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John Bowering started at Manitoba Public Insurance (MPI) 20 years ago as a clerk. He has had 15 positions since then in areas including claims, driver testing, project management and customer relations.
“I’ve really enjoyed the ability to move around and try new things and constantly challenge myself in different areas,” says Bowering, now director, product management, digital and transformation. “It has been a really rewarding place to work – I’ve been given countless opportunities.”
Bowering appreciates all the support the company provides toward employee learning and career development. Over his career, Bowering has been given the opportunity to participate in numerous in-house training programs and has received support for career development courses. But most relevant to his ability to successfully lead in his current role is the support he received from MPI’s Educational Assistance Program to achieve his chartered insurance professional (CIP) designation.
Bowering is now involved in working on MPI’s 5-Year Ambition, a detailed strategy to become more customer centric, data driven and employee empowered. A significant part of this plan is the largest transformation in the organization’s history, Project Nova, to update all of its legacy software systems, improve customer experience and deliver more convenience and choice. The strategy’s goals also include helping employees increase efficiency and enabling customers to interact with MPI using the channel of their choice.
“It’s exciting to be involved as we design the future of the whole company,” Bowering says. “We get to have an impact and be involved in problem-solving. And my team gets to work with every area of the organization to create these changes.”
Eric Herbelin, president and CEO, says the employee experience is a vital part of the plan’s goals. This includes providing a flexible work program, which allows most teams to choose where they work from, remotely or in the office, based on their own needs.
“It’s providing the empowerment, trust and investment in people for them to make decisions,” Herbelin says. “It is also creating the opportunity for employees to identify the areas of the business that can be changed and improved and giving them the tools and training to do that.”
The five-year transformation process includes consulting with front-line staff throughout the organization to understand their main points and to make each employee part of the solution to improve processes.
“The only way to understand what we need to do is to work with our people and learn what their needs are,” Herbelin says. “This also includes providing them with modernized technology that serves customers and partners and makes it easier for employees to do their work. We are creating a culture of continuous improvement and empowerment and fostering an environment that is progressive and rewarding.”
Bowering says MPI’s transformation will benefit customers and employees in a circular way. “We want to improve customer processes and then happy customers are going to lead to happier employees,” he says. “We are also looking at the workflows for employees and making sure that they’re more efficient and that we’re removing steps that don’t add value to their experience. This also allows them to serve our customers better.
“We have a lot of people working hard to make MPI an even better place to work and keeping it relevant and moving forward to better meet the needs of our employees and Manitobans.”
This article is produced by the Advertising Department of the Winnipeg Free Press, in collaboration with Manitoba Public Insurance