Recognized as one of Saskatchewan's Top Employers (2023):
Mediacorp Canada Inc. staff editors (Mar 13, 2023)
Here are some of the reasons why Saskatchewan Blue Cross was selected as one of Saskatchewan's Top Employers (2023):
- Saskatchewan Blue Cross encourages employees to prioritize their physical and emotional well-being with free memberships to an onsite fitness facility along with formal wellness programs such as the annual A Day for Me initiative which provides all employees with an extra paid day off to utilize in meaningful ways and towards individual self-care
- 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
- Saskatchewan Blue Cross encourages employees to support charitable initiatives in their community with one paid volunteer day annually
Saskatchewan Blue Cross unites purpose with passion
Last fall, Nicole Onufreychuk attended a Ronald McDonald House charity event in Saskatoon for which her employer, Saskatchewan Blue Cross, was the family sponsor. “We were able to sit with the family to hear their story and they told us how we made them feel so special,” she says. “My colleagues and I who attended connected to our purpose on a deeper level – giving back to the community is what it’s all about.”
A not-for-profit organization, Saskatchewan Blue Cross has been serving the health-insurance needs of residents since 1946 from its offices in Saskatoon and Regina. “Saskatchewan Blue Cross has always been there, giving back to every Saskatchewan resident,” says Onufreychuk, senior vice president, chief people and culture officer. “I love working here because I know the work I’m doing is directly impacting my family.”
Born and raised on a farm in the province, Onufreychuk was drawn to Saskatchewan Blue Cross because its organizational values – empathy, ambition, flexibility and discipline, building community, dependability – aligned with her on a personal level. “It was important to me to have that strong value alignment,” she says. “When people feel like they’re valued and have a purpose, that’s magical.”
Regular opportunities for recognition and conversation adds to employees feeling valued, as does an awards program and the one-on-one in-person and virtual meetings Onufreychuk started scheduling with all 260 employees soon after she joined the organization in June 2022. “Our doors are always open. We want people to feel comfortable reaching out to any person in leadership with an idea, an opinion or a concern,” she says. “Our employees are the lifeblood of our organization,” she says. “We want to ensure that we’re giving them the best experience.”
Interim President and CEO Kelly Wilson says “SBC has always made a concerted effort to listen to employees to uncover opportunities or potential problems. Our approach is to sweat the small stuff and focus on the details,” she says. “We’re becoming stronger in this area by working to really understand what matters to employees.”
Diversity, equity and inclusion have been impacted by this collaborative approach. When teams pointed out that health benefits forms should be updated with more inclusive language, senior leaders acted on those suggestions.
“Forms have old-fashioned ways of putting people in boxes,” says Wilson. “That suggestion made us think, ‘how is this process making people feel?’ We’ve also enhanced other experiences to be more inclusive, including using hiring panels in our candidate interviews to help remove biases.”
Saskatchewan Blue Cross is equally attuned to the needs of its community and is working to improve health literacy and overall health and wellness in a variety of ways. By partnering with non-profit organizations such as Global Gathering Place, programs are available to help immigrants and refugees arriving in the province navigate accessing health care – from finding a family doctor to getting their children immunized if they want to do so. Through these programs, newcomers are paired with people who can help them navigate health services in their own language.
“We have a strong sense of pride for the work we do to advance health literacy,” says Wilson. “We really want to change one life at a time.”