2015 CAE Recipient Profile - Sun Life Financial


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We have a lot to be proud of at Sun Life Financial. As an international organization, with a trusted brand and robust reputation, we are a leader in protection and wealth management with a mission to help customers achieve lifetime financial security. This year we’re celebrating a special milestone - our 150th birthday.

Our history, dating back to 1865, and long-standing commitment to our customers has made us a leading player in the Canadian financial services market, with relationships with millions of Canadians. We have financial centres across the country, and our advisors form an exclusive distribution network in Canada for life, health and wealth insurance products and solutions.

Our experience and strength enables us to provide trusted products and services that put our customers and their needs first, helping them build their savings and protect themselves and their families. We also help small and large businesses and associations protect their employees through our benefit plans and retirement solutions.

We are also committed to operating in a socially responsible way for our customers, employees and shareholders and acting as a good corporate citizen everywhere we live, work and do business.
Every day we work together to make a difference in the lives of our customers and communities, as well as strive to help our employees feel their best.  We are committed to continuing to build strong workplace policies and practices that support excellence, innovation, wellness and healthy, productive and engaged employees.Our leadership and commitment comes from having a strategic focus on key business priorities. We recognize the value of each customer who decides to partner with us, value excellence and innovation in our organization, and focus our efforts on continuing to nurture and engage our employees.

  • We hold numerous # 1 rankings for Canadian insurance and wealth product sales and we continue to build on our leadership position in the Defined Contribution market.
  • We are the # 1 group insurance provider in Canada by market share, providing products to employers and associations across Canada.
  • Our advisors form a leading financial career sales force in Canada.
  • Sun Life Global Investments (Canada) Inc. brings our global asset management platform to Canadians with top performing funds.

Our employees are committed to our customers and to providing service excellence – which means that no matter which part of the organization a customer calls upon, they will receive focused and individualized service to assist them with their inquiries. We strive to better understand what our customers are looking for, in addition to what they like and don’t like, so that we can provide products and services that meet their expectations and needs.

Our commitment to service excellence goes beyond words, as shown by programs like the  Group Benefits Bright Promise Service Guarantee. Bright Promise is a commitment to our clients that we will always strive to meet their service expectations, and if we should happen to fall short, we will give them financial compensation. We also meet with our clients to understand how we can improve our services to meet their expectations in the future.

We are committed to being an organization that delivers innovative products and services to our clients such as being the first in the industry to provide a mobile application to submit benefit claims, or helping customers save for the future and understand their savings plans better through our gamification service called money UP.   Our industry -leading tools and strategies are focused on protecting group benefit plans from risk of fraud and innovation is infused in our culture.

Our commitment to innovation extends to how we do business with our clients. We provide clients with paperless options, like Group Benefits e-claims, which enables faster processing and of payments into our customers’ bank accounts. By doing this, we’re making it faster and easier to do business with us. We’re also expanding our Total Benefits options by providing our clients with easier ways of having both their retirement savings and their group benefits with us. This joint experience provides a smooth transition for our clients as Sun Life provides industry-leading Customer Information File and enterprise-wide authentication capabilities that help facilitate a fully integrated multi-channel plan member experience. Just one Access ID and Password allows plan members to access both their benefit and retirement plans online or by telephone.

Employee engagement is a key priority for our business because we know when our people care about the work that they do, it will be reflected in every area that we do business. To measure our employee satisfaction, Sun Life employees take part in a Global Engagement Survey every two years. The results from these surveys are analyzed and then leadership creates tangible action items that are communicated to teams and rolled-out. This strategy could help explain why Sun Life exceeds the industry norm for financial services organizations in terms of overall engagement index score.

Lastly, we are an organization that believes in the rewards of employee health. We’re making it easier for our clients to invest in their health and well-being in the workplace. We believe that this is just another step towards achieving lifetime financial security. We are the leading provider of wellness programs in our industry and we are committed to building on this legacy and making a significant difference in the workplaces of our plan sponsors. Our HealthyRETURNS program makes a difference not only to the people who take part but to the organization’s bottom line.

Beyond these areas of focus, Sun Life Financial Canada is committed to our four pillar strategy to enhance our business outcomes. These include:

  1. Capture the Canadian retirement market opportunity
  2. Pull ahead of the pack in the group markets
  3. Accelerate growth in our Client Solutions business
  4. Achieve industry leading productivity

These four pillars will underlie our business strategy for the next several years as we continue to accelerate the growth of our business and build an even stronger Sun Life.

Over the past few years Sun Life has strategically focused on developing innovative programs to foster lifetime client relationships. One highlight of our client journey program includes developing a Welcome Experience, whereby clients are informed of all the pension and benefit opportunities available to them upon joining Sun Life.

We adjusted the way that we communicate with customers and employees using plain language to explain our products in a conversational way. The change to plain language makes our brochures and advertisements easier to read and, understand, allowing customers to make informed decisions on their financial and insurance needs.

We’ve innovated the way that our customers connect with us. Updates to our accessibility include: a single sign-in for phone and web menus, contact harmonization, fewer phone numbers, and easier phone and web menus.

Our wellness portal is a simplified website with easy to choose options with user-friendly instructions and recording options. Apart from being easier to use, we’ve also updated pages to be more pleasing to the eye with a clean brand visibility.

Our culture has evolved into one that supports and encourages collaboration.  New employees recognize this and remark on how this differentiates Sun Life from other financial services firms.  Our culture supports partnership across our businesses enabling us to deliver unique solutions and provide customers with the products and services they need, delivered in the way they need them.  It also permeates our external relationships, as we engage our partners in helping us deliver on our strategy; our partners truly are an extension of our team.

In 2013, Sun Life launched the Brighter Way, a Lean Six-Sigma initiative designed to actively build the capability of our employees as problem solvers and our leaders as coaches.  It also instills a customer-focused, continuous improvement mindset across all levels of employees.  This management system is different from any other approach we’ve undertaken in the past. It’s enterprise-wide, focused on improving the customer experience and designed to improve productivity and lift employee engagement. The Brighter Way helps us create an environment where we each have the information, tools and support to make a difference – supporting our vision of becoming an international leader in protection and wealth management.

At Sun Life, we’ve taken a long hard look at our business, our competitors, our employees and especially our clients’ needs. We understand that insurance and financial stability are important to our clients, but we also understand that we always find ways of improving our performance.  We want to partner with each person that decides to join Sun Life and we want to make sure that their experience is positive and that they have the information that they need to make the best choices for their lives.

Our goal is to be the leader in financial protection and wealth solutions in the Canadian market. We are up against excellent competitors, but we believe that if we continue to focus on our customer, build a high performance culture and create discipline around our expenses and productivity, we are heading in the right direction.