The Benefits of Building a Culture of Wellness

Results of the 2020 Sanofi Canada Healthcare Survey show that investing in wellness at work benefits plan sponsors and plan members alike.

The Benefits of Building a Culture of Wellness

From the plan member’s perspective, 86% of those surveyed agree a workplace environment that encourages health and wellness is an important factor in taking a job or staying at a company. Furthermore, those who say they have a wellness culture at work are much more likely to agree that:

  • Their personal health is excellent/very good—50% versus 38%
  • They are satisfied with their job—90% versus 61%
  • The quality of their health benefit plan is excellent or good—74% versus 48%.

From the plan sponsor’s perspective, building a wellness culture has attraction and retention benefits, helping to create a more engaged workforce. For example, 71% of plan members surveyed agree the health benefits plan is a strong incentive to stay with their employer—up from 61% in 2012.

Preparing Your Organization for the Next Crisis

Encouraging Participation

Of course, a wellness program only works if employees actually use it. So how can plan sponsors encourage members to get (and stay) involved?

Use of incentives is on the rise: 40% of plan sponsors now offer them for participating in health and wellness programs/activities, up from 30% in 2015. When asked about the effectiveness of those incentives, they ranked having senior leadership set an example as most effective (42%), followed by individual financial rewards like gift cards (36%).

It has long been a challenge to measure the return on investment of wellness programming. However, technology can play an important role in supporting and tracking participation, as well as gauging the effectiveness of health activities. More than half (53%) of plan members surveyed say they are using at least one digital health tool (e.g., Fitbits, apps, websites or online health risk assessments)—up significantly from 32% in 2015—and 71% say they are willing to receive virtual health care.

Supporting Mental Health

Particularly in the current environment, work-related stress is taking a toll on Canadians’ mental health. Per the survey results, 30% of plan members say they’ve experienced high levels of stress on a typical day over the past three months, and that figure increases to 52% for those who aren’t happy with their job.

The top three reported stressors are:

  • Personal finances (39%)
  • Workload (34%)
  • Balancing work and life responsibilities (32%).

With that in mind, it’s not surprising that mental health will be a key area of focus going forward. About three-quarters (74%) of plan sponsors intend to dedicate funding and/or resources to at least one of the following wellness areas in the next 3 years:

  • Emotional/mental health—58%
  • Illness prevention/chronic disease management—49%
  • Physical fitness—45%
  • Social well-being—44%
  • Financial well-being—40%.

Learn More

For the full survey results or to learn more, click here.

You can find resources to help with your organization’s wellness or mental health efforts on the International Foundation Workplace Wellness page or Workplace Mental Health Resources page.

Benefit Communication and Technology Institute Virtual Conference

Alyssa Hodder
Director, Education and Outreach – Canada

[Upcoming Webcast: Supporting Employees With Social Isolation and Post-Traumatic Stress Injury (PTSI) | July 15, 2020]

The latest from Word on Benefits:

Alyssa Hodder

Director, Education and Outreach – Canada Favorite Foundation Product: Conferences and blogs on what’s new and interesting in the industry Benefits Related Topics That Interest Her Most: Benefits communications and how to engage plan participants Personal Insight: The proud mother of two lovely and challenging girls, Alyssa enjoys travelling and experiencing different cultures. In her spare time, she loves to read and write, but her most unusual hobby is participating in a competitive axe-throwing league (nothing more rewarding than hitting that bullseye!)

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