COVID-19: Tips for Business Leaders

Jeff Macoun, President and COO, Canada, of Canada Life, has shared with us his insights on COVID-19 in order to help Canadian businesses persevere and remain resilient throughout the COVID-19 crisis.

I’ve been reflecting a lot over the past few weeks about what we as business leaders can learn from COVID-19. With over 11,000 employees, 13 million customer relationships and tens of thousands of advisor relationships across Canada, this has been a period of tremendous growth and learning for me and the entire team at Canada Life. I’m happy to share a few tips with my fellow business leaders.

1) Communication is key

One of the best things we can do right now is communicate openly and transparently with our employees, customers and advisors. For example, we send out a weekly “COVID brief” email communication to Canada Life employees, summarizing key information. We’re also hosting weekly calls with our advisors from across the country to ensure they feel supported and encourage their questions. For customers, we added a COVID-19 section to our external website. We’ve made a real effort to share what information we can, as soon as we can.

2) Make health a priority

Now more than ever, it’s important we prioritize our health – both physical and mental. At Canada Life, employees who can are working from home until further notice. For those who must be in the office, we’re using proper distancing and cleanliness measures to help ensure their safety. We also support flexible work arrangements, so our employees can work when it’s best for their schedule. We’re happy to support Morneau-Shepell’s new WellCan app, too – an online hub of mental health resources that’s free and accessible to all Canadians. As always, we proudly offer an employee assistance program for those who need additional help.

3) Collaborate with other leaders

There have been some powerful examples of ingenuity and creativity in the business world over the past few weeks. As leaders, we can learn so much from one another by comparing notes, sharing ideas and joining forces when it makes sense. For instance, several banks and financial services organizations recently came together to gain regulatory approvals for virtual annual general meetings (AGMs).

4) Embrace new opportunities and be compassionate

Doing good makes you feel good. Canada Life is thrilled to support the Canadian Business Resilience Network as you help business owners across Canada. I’ve also seen some fantastic examples of companies giving back by donating masks, equipment, physical space and more.

Despite our current challenges, I feel grateful. I’ve never been prouder – of our country, and of our front-line heroes who continue to risk everything for us, every day.

At a time when it’s difficult to predict what will happen one day to the next, there’s one thing we can be certain about: we’re all in this together. It’s heartwarming to see Canadians coming together to support each other.

Jeff Macoun
President and COO, Canada
Canada Life