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"I wanted to bring talent management to the next level for the past three, almost four, years. [I would like] my talent managers to improve each year."
Sophie Lachance, Chief Officer for the employee experience
Talent Manager Festival
Talent managers at Normandin Beaudry (NB), a consulting firm and visionary leader in total rewards and actuarial consulting, participated in one of the rare festivals held in Montreal this past summer.
Sophie Lachance, Chief Officer for the employee experience at NB, collaborated with CANU’s Christian Maranda and Maxime Boilard to create a virtual festival over five weeks. It was a great success!
“Someone told me ‘I want to buy my ticket for next year’s festival, it was a lot of fun!’ Everyone was on board with the experience. They loved the idea of a festival. The content was adapted and we saw, with each passing week, the discussions progressing and becoming richer. It was one of the highlights of the pandemic [at Normandin Beaudry],” Sophie shared.
Repositionner le leader qui redevient président;
Redonner un sens à l’entreprise;
Rassurer les équipiers et transmettre un message de constance et de stabilité;
Présenter la vision du leader et permettre aux équipiers de se positionner par rapport à celle-ci;
Prendre le pouls de l’équipe;
Réunir les conditions de succès pour s’engager dans la vision.
A collaboration through time
A pandemic adaptation
CANU is proud to be NB’s trusted partner for the past five years. Our business partnership dates back to January 2016, when CANU acted as an external facilitator at NB’s annual shareholders retreat.
Sophie, along with CANU's help, established an annual day dedicated to catering her talent managers' needs.
“I wanted to bring talent management to the next level for the past three, almost four, years. [I would like] my talent managers to improve each year,” she said.
But this year, the COVID-19 pandemic forced her to reconceptualize this day.
Sophie, with the help of CANU, came up with the idea of creating a virtual festival for NB’s talent managers while most festivals in Montreal were cancelled or postponed.
A virtual event inspired by local festivals
Inspired by the Montreal International Jazz Festival’s site map, NB’s talent managers received a VIP passport, just like they would at a real festival, and a festival bag that included a guide for the day and a notebook (Google Docs).
“We tried to engage the body, heart and head by creating imagery to foster a feeling, something that goes beyond what we usually experience over telecommunications,” explained Christian of CANU. “Sometimes, we take a lot of time developing the content and less time working on the medium, but I think the medium creates an atmosphere, an ambiance that empowers the content.”
Furthermore, the festival’s duration needed to be determined.
For Sophie, it was important to take her talent managers day-to-day realities into consideration, as many were juggling work and domestic responsibilities while working from home.
“Our consulting firm is in high-demand so we couldn’t have an event that took up two straight hours for three consecutive days. Our employees are young and many have children to take care of at home. I had all these factors at the back of my mind. [We] were looking to achieve balance,” she explained.
With these challenges in mind, it became clear that organizing an activity over five weeks was the best solution to manage these issues and respect NB’s organizational rhythm while building momentum throughout the activity.
"We figured it was best to split the event into smaller chunks which aren’t seen as an extra task but rather as a time in the week where talent managers can press pause and talk about things other than operations, like themselves and how they cherish and manage talent within their organisation."
- Christian Maranda
What would be the quality and depth of the conversations ?
Will the quality of conversations over "Teams" suffer with 60 talent managers? Will they lose the momentum created by these discussions? With pride and some degree of surprise, we witnessed the opposite.
“Having a week between each chunk, each meeting, wasn’t a disadvantage. We didn’t lose any momentum. It was quite the opposite. At each new meeting, we felt like time allowed us to reflect further on the work we had given each other and on the conversations that we had,” Christian said.
the importance of creating an open and safe environment.
To create a sense of familiarity, the talent managers would meet virtually at the information booth, like they would have at the Montreal Jazz Festival. “We added information and first aid kiosks to get a laugh out of people,” Maxime added.
In order to have quality conversations, talent managers were divided into groups of four or five and were given a specific topic of conversation to be discussed under a predetermined amount of time. The map displayed stages from the real Jazz Festival where talent managers could find a hyperlink leading to a Microsoft Teams virtual room.
With each passing week, these discussions led to richer conversations and exchanges on specific themes. Christian mentioned the participants were drawn to the overall presentation and experience which also gave them confidence in the process. “That’s also part of Normandin Beaudry’s culture. We feel like their employees have a very strong group culture. It’s part of their assets and competitive edge,” he added.
The results of our collaboration
Key takeaways from this festival
This event turned into a valuable learning experience for CANU employees who believe they have found an additional tool they could use in other contexts. “I think we have only started to scratch the surface on what we can achieve with telecommunications,” Christian noted.
While Normandin Beaudry’s managers and employees have partially returned to the office, Sophie said she will keep certain aspects of the virtual festival in mind for future events.
“Creating a festival for my talent managers that lasted several weeks provided a richer experience than spending one day with different kinds of content on several topics. The conversations led to many realizations that allowed us to see how our far talent managers have come in our company. Working from home doesn’t make us less passionate or up for a challenge
We will continue to use this modus operandi in different ways for our next events,” Sophie said.