Luc Maurice in a few questions (part 2) !
As promised, here is a second interview with our dear founding president; the first interview having left us all thirsting for more. This time, let’s explore his vision for the future of the company. It will allow us, once again, to learn more about this thoughtful, generous and passionate man. But let's ease into things with a little background info. Here are some questions, for Mr. Luc Maurice!
Mr. Maurice, where does this deep desire to help people come from?
It was already a concern of mine when I was quite young. Until the age of 10, I wanted to be a priest, because at the time, those who wanted to change the world were usually priests. Then, by the time I reached 15, I desired to be an entrepreneur. Not to make millions or have lots of power, but to offer work to those who had none. You have to remember that back in the late 60s and early 70s, unemployment in Quebec was quite high. I had family in a region where there was a lot of poverty. I remember saying to myself, seeing all these people out of work, "I can find a way to get them jobs.” So I began thinking how to make it happen.
And what happened after the age of 15?
For some reason, I wanted to be a detective (laughs)! Around that age, we’re a little shaky. We’re trying to find ourselves, figure things out.
But, once again, wanting to be a detective was in line with your desire to help the community.
That’s true. But my father reminded me that being an entrepreneur was a path that I was really passionate about and that I could make a difference in society if I followed my instincts. I think he saw the entrepreneurial temperament in me.
How would you define this temperament?
I believe in not being afraid to take risks. My father, who loved daring to try new things, always reinforced that in me. And as a little guy, when your dad likes something, he encourages you to do the same! When I was older, I was accepted into military college. I knew absolutely nothing or no one in the armed forces, but I saw that it made my father really proud. They offered a very thorough study program, which satisfied my adventurous and physical nature. It was this decision that led me to learn English and offered me the means to build my chalet. But what attracted me to the military more than anything, was that when I finished my studies, I would be able to help others!
And we find this desire, even today, in your role as founding president of Le Groupe Maurice. With everything that’s happened over the past two years, will you have to change your modus operandi to pursue this need to help the community?
Change, no. Evolve, yes. To pursue my "mission", I not only have to ensure the company’s sustainability, but its rapid growth as well. My ambition is to be able to make our service offer accessible to as many people as possible – now, and even more so over the next few years, here in Quebec and elsewhere. The existence of our residences, just as with other quality housing for seniors, is crucial for their well-being. Remember, the number of seniors will increase by 37,000 each year for the next 25 years! On top of that, these individuals risk being alone, much more so than seniors of previous generations, because they will have had fewer children.
How do you plan on getting there?
You know, every January, I gather my vice presidents together and we set a direction for the year. We just beagn 2022 in an unusual context, once again. This time, we wanted to remember the "why" of Le Groupe Maurice: why we do what we do, why we are still here, and why we want to continue our momentum.
In fact, it’s very simple. What we want to do at the Group, is to improve the world in which we live by maximizing the well-being of the elderly. That's what matters most to me. I am even ready to say that it is what saved us during the worst months of the pandemic, and still does so today.
Everything we have achieved over time, whether it be customer trust, our reputation, or brand awareness, is based on this "why”. And that is the reason, among other things, that people choose us... even in times of a pandemic! In 2022, we will therefore defend, solidify and promote this "why".
By what means?
By following the 5 axes that we have established. The first, is customer experience. Think of it as the main character of our "why", which represents our desire to offer the elderly what they want; in every idea, word and gesture.
We already do this quite well. But with our clientele frequently changing, we have to be alert and aware. On top of that, the external environment changes a lot too. So we’ll have to be extra vigilant in pursuing and advancing the mission we set for ourselves over 20 years ago.
The employee experience, on the other hand, represents the most sensitive and crucial axis of all. If there is one lesson we’ve learned during the pandemic, it’s that if we love and respect our customers, we must love and respect our employees just as much. Without them, our " villages " have no soul, our customer experience suffers greatly and our "why " does not survive. It's as simple as that.
The third axis obviously concerns the quality of our services, or operational excellence. That's our "how" we do things. It's what allows us to be good at what we do – even if we make the occasional mistake – and to continue to grow, dare and innovate. Attention to detail has always set us apart from the crowd, but this aspect of our operations has also been stress-tested over the past two years. However, the good news is that we were able to adapt and implement solutions that proved to be even more effective than our pre-established ways of doing things. Thanks to the courage, imagination and dedication of our employees, the high level of our service offer was only slightly affected.
This leads us to continue innovating. Again, and again, and again. That, and maintaining our agility, which is one of our finest corporate qualities. Never has the world changed so much in such a short time in the modern history of our society. Without innovation and agility, we are doomed to become obsolete. But when you are creative, especially when others are not, you cement your position, become a leader and ensure your sustainability. For me, this axis is of great importance as it represents our desire to offer customers and employees alike, the best there is. I’ll never skimp on this point. With customers’ and employees’ needs always evolving, we will continue to innovate and remain agile by creating living and working environments that meet and exceed all expectations.
Finally, the 5th axis concerns the growth of the company. It is our most important lever if we want to make a real difference, if we want to leave a legacy… if we want nothing less than to change the world! The more people who will benefit from what we do, the more of an indelible mark we will leave. Which is why I really want us to accelerate our growth, to continue our positive influence within the community and to inspire other players to do the same.
What can I wish for you then, over the next 5 years?
To continue to have the passion, ambition and good health to keep doing what I love for several more years. Because I’m far – very far – from running out of projects and ideas!
Thank you for your perseverance and your concrete actions in bringing happiness to the elderly of today and tomorrow. On behalf of everyone, I wish you a year of glorious achievements in this regard, Mr Maurice!
Catherine Darlington, Chief Copywriter for Le Groupe Maurice