Systemic deficiecies in financial system resolved?
There's nothing I can say against the best intentions of the people I worked with at Freedom 55, or the company or the industry as a whole. That being said, my moral, ethical, and epistemological framework was simply incompatible with the position in which I found myself as a Financial Adviser.
Certainly there was ample opportunity for me to be successful and earn a lot of money, the truth of which I was rightly, repeatedly reminded The problem was I wasn't a person motivated by earning gobs of money. I entered the industry to help people, in particular good, hardworking, middle-class Canadians. I saw this as a noble effort in and of itself, helping to work to ensure the prominence of the middle class and thereby the efficacy of liberal democracy, liberty, freedom, and the values for which Canadians hold dear to their hearts. I thought working towards such would provide for a sense of fulfillment in my life as a whole, as I would be acting to improve people's lives and help society as a whole.
I saw there was pressing need for someone like me in the industry, especially in light of the financial crisis of 2008 and how the prominence of the middle class all over the world was under attack. The systemic deficiencies that caused the crisis I thought were being resolved as I entered the industry; that the financial sector was changing, and that there might be great opportunity, then, for someone like me. I was looking forward to affecting positive change according to ethics, in
Prosgreat learning experience
Constoo many (albeit self-inflicted) ethical conundrums
Read this before even thinking of applying to this job.
First off - this is a one year temporary contract with no guarantee of getting hired on. I can almost guarantee that probably at least 80% of the candidates who get hired end up being let go. No matter how hard you work, you always feel like it's never enough. There's always a TA or supervisor looking over your shoulder or being on your case about meeting goals. Even if you are .5% off your goal, they will still drill you about it. Not only is this job mentally draining, but the quality and productivity goals you are expected to meet are ridiculous and unrealistic. The only way you can possibly meet the goals is if you put in extra time without getting paid for it. At $14.69/hr, I certainly wasn't going to put in extra time for nothing when I knew my efforts were still going to remain unnoticed. It's bad enough that $105/mth went to parking alone - and even worse, in a lot 10-15 minutes away from my building. I had to walk to and from work 10-15 minutes every single day... I don't even want to know what Winters are like there. It's funny how much they expect from their employees and how badly they treat you once you're not meeting their expectations.
This department is a joke and has a high employee turnover rate. I didn't learn about this fact until a couple of months into the role. I didn't even last 6 months into the role. They don't even give you a warning when they plan on letting you go. One day, you're taken
ProsSomehow being able to make it through the day without wanting to shoot myself
A typical day at work involved being isolated at a computer, in a cubicle, doing highly repetitive work. As a Claims Processor you are given sufficient training, however the practice time is not enough before you hit the floor. The computer systems are out of date, therefore searching for information is tedious which increases the chance of mistakes.
I found the management condescending and witnessed a lot of passive aggressive talking down to employees who were not deemed "super stars". There is a quota to meet and quality expectations which reflect on your team, so they are constantly having meetings about your performance. This would be acceptable except for the weekly meeting in which they hand you a quality certificate ceremoniously in front of your other teammates, much in the same way a mother would give her favorite child a treat. I'm sure it's suppose to be positive but it feels demeaning and embarrassing.
If you are okay with repetitive, uninspiring work and like to work alone than this job is okay. The job itself is much like working in a factory but with the front of a professional environment. The pay is average, but with all the deductions they rope you into, including their pricey insurance, which you can only opt out of during the month of May (unfortunate if you start after that), you end up making significantly less than your wage (approx $2/hr). Also you are not paid for your 1/2 hr of lunch and are expected to come in and make up time missed from Dr.'s app
Prosclean and professional environment.
Conspatronizing management, low pay, factory like conditions, uninspiring work, company is stingy/tight pocketed.
Good place to start - but don't misplace your loyalty to this company
This is certainly a great place to start your career - a reasonably professional office atmosphere with good branding behind it.
You can also grow your career here too - there is some room for advancement if you are ambitious and very driven.
The work life balance is ok - at least on par with other reputable companies - but it's not as extraordinary as the company would want you to think. All the same, no big problems for normal situations.
The work volume can become overwhelming, and does burn people out fairly quickly - particularly in lower level positions. This is exacerbated by high turnover.
Office culture is very chilly - and about as cliquish an environment as I have seen in a workplace. It can and does have an impersonal feel. While the business is based on relationships, its model is very structured and contrived. The result is that (almost) everyone interacts on a very superficial and less than genuine level. This is a problem in that it prevents the creation of fully functional teams, and to help individuals who may be experiencing a difficult time to get back to full performance.
The pay is fairly low in comparison to other employers for similar work.
The company can be aggravatingly slavish to procedures and internal protocols. If you like everything structured and rules-based then this is the place for you. If you have an entrepreneurial or creative spirit about you - or if you want things to simply be efficient and reasonably sensi
People who are promoted are only employees of London Life or Great West Life. Canada Life employees who moved to London from Toronto do not get a fair shake, and infrequently considered for future advancement. GWL itself has still not settled the Pension issue with respect to the takeover of CL -- a significant transaction that would not have made GWL the premier financial service provider had it not been purchased by GWL. We would have been better off being bought by Manulife via hostile takeover. At least there would be no brand and customer segment confusion. The products are all the same with the exception of the brand on the paperwork. The work group setting is very cliquish - so much so that it matters more on who you know instead of what you know, and customer service is not client focussed at all. Customer Service is defined on how much work you can process. The "definition" of a typical day at work is to load you up with business processing, little or no empowerment over how it's handled, and other teammates will "dump" on you what they won't do -- this happens frequently. People will "steel" ideas and call them their own. Participative leadership is defined as getting your buy-in on changes already decided upon by management with the misconception that work members have impact or input to change management. Leaders micro-manage workers so much they cannot make their own decisions on day-to-day variety of customer situations and the structure is so flat that
ProsFree dinner during RRSP season, and paid overtime -- with management approval of course
ConsPrepare for "girl wars" in this predominantly female population
Bullying Environment and Colleagues working in fear from Management
Have been working for the company for over 15 years now. It drastically changed in the wrong direction. Their new name and the business centralization caused many professionals to stay with no work. The called "voluntary" early retirements, the job role closures, the performance reviews on certain not in favour employees have been conducted since 2017 with the purpose to save capital and hire new individuals at lower salaries. The turnover in this company is the highest among the insurance sectors. The labour exploitation is unspeakable and no union to protect the worker. If you complain, you are to be stagmatised and blamed and accused in allegations. Have seen examples of many human humiliations over individuals. They just choose to leave and not fight a lost battle with a company like this where HR covers up the wrongdoing. The benefit plan is the only good factor left but the human health is more important. I was diagnosed with a condition due to the stress and workload that eventually harm you. Will change careers to safe my personal balance and life. I regret because the company is my home for years. I have witnessed abuse on ppl to manage over the normal rate of caseload to the point when one of the colleagues had to go in medical leave. This caseload is now managed by 2 colleagues because it is the way to fix the managers' mistake. But it caused this person's health because managers did never listen or wanted to accept the feedback or care for their worker's health. F
Prosthe benefit plan
Conswork norm, caseload cannot fit work hours, long hours, unhealthy workplace
Business Systems Analyst | London, ON | Feb. 8, 2016
Productive and engaging work place with easy access to anything
My typical work-day consists of participating in the daily Scrum meetings, planning for the requirements meetings in the week or next as soon as there is a need by identifying and inviting the relevant stakeholders with the defined agenda. Interaction with Enterprise Architects, Solution developers on requirements clarification and solution design. Iteration planning and Iteration demo meetings, Effort estimation by T-shirt sizing and planning poker sessions. Documentation of the requirements discussions
Every day, there is so much of learning in terms of designing new experience for the Customers as it calls for innovation in terms of designing system efficient processes, interaction with Business to understand Business, Data Analysis to infer something to provide as a basis for Business decision etc..,
My co-workers are absolutely great. There is so much of fun while working on things together. It gives me a chance to view somebody else’s work-life and see how things are planned and done from various stand points. There is a lot of give and take.
I think the hardest part is building rapport and trust with new stakeholders as I come across them. My interactions paves the way for future communication and system requirements. I think it’s hard and at the same time very enjoyable and a chance to expand my world. I should also agree that the hardest part is resolving issues which are right from both the party’s stand points. Drawing a fine line is very hard.
ProsLot of learning, innovation, fun
Conslots of documentation and research, tap on resources for favors
In the BPO...Benefit Payment Office (handling health & dental claims at max speed/accuracy), the atmosphere is grim and bleak. Mgmt there is cowardly and cliquish, afraid to do anything but the status quo and cover their butts at all times. When mgmt finally DOES decide to change something, it's generally done without consulting frontline staff who are impacted and who actually know what the *detailed* repercussions to the change will be. Mgmt WILL consult staff for trivialities like how we should decorate the department walls for Halloween (basically like how a Grade 4 teacher treats their class of little kids) - and act like inviting your opinion on this is some big favour. Heck, you can't even ask your coworkers job-related 'what process do we follow in THIS situation?' type questions, you have to SAVE the question for a Tuesday or Thursday when the team assistant goes from desk to desk to answer questions!! So you have row after row of silent zombies working frantically on their computers afraid to talk to each other except at breaks. In contrast, in the more corporate areas of Head Office, the atmosphere between you and other staff and mgmt is mostly cordial/relaxed, yet professional, and you FEEL more respected, you can consult with/be consulted by your coworkers...most of the jobs are not so repetitive, you're more likely to be noticed for good ideas and innovations. Basically, the BPO is soul-suckingly dreary whereas the more corporate departments (say under
Customer Service Representative | Toronto, ON | Sep. 17, 2013
Great West Life was a little fish swimming in a big Insurance pond
Great West Life is a great company however was very rigid with the employees ( limited flexibility with work/life consideration) .
I had to sign on at 9:00am promptly I could not deviate by one second. however if the call should exceed 5:00 pm there was no compensation or appreciation for the extra time unless the call exceeded 20 minutes.
The Verbiage was so rigid that I was dinged for saying have a nice day instead of a solid good by at the end of the call.
I was shocked that they adapted to a very cold uncaring manner on a call rather then a friendly caring manner. .
I felt that after working for Sun Life financial I could not stop comparing the two companies and felt that Great West Life was a very little fish swimming in a very big Insurance pond and could not match to the level of professionalism Sun Life Financial offered.
Management was not supportive of the employees never gave us the
benefit of the doubt.
I was accused of hanging up on a caller when that was not the case I searched and found PROOF to the contrary and when the proof was provided I did not receive the apology I was awarded.
They have a week training team and Managers.
My co-workers were friendly and worked with their heads down low to keep out of managements radar.
I didn't like the way the people where treated there.
The best part of the job was the pleasant co-workers( excluding
management) people felt very depreciated in this company.
ProsThe best part of the job was the pleasant co-workers( excluding
Conspeople (I) felt very depreciated in this company.
Le seul point positif de cette compagnie est les avantages sociaux qui viennent avec. Autrement, j'ai trouvé qu'il s'agissait d'un environnement de travail néfaste avec une pensée militaire (assis-toi et tais-toi). L'évolution de carrière y est très difficile. Dans certains cas, des personnes ont eu le loisir d'évoluer, mais se sont faits ramener à leur poste initial de manière «temporaire, mais indéterminé».
Beaucoup de pression est mise sur les employés au niveau du rendement, mais le nombre d'employés est insuffisant. L'accommodation travail/vie personnelle est presque inexistant. Les rares personnes qui ont réussis à recevoir un accommodement ont dû remplir des formulaires et attendre plusieurs mois avant de se accommoder, et ce, pour des raisons médicales.
Un syndicat a même été formé au soin de l'entreprise suite à des comportements rigides provenant de la direction de la dite équipe. Au final, ils ont tous été mis dehors parce qu'ils «nuisaient» à l'image de l'entreprise.
Selon moi, cette entreprise a un double discours. Ils disent à qui veut l'entendre qu'ils traitent bien leurs employés, mais les faits sont autre. Durant le laps de temps pour lequel j'ai travaillé pour cette compagnie, j'ai pu apercevoir un gros roulement au niveau des salariés. Rare sont ceux qui restent longtemps et j'ai rapidement compris pourquoi.
Bref, je ne vous recommande pas de travailler pour cette compagnie.
ConsCourtes pauses, ambiance militaire, manque de personnel, pression constante, aucun accommodement vie personnelle/travail
Questions and answers about Canada Life Assurance Company
What is the work environment and culture like at Canada Life Assurance Company?
Asked Oct. 1, 2017
I think it really depends on what office you're in. It looks like some people have a terrible experience. I have had a good experience. Overall I think they are a great company to work for with a good culture, but sometimes you end up with leaders that just aren't up to par (like with any company) and then end up having a bad experience.
Answered May 6, 2020
The culture was challenging as the company was very unstable during my time of employment. Many people were let go as a result of restructuring which made for a depressing and often stressful environment. Many long term employees expressed frustration with the company and their practices.
Answered Aug. 15, 2019
What are the working hours at Canada Life Assurance Company?
Asked Aug. 9, 2017
You are able to choose your shift as a Claims Processor
Answered Jul. 11, 2019
Full time hours with a relatively flexible working day.
Answered Apr. 12, 2019
How long does it take to get hired from start to finish at Canada Life Assurance Company? What are the steps along the way?
Asked May 8, 2017
Probably about 2 weeks
Answered Jul. 21, 2019
2-3 interviews...30 days perhaps...must acquire licensing first. That can take 2-3 months
Answered Jul. 6, 2019
What is the dress code at Canada Life Assurance Company?
Asked Oct. 10, 2018
Answered Oct. 24, 2019
Casual and formal
Answered Sep. 6, 2019
Why would you want to work at Freedom 55 London Life?
Asked Jun. 28, 2017
Benefits....I worked in a very negative environment.
Answered Mar. 23, 2019
Provided me with great training and helped me get my life insurance license and Mutual fund license