CNA has always focused on our employees’ physical and mental needs, but the COVID-19 pandemic presented new challenges that required additional solutions. When the pandemic hit, employees everywhere had basic concerns about safety, stability and connection. Faced with this new challenge, employers had to quickly figure out how to address those concerns while ensuring that business kept pace with demand. This evolved how we worked together, shifting the focus to empathy and flexibility and essentially restructuring the rules of the past.
Emphasizing employee wellness
CNA focused on the physical and mental needs of our employees from the start, and sought out industry best practices to help ensure those needs would be met. In addition to increasing our mental health resources, funding and visibility, we educated employees on the details of our benefits plan, highlighting specific resources available to them and their families. We also introduced new tools for mental resilience to promote employee wellbeing and mental strength. We brought in motivational speakers like Kevin Rempel, who inspired our employees with a speech on resilience and how to create a mindset that focuses on overcoming odds and moving forward with persistence.
To help our employees feel connected in their remote work experience, we introduced team wellness challenges and expanded one-on-one check-in meetings. We also presented virtual learning opportunities to ensure that employees could continue to develop their skills and progress in their careers. Additionally, CNA continues to engage with our communities through virtual volunteerism, financial support and education.
Adapting to a new work environment
CNA understands that taking a more humanized approach to leadership includes focusing on those close to our employees and within their communities. With most employees working from home, increased demands on their time by roommates, family members and pets can greatly change the work dynamic.
However, according to a 2020 Gartner employee survey, when employers developed deeper relationships with their employees through a focus on family and community, there was a 23% increase in employee mental health and a 17% increase in physical health. The survey also showed positive outcomes for business. Companies with a more comprehensive approach to wellbeing saw a 21% increase in high performers and an 18% increase in net promoters, reducing turnover and increasing the likelihood of bringing new talent onboard.
Focusing on the future
As we’ve learned over the past year, work life and personal life are no longer separate. By taking a more humanized approach to management – offering support as a friend, colleague or manager – we not only strengthen our ability to collaborate, but also facilitate important conversations around progress and a new kind of empathy in the workplace. There’s no knowing how the pandemic will play out, but we can always strive to work better together.
Blog disclaimer: In Canada, products and/or services described are provided by Continental Casualty Company, a CNA property/casualty insurance company. The information is intended to present a general overview for illustrative purposes only. Read CNA’s General Disclaimer.
Author: Erin Gattoni Vice President, Human Resources Canada
Erin is responsible for the overall strategic direction and general management of human resources in Canada, in support of the company's strategic plan.
Erin has 13 years of industry experience and joins CNA from Chubb, where she held a hybrid role as AVP, Senior Human Resources Business Partner in Toronto and AVP, Talent and Development Consultant in North America. She has also held previous management positions such as Chubb Atlantic Human Resources Manager (Chubb Bermuda), Senior Human Resources Consultant across Canada and Life Science and Technology Underwriter.
She has a Bachelor of Science, SSP Honours, Life Science from Queen’s University and holds a Chartered Insurance Professional designation from the Insurance Institute of Canada. Erin is Chair of the Dive In committee for Canada, run through [email protected], which is a global movement in the insurance sector to support the development of inclusive workplace cultures.
She is also an active fundraiser with the Canadian Cancer Society and SickKids Hospital in Toronto.