2016 CAE Recipient Profile - Manulife Canada

Manulife Canada


Manulife Financial Corporation is a leading global financial services company providing strong, reliable, trustworthy and forward-thinking solutions to help people with their financial decisions.  We provide financial advice, insurance, wealth and asset management solutions for individuals, groups and institutions.  Our principal operations are based in Canada, the United States (operating as John Hancock) and Asia.  We have served customers for more than 125 years.

Manulife’s values guide everything we do - from strategic planning to day-to-day decision-making, to the manner in which we treat our employees, customers and other stakeholders. These values are described by the acronym PRIDE:

  • Professionalism
  • Real Value to Our Customers
  • Integrity
  • Demonstrated Financial Strength
  • Employer of Choice

Over the years, Manulife has taken an active role in the wellbeing of our employees.  We recognize the strong relationship between personal financial wellness, physical and emotional health and productivity. Our commitment to the needs of our people has helped us evolve into a world-class Fortune Global 500 industry leader. This stability brings peace of mind to customers as well as every member of our organization.  We aim to create an environment that enables our employees to develop and provide solutions to customers that address their financial needs, both now and as they plan for the future. In turn, we provide our employees with what they need to be successful in their current role as well as developing the skills and capabilities to build a career with us. Employees are the lifeblood of our organization, and we make wellness a top priority within our organization.

Specifically for Manulife’s Canadian Division, our organization has over 12,000 employees that work out of various Manulife regional offices located across Canada. Over the past three years, Manulife has completed several major restructures with the most recent including the acquisition of Standard Life Canadian Operations including its Canadian asset management business, Standard Life Investments Inc. This acquisition broadened the range of asset management products and solutions available to our clients in Canada and around the world. It also deepens Manulife’s presence in Quebec and further expands our investment capabilities globally. As of May 28, 2015, our rebranding efforts were completed and we also have made a number of other changes, including the integration of our Canadian personnel and teams.


Manulife’s strategy for all businesses focuses on Customer Centricity. Over the past few years, we have developed four overarching themes which provide the necessary foundation to showcase our commitment to an exceptional employee experience at Manulife. These are briefly outlined below:

People First (our Employees)

As lines between work and personal life continue to blur, it is vitally important that we optimize the employee workplace experiences- providing an environment in which every member of our team feels valued, supported, healthy and comfortable. Exceptional customer experiences are the direct result of our thriving employee experience.

In 2015, Manulife introduced three key behaviours for our employees including:

  • We Work as One
  • We Question and Innovate
  • We Own Our Future

We have a clear, shared understanding of the objectives, processes and risks.  We willingly seek advice in order to ensure we are making informed and balanced decisions.  We make decisions and move forward with determination and speed; once we’re confident our decisions meet or exceed expectations and are mindful of constraints. We also ensure the lessons from our experience are shared across the organization.  It is these actions today that are the foundation for our future.

Corporate Social Responsibility (Our Community)

For close to ten years, Manulife has been considered a well-recognized leader in supporting communities. Our organization is committed to making a difference in the places we live and work through a range of community, workplace and environmental programs. We have a reputation for building and maintaining strong partnerships with non-profit organizations in our communities, as well as supporting employees in causes that are important to them.

Manulife has a long history of investing in our communities through a number of programs and giving back through volunteerism. Canadian volunteers logged 28,938 hours in 2015 and our programs contributed a total of 7.6 million for non-profit organizations


Over the past few years, our wellness journey has expanded to include enhancing and promoting sustainable wellness in the workplace that is not just focused on physical wellbeing but also on mental health. Manulife had offered many wellness initiatives related to health including on-site Wellness Consultants in its major locations to support wellness. Recently, Manulife introduced ‘WorkSmart’ which provides greater flexibility for employees to work from home and/or in the office. Online social media communities such as Wellness Matters and Mental Health Matters have been instrumental in increasing awareness and providing a vehicle for employee queries and feedback regarding Manulife’s wellness program. In addition, in 2014, Manulife began participating in the Mental Health Commission of Canada’s (MHCC) three year Case Study Research program along with 40 other Canadian organizations to adopt the National Standard on Psychological Health and Safety in the Workplace. . This program, the first of its kind in the word, is a voluntary set of guidelines, tools and resources focused on promoting employees’ psychological health and preventing psychological harm.

The acquisition of Standard Life provided further support on our journey toward a Healthy Workplace and Mental Health @ Work programs. Their Quebec Operations had achieved the Healthy Enterprise – Elite certification in early 2015 and this certification has been achieved again in 2016. This, along with the work that Manulife was already doing allowed for greater opportunity and synergy related to focusing on employee overall wellbeing (both physical and psychologically).

How did we get here?

This year marked a number of progressive strides in our strategy to ensure that we remain relevant and agile in a rapidly changing word. We have capitalized on growth opportunities in each of our businesses, for our company and for our employees. Core earnings have risen, new acquisitions and distribution partnerships have been made, and we have raised our dividend after year end, marking the third increase in less than two years. The progress we have made in maintaining strength and long-term strategic positioning has provided a new level of confidence felt by employees at all levels of our organization.

We are working hard to create a workplace beyond expectations. By reaching further, engaging employees in dialogue and doing more for our people, we are creating a differentiated workplace and we continue to evolve and improve together. We do not just strive to be the best place to work in the financial sector. We are working to build one of the best places to work, full stop. Our employees do not simply view us as providing them with a "job". We are a social network, a knowledge resource, a catalyst for development and innovation, a community, an outreach program, and space built for helping our people reach their personal and financial goals. 

The remainder of this submission will present what we have done to address the Excellence Canada requirements with supporting evidence.