On 23 March 2020, the UK went into lockdown and within days the British Isles followed. Almost overnight the Canaccord Genuity Wealth Management workforce was displaced, and remote working became necessary. The need for employee engagement, motivation and maintaining positive mental and physical health had never been greater.

At Canaccord Genuity, our business goal was to do all we could to have a ‘great crisis’. This would have a longer-term positive impact on employee retention and our aim to be an employer of choice. Taking genuine social responsibility for our employees’ wellbeing was key.

Evolving our #cando strategy

Back in 2017, we launched our #cando CSR strategy to promote the benefits of an active lifestyle on health, wellbeing and business performance. The definition of ‘can do’ in the Oxford English Dictionary is ‘having or showing a determination or willingness to take action and achieve results.’ This message felt even more relevant and embodied the mental attitude and spirit of the firm in lockdown.

We wanted to help our people take back control of their wellbeing and their environments, even as COVID-19 left many of us feeling powerless.

Using #cando as a base we created a ten-week internal engagement campaign – #wecandothis. Through our relationship with TeamedUp we had unexpected access to Olympic athletes whose Tokyo plans were on hold. #wecandothis enabled us to continue supporting them whilst benefitting hugely from their skills and insights.

Speed of delivery was paramount. Just two weeks after remote working began, we released the first video and motivational e-shot. Planned in advance, these were created on a weekly basis to ensure they held the most relevance to the stage of lockdown. The theme for each was carefully chosen based on our people’s experiences and concerns that had been raised within a HR survey.

The #wecandothis campaign

Working with TeamedUp, we created a series of videos and factsheets and provided useful tips and resources within a set of Monday Motivation e-shots. Five inspiring Olympic athletes recorded active content for weeks 1, 3, 5, 7 and 9. For weeks 2, 4, 6, 8 and 10 the focus was on wellbeing, with Olympian Lizzie Simmonds covering motivation, goal setting, managing stress, teamwork, and resilience. With the release of each video, we encouraged managers to use the content to ‘check in’ with their team.

We wanted to make sure that the valuable content we were releasing would continue to be of use and readily accessible in the future. All of the content is now housed on a dedicated microsite to ensure access is still available as we transition out of lockdown and steadily return to the offices. We are proud to have also released this to members of our local communities through the website and social media.

However, watching, listening and reading is one thing. Actually doing, is another.

Stay active

To encourage everyone to keep moving, even while staying at home, we launched a ‘Time It!’ challenge. Each month, those taking part would log their active minutes to see if, collectively, we could get to the moon and back during lockdown.

We didn’t just make it to the moon and back. We completed the trip over five times! Logging an impressive 48,900 minutes all together.

The #wecandothis impact

The impact of this campaign far exceeded our expectations and we’re now embedding the lessons we’ve learnt through the amazing content into our HR and training strategies. Through this internal engagement campaign, we played a critical role in shaping the type of crisis our organisation would experience. We turned it into a ‘great crisis’.

#wecandothis became our firm’s rallying call during lockdown. It connected all of our people across our jurisdictions and offices, new and old.

Remember together, #wecandothis.

Quotes from Canaccord Genuity staff

‘The #wecandothis campaign demonstrated CGWM’s commitment to supporting the physical and mental wellbeing of our colleagues and reaffirmed our ambition to continue to be the employer of choice in our communities. Rather than being full of ‘corporate-speak’ and platitudes, it has offered real-world advice that’s been welcomed by our people, and a wider audience of clients and introducers, helping to keep their motivation and spirits high in previously unimaginable circumstances.’ Andy Finch, CEO, International

‘The Teamwork video was a really good piece, especially from a mental health perspective. I have shared this on LinkedIn as I think it will benefit a lot of people.’ Wayne English, Investment Director, Jersey

‘This campaign showed that CGWM has humanity and cares beyond profits and business, that our physical and mental health are just as important to have a healthy investment portfolio for our clients.’ Nick Teo, Business Development Director, Singapore

If you would like to visit the #wecandothis hub and access the resources available, visit: https://www.canaccordgenuity.com/wealth-management-uk/we-can-do-this/

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