current position (to $2,000 annually) and provides subsidies for professional accreditation
- Along with individual performance bonuses, Saskatchewan Blue Cross hosts an annual gala to recognize employee contributions and achievements from the past year
Changing thought patterns at Saskatchewan Blue Cross
A subtle but profound subtle but profound transformation has been taking place at Saskatchewan Blue Cross (SBC), a transformation in how employees think.
Recently, the organization - which provides health and dental benefits, travel, short- and long-term disability, and life insurance coverage to residents of the province - adopted a performance enhancement program developed by The Pacific Institute.
"Not only has 'Destination Blue' given employees additional leadership and performance skills but, interestingly, our staff who are parents have told us the program just sang to them in terms of handling the challenges they might have with their children more effectively," says SBC president and CEO Arnie Arnott.
The program was first delivered to executives and managers and then rolled out to the rest of the company through designated internal trainers; Desiree Carter, team lead and senior group underwriter, is one of 12 trained facilitators.
"The main focus is to understand how your mind works and the impact it can have on your everyday life, and, amazingly, you can start to rewire how you think and approach life," she says. "You start to recognize when you might be in a fixed mindset where you are blocking out opportunities - and that can be at home, at work, anywhere.
"It identifies the concept of having a growth versus a fixed mindset," she continues, "of seeing yourself doing things that you might otherwise have thought you could not do. The concept of I can't do it...yet. Now if I'm in a challenging situation, instead of being stressed out, I instinctively use positive self-talk and think, 'OK, what can I do to get through this obstacle?' If it is to be, it starts with me. And life gets easier.
"I know in my own team, everybody really loved it and has implemented it into their daily lives," Carter says."Blue Cross wants all of us to be as healthy and happy as possible, and that will organically come back into the workplace."
Another aspect of Destination Blue, Arnott notes, is increased staff consultation, so SBC management has asked employees to come up with ideas about ways to improve all aspects of the workplace. "We got 150 or more ideas, and there are about 70 we're moving forward with." One example:it was suggested that too many resources were being devoted to the annual United Way Fowl Supper and Silent Auction event that could be diverted directly to the United Way itself - SBC acted on this and increased its funds raised.