Healthy Employees = Healthy Business

by Pierre Marion

Sanofi Canada recently published the results of the 2015 Sanofi Canada Healthcare Survey. Now more than ever, it is crucial to make deliberate and efficient changes to how we view and design future health care plans.

The survey says…

The 2015 survey shows us that most respondents would like to choose their benefits based on their needs rather than opt for a traditional plan. Baby boomers are getting closer to retirement and the new generation of employees have different expectations. If we also take into account the increasing rate of chronic disease among employees that is being underestimated by many employers we can say that the time to act is long overdue. Health care plans must change.

The time for talking about health management is over

Employers play a critical role in communicating and promoting balanced management of health and wellness to employees. Business results depend on it. Some completely ignore the role they play in this equation, while many other employers convey this philosophy, but without applying it. It is critical that employees have real tools to manage their current and ongoing health and wellness.

The relationship is clear. Healthy and happy employees are productive and engaged, thereby promoting growth and improvement in business activities. However, only 31% of respondents consider offering a benefits program as a corporate strategy aimed at managing workforce health. Others see it as a way of rewarding and supporting employees (39% of respondents) or as a competitive edge for attracting workers and improving employee loyalty (26% of respondents).

We feel it is necessary to offer clients not only the products that meet their needs, but also the tools they need to manage their personal health. For example, the My Good Health interactive web portal provides users access to a wealth of information and they can also assess their health risks. The Medavie Mobile app lets users view their benefit usage history, find local health professionals, discover future innovations that will motivate them to stay active and more.

Renewing interest in wellness

Despite the popularity of health and wellness programs, their importance has declined somewhat of late. For employers, it can be difficult to properly implement and integrate these programs into the culture of the organization. Not only do we need to educate employees on what healthy habits to adopt, we must also encourage those who need this most to choose them as a course of action. Employers can then have a real influence on workers and the workplace by adding wellness to its corporate values, setting goals, and adopting related policies or practices.

It’s clear – we must change our traditional view of health care plans and wellness programs. And before we make changes, we must fully understand the unique needs and challenges in our own workforce by analyzing the available data to see the complete picture. Your group or personal insurer is well positioned to help you with these guidelines.

Watch my interview with Pierre Cantin on TVA Argent. (French only)

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