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Benefits Together Conference

Words to lead by and live by in our new world of work and society

Posted by Medavie Blue Cross on November 25, 2021

The Benefits Together virtual conference, now in its second year, helps employers navigate the trends, and accompanying changes that are shifting and shaping the health and benefits landscape here in Canada and beyond.

This year’s event took place as the pandemic continues to shape our world and ignite important conversations on topics from mental health to social equality. We brought together some of Canada’s top subject matter experts and senior industry leaders to feed and lead our conversations, including our opening keynote on workplace diversity, our industry panel on the future of work and our closing keynote on lessons learned from the social isolation and stress of living and working in space from Canada’s most famous astronaut Chris Hadfield.

As David Adams, Medavie Blue Cross’s Vice President, Business Development, stated in his opening remarks:

“We’re now 20 months into the pandemic, and still grappling with all that has happened — and the uncertainties of what’s to come — while coming to grips with our new realities, be it hybrid models of work or the digitization of health care.”

Here are some of the wise words we heard at the conference to lead by and live by in a new world of work and society changed by events of the past 20 months.

The importance of a diverse, inclusive workplace

“We strongly believe that varied perspectives fuel collaboration, innovation and excellence that is central to our mission of improving the wellbeing of Canadians.” Bernard Lord, Medavie CEO
“Social disruption has resulted in a global awakening and reckoning of inequity and inclusion — and has spurred employers to take real action and rectify disparities in the workplace,” David Adams, Vice-President, Business Development
“When I talk about leadership the headline is leadership, leadership, leadership. This is about winning the market. It’s the right thing to do. It’s the smart thing to do.” Zabeen Hirji, Strategic Advisor
“We’re really good at creating teams of similar people. Now that we have diversity in the workplace, we have to understand that conflict is healthy. Conflict fosters a lot of creativity and dynamic thinking.” Jean-Nicolas Reyt, Assistant Professor of Management, McGill University

Reintegrating into work and society

“In a remote work environment, employers need to set key objectives that are clear, quantifiable and lower the stress of the employees.” Catherine Deslauriers, Partner, Labor and Employment Law Group, Lavery Avocats
“Studies have proven there is a strong connection between emotional intelligence and effective leadership.” Jamal Lindo, Emotional Intelligence and Leadership Coach
“The neurons that you fire together, wire together. Where focus goes, the neurons grow.” Dr. Shimi Kang, Physician, Neuroscience Expert Author, Social Entrepreneur
“The pandemic has exacerbated the labour shortage. Employees are going to quit without saying why and this has a cascading effect on the right of management.” Catherine Deslauriers
“Multitasking is a myth. We can only do one thing at a time.” Dr. Shimi Kang
“I see a lot of young people not keen on negotiating their salary, but on negotiating their time. They are looking for having a better (work-life) balance.” Jean-Nicolas Reyt
“We have to be intentional with creating moments of pause. We literally should be scheduling moments of silence and space in our calendars.” Jamal Lindo
“Perfectionism is on the rise (especially among young women and girls and is linked to anxiety and depression). The opposite of perfectionism is play. We’ve got to focus on play. We’ve got to focus on effort not performance. When we do we grow this side (right) side of the brain (for greater creativity, adaptability, etc.)." Dr. Shimi Kang
“Resilience is a life-long commitment.” Jamal Lindo

Lessons from space for our new world

“The best antidote for fear is competence.” Chris Hadfield, former astronaut, retired International Space Station commander, author, musician
“Stop being in love with your old life. This isn’t time out from your life. This IS your life. An important first step is accepting the reality of your life. Build yourself an agenda each day. Give yourself the chance to succeed.” Chris Hadfield
“Take joy from the tiniest of things. Cool stuff happens every day. Revel in it. Find joys and satisfaction in them. “Don’t wait until the end of COVID to celebrate.” Chris Hadfield
“Be kind to others around you.” Chris Hadfield

Earning our partners’ trust

"We value our partnerships, and never more so than in the past two years as we continue to weather the pandemic. Your continued support has meant a lot to us." Dave Adams
"As your insurance partner, we work hard to earn your trust. If there are ways we can improve doing business with us, please let us know." Eric Laberge, President, Medavie Blue Cross

Connect with your Medavie Blue Cross representative to chat about how we can best meet your needs in this time of uncertainty, change and opportunity.

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