TD Bank Group credits its culture of care for the recent enhancements to its benefits plan.

“We place a great amount of emphasis and focus on this, which is a key element of our [employee] promise,” said Susy Michor, the bank’s vice-president of human resources, global retirement benefits and well-being, during Benefits Canada’s 2023 Benefits & Pension Summit in June.

A component of this culture of care is the organization’s well-being strategy, she said, noting this continues to be a top priority — to ensure the organization is listening to its employees and supporting their diverse needs. The well-being strategy includes four key areas: physical, financial, social and mental and emotional.

Read: TD Bank Group awarded for innovative benefits plan communications

Recently, TD Bank enhanced its family planning benefits after feedback, data and demographics demonstrated that growing a family looks different for everyone, said Michor. The enhancements included coverage for fertility and reproductive treatments and surrogacy, as well as donor and adoption costs. The bank also made child and elder-care expenses eligible under its wellness account.

To support employees’ mental and emotional needs, the organization increased its mental-health benefits coverage to $5,000 per member — including dependants — and eliminated the benefit’s deductible. “The reason behind these changes was about ensuring our colleagues not only have access but financial support when they need it.”

The benefits plan changes are a result of the bank leading with a diverse and inclusive lens. Diversity, equity and inclusion are a core part of the organization’s values and are very important when thinking about everything it does for its employees, customers and communities, said Michor. For instance, TD Bank was one of the first organizations in Canada to offer holistic support for plan members in the LGBTQ2+ community — a benefit that includes benefits coverage for gender affirmation surgery.

To ensure the bank creates a meaningful impact, it continuously listens and learns from plan members, she noted. “We look to create a safe space for our colleagues to be open and frank and brainstorm about what really matters to them.”

Read: TD Bank Group awarded for inclusive benefits program

Another way the organization protects and promotes employees’ well-being is through extensive programs aimed at strengthening their well-being knowledge. These initiatives include a well-being ambassador program, which allows groups of volunteers across the bank to connect their colleagues with tips, tools and resources to support their well-being throughout the year. The bank also offers an employee assistance program and a mobile app that allows workers to access personal well-being content, discount programs and lifestyle change information.

“We also offer a wide range of competitive and flexible time-away-from-work program policies, which are in support of our employees’ personal and family needs,” said Michor. “These types of policies include time off for people to focus on their own well-being, volunteering initiatives and celebrating religious or cultural holidays that aren’t otherwise recognized through statutory holidays.”

There’s a lot of uncertainty in today’s world, especially around finances, she said, noting this is a challenge for many people, affecting their financial, physical, mental and emotional well-being, too. In fact, she added, data has shown finances are a major source of stress for the bank’s employees.

“With that in mind, our focus has been on making sure they have financial knowledge and proper access to resources, so they can better manage their financial situation, their commitments, their goals — we want to protect them against risk and help them with their financial confidence and reduce their stress levels.”

Read more coverage of the 2023 Benefits & Pension Summit.