Bernard Lord on keeping employees protected, connected, engaged

Your Workplace Magazine features an interview with Bernard Lord on lessons learned through COVID-19 about keeping employees protected, connected and engaged.

Guiding principles

He shared the six principles that have guided the organization in maintaining business continuity:

  1. Keep everyone safe, ensuring the mental and physical wellbeing of employees, patients and plan members
  2. Provide services and fulfill our mission of improving the wellbeing of Canadians
  3. Preserve capital above regulatory levels
  4. Avoid layoffs of permanent staff
  5. Support our communities, including a $5 million commitment to improve access to food and mental health services through the Medavie Health Foundation
  6. Prepare for Phase 3 Recovery, including return to office in Q1 2021

New support programs, services

Mr. Lord reflected on how Medavie has supported employees since the onset of COVID-19, which saw 98 per cent of Medavie Blue Cross's workforce transition to working virtually from home, notably through flexible work arrangements and new programs and services to promote their wellbeing. These initiatives included:

  • Increasing the amount that employees can spend on their wellness
  • Providing greater access to mental health resources
  • Expanding our computer purchase program to include other office equipment
  • Providing leaders with coaching to manage teams remotely
  • Encouraging employees to take vacations, supported by a policy to forego large-scale Friday meetings

In addition, Medavie leadership regularly communicated with employees through all-employee webinars and video and welcomed open, honest and transparent dialogue.

Mr. Lord also spoke to Medavie’s employee consultation process, which followed four guideposts —consult, communicate, support and execute – to continuously engage and understand the needs of our workforce.

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Our Mission is to Improve the Wellbeing of Canadians.

Medavie is a health company that oversees Medavie Blue Cross and Medavie Health Services. Together, we’re bringing Canadians better health and access to care.