Recognized as one of Manitoba's Top Employers (2023):
Mediacorp Canada Inc. staff editors (Mar 20, 2023)
Here are some of the reasons why Manitoba Blue Cross was selected as one of Manitoba's Top Employers (2023):
- Manitoba Blue Cross starts new employees with three weeks of paid vacation, moving to four weeks after just four years on the job
- Along with its existing flexible work options, Manitoba Blue Cross developed a formal voluntary hybrid work program that lets employees apply and develop manageable work arrangements
- Manitoba Blue Cross encourages employees to support their favourite charities with up to two paid volunteer days along with matching charitable donations
A culture of caring is key at Manitoba Blue Cross
When Jodie Voth joined Manitoba Blue Cross in 2007 as a clinical intake worker, self-employment was always her goal. Though she left to establish her own therapy practice, she continued working for her former employer as an independent contractor. “I knew if I was ever going to have a ‘job job’ again, it would only be at Manitoba Blue Cross,” she says.
That day came in 2020, when Voth accepted a short-term position as clinical services co-ordinator, which she really enjoyed. When it wrapped up, she was offered another term position as program services co-ordinator, which led to her saying yes to a permanent offer as manager, employee assistance services in 2021. Voth’s promotions resulted from a combination of initiative and the care the company takes to develop its employees.
“Manitoba Blue Cross opened doors for me and encouraged me to walk through them,” says Voth. “I love pushing beyond my comfort zone, and my managers made it known that there was a runway for me here along with plenty of opportunities. I’m probably one of the best examples of what can happen when a company invests in someone’s career.”
Voth returns that support as a member of the diversity committee where she helps ensure that all employees and their customers feel a sense of belonging, regardless of their background or demographic. In 2022, she took advantage of the company’s professional development program to attend a diversity and inclusion conference to help her contribute to the committee’s work.
In addition to career opportunities, Voth cites brainstorming and connecting with co-workers as what she likes most about the caring workplace culture. “Nothing warms my heart more than seeing people laughing and chatting on a Monday morning about their weekends before the day starts,” she says.
Happy Monday mornings are one way Manitoba Blue Cross’s holistic approach to employee well-being is shown. The company provides an on-site gym and café, as well as access to its renowned Employee Assistance Program services. “We show how much we value our employees by offering them the same robust wellness resources available to our clients and members,” says president and CEO Benjamin Graham.
This dedication to employee well-being extends to the community. “At Manitoba Blue Cross, we actively foster a workplace culture of caring and wellness,” says Graham. “We are also committed to enhancing wellness in our community by investing a portion of our earnings to give back to where we live and work.”
For instance, part of Winnipeg’s Victoria Hospital Urgent Care Department was recently transformed into the Manitoba Blue Cross Mental Health Assessment Unit. In this dedicated space, the first of its kind in Manitoba, patients receive care in a private, supportive environment. “This initiative is one of the many ways we show this is a caring company that honours its deep roots in the community,” says Graham.
Another point of pride is the company’s 2022 Colour of Caring Healthy CommUnity Challenge, which awarded a $25,000 cheque to Newcomers & Employment Education Development Services (N.E.E.D.S.) Inc. The non-profit offers resources to help newcomer youth and children with settling in Canada, including a free mental health program for refugees to address trauma experienced before arriving here.
Graham, who has worked all over the world, presented a cheque in an elementary-school classroom that included students who came to Canada as Ukrainian refugees. “It was awesome, and the best day I’ve had working in Canada,” he says. “Supporting diversity and mental health like this aligns perfectly with our company’s purpose.”