As organizations have adapted to the requirements of physical distancing, self-isolation and remote work brought on by the 2020 COVID-19 pandemic, newly implemented practices and ways of working together have begun to take shape, solidify and normalize.

At a time when engaging within our community is more important than ever, Toronto Finance International is pleased to launch TFI Talent Talks, an interview series with Financial Services leaders. The Q&A format showcases leaders from a variety of financial services organizations, sharing the creative and innovative team practices that they have employed to make remote work…work.

TFI has also launched the TFI Talent Talks fall webinar series, taking place throughout October and November.

Part 1: Virtual Onboarding with Manulife's Jodi Spall

Bringing new employees into our “not-business-as-usual” environments is a particularly difficult task. Jodi Spall and her team took up the challenge of creating a virtual on-boarding program for Manulife and shares her experience and lessons learned.

“At Manulife, our goal was to focus on that high human touch, welcoming experience for new hires.”

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Part 2: Employee Engagement with TD Securities' Manjit Tamber

Employee engagement describes employees’ commitment and connection to their work and the organization, driving employee satisfaction, productivity and retention, and ultimately, business performance. Manjit Tamber shares how TD Securities re-imagined employee engagement to provide that much-needed connection in a virtual world.

“It is important to understand what your employees are going through, not just from a business perspective, but also from a human perspective.”

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Part 3: Leading Virtual Teams with BMO's Karen Collins

Leaders at all levels are now accountable for leading virtual teams and ensuring continued productivity and engagement in this unique and unprecedented time. Karen Collins shares some of the strategies and initiatives that BMO has developed and rolled out which support leaders when managing virtual teams.

“At BMO, we’re asking our leaders to focus on thriving in the new normal, as they lead their teams and colleagues and serve our customers and communities with Purpose.”

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Part 4: Building a Flexible Workforce with Sun Life Financial's Emily Schur

Employers across Canada have begun planning for the next stage of work. Leaders are looking to use the innovations and learnings from the COVID-19 experience to power workplace change. Emily Schur outlines Sun Life’s thinking about the next normal and their approach to building a flexible workforce.

“The external factors combine to challenge us to think in a radical way about how we want to operate. The pandemic hasn’t changed our talent strategy, but rather has accelerated it…”

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Part 5: Trusting People with Aviva Canada's Danny Davies

While COVID-19 has presented the financial services community with a number of challenges to overcome, there have also been some unexpected positive aspects of working through a pandemic. Danny Davies shares his perspective on how trusting people has led to increased employee empowerment and leadership accountability, and accelerated aspects of Aviva’s culture.

“At Aviva, the tone we set is to trust our people and acknowledge their new everyday reality. Trust empowers people to do their best work, in a way that suits them. We’ve busted the myth that people working from home don’t work hard.”

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Part 6: The Future of Work with Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan's Matthew Smith

In our final interview, we look to the future and consider how working through the pandemic has changed our perceptions of work, our workplace practices and our understanding of the possible. Matthew Smith leads a discussion on reimagining the future of work, and how organizations can use workplace trends accelerated by COVID-19, as enablers to create a more flexible and impactful work experience.

“We're thinking about the trade-off between increased flexibility and increased accountability…we are re-imagining the time, place and methods of work, and are looking for new approaches and recipes to maximize both impact and effectiveness.”

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