Martin Bernier honoured as a leader in promoting employee well-being

Posted on Thursday, December 17, 2020

“It’s definitely one of the highest honours you could receive in 2020,” said Martin Bernier, Chief Information Officer. “This award is a reflection of my team. It’s not just my ideas or my leadership, employees are taking the lead and are highly engaged and innovative in all our initiatives.”

coupe des champions meeting

Earlier this month, Chief Information Officer Martin Bernier was awarded the “Coupe des champions” at a meeting of the Administration Committee Directors. The award was in recognition of Martin’s efforts and leadership on employee wellness. Gaby St-Pierre, Director of Co-Op and Careers announced the award and shared quotes from Information Technology staff (below) highlighting Martin’s leadership.

He was nominated by his staff, who all agree he leads and empowers the team to prioritize well-being and innovation throughout the year. The nomination was organized by Sandra Huertas, Database administrator, after attending a monthly meeting of the University’s Healthy and active campus team where she heard about the importance of management supporting wellness initiatives. She started sharing stories about how Martin has been active in supporting employee-led initiatives that support transparency, collaboration and well-being. He is a big proponent of ‘by employees, for employees.’ Since joining the University, Martin has inspired staff to get involved in initiatives that impact their day-to-day, like creating their own guidelines for mobile working, designing their collaborative workspace, steps challenges, special interest coffee breaks, and appointing champions for new initiatives, to name a few. Sandra approached Information Technology colleagues to share their reflections on how Martin encouraged their involvement.

“I truly believe that happy employees perform better and when you provide opportunities to get involved, staff will rise to the occasion. It’s really impressive to see how their leadership is affecting a change,” Martin explained as he accepted his award. “My team, my colleagues and so many of you have supported so many of my ideas since my arrival at the University. Thank you all.”  

Martin highlighted that mental and physical health and well-being are so important, particularly since we’ve entered the pandemic and continue working remotely. He is already encouraging staff to share their ideas for 2021 and take the lead in collaborating and engaging within Information Technology and the University community.

Congratulations Martin Bernier!

Martin bernier photo collage

Highlights of Martin’s leadership

“He believes we should build it together. He inspires us to become part of the story and contribute to a better workplace. We follow his directions with hesitation, but in the end, we gain confidence. With goodhearted intention, he empowered us to create a healthy work-place environment: adding a treadmill, an exercise bike and a ping-pong table. He motivates employees to live a healthy lifestyle. He goes the extra mile to make sure our IT home is full of passion and joy. Thank you, M. Bernier, for bringing our home to the workplace.” - Khalil Chamoun, IT Manager

“He strives to give us the very best, all the time. Our well-being is one of his top priorities. He supports our initiatives and encourages us to go further, while being at our best: happy, healthy, enjoying everything around us, and having fun.  With the creation of our open collaborative space, he wanted to give us a world-class work environment that has it all. Martin creates opportunities and participate with us in table tennis games, fitness challenges, coffee breaks and monthly birthday celebrations. He leads by example.” – Sandra Huertas, Database Administrator

“A request to become my mentor turned into me working with him to improve the student experience: bringing students closer together during the pandemic, making the onboarding experience better, sharing about technology challenges, learning and trying new things like student surveys, and having fun along the way. You can tell he loves people, and he believes that connecting with others helps make us more resilient during the pandemic.”  - Amélie Leroux, CIO Student Engagement Coordinator  

“Last spring, when we had an activity to encourage daily waliking, I challenged my colleagues to beat my personal best of 48,000 steps in a single day. Without hesitation, Martin accepted. I could never have that he was so competitive that he would far exceed my record and take 53,000 steps in a single day! That’s more than 10 hours of non-stop walking! He even surpassed my entire weekend total with almost 70,000 steps. Martin’s highly competitive yet friendly spirit encourages us all to outdo our best self. All that said, I have every intention of beating his record one day.” – Paul Mercier, IT Manager

“My first interaction with Martin was during a virtual coffee break with new Information Technology employees.  My first impression was that he genuinely cares for the health and well-being of the staff. He is always encouraging us to take 10 minutes to “get away” and being mindful of our mental health while working from home.  He encourages all staff to take the initiative to organize virtual coffee breaks and trying to connect with others as much as possible.  His eagerness to ensure the well-being and human connections between the staff led me to take on the task of organizing IT’s first virtual recipe exchange and virtual food bank donation drive.” - Taha Zarrug, Network Analyst 

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