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How to Ensure Your Benefit Plan Impacts Employee Well-being and Productivity

Updated: Feb 15, 2023

Contributors: Earl Shindruk, Optimax Benefits, and Victoria Grainger, Founder, Wellness Works Canada

Employee well-being strategies and programs are on the rise as more organizations see them as a strategic imperative. Yet they are still often siloed and offered as a program rather than a strategy that connects the dots between human resources, operations, marketing, corporate strategy and overall culture.

Many programs often include things like walking or step challenges, nutrition or weight loss programs, a psychological health and safety plan, and well-being workshops and education.

These things are important. But just as important is the consideration of your benefits plan. Whether you have a benefits manager, well-being director or an HR manager that wears ten hats - the person passionate about supporting employee well-being and helping the business succeed - must connect the dots to improve employee well-being and engagement as well as organizational performance. That’s your job. You are a facilitator of positive culture change. You facilitate engagement and adoption of strategies that are owned by everyone!

So, where do you start? Navigating the benefits space for any business can be challenging so use a benefits broker to make sure you get a plan that meets your objectives. When employee well-being is a priority and you want to help prevent people from getting sick as well as having them covered when they get sick, there are a few ways to leverage an employee benefits plan to support well-being and performance.

Try adding a lifestyle/wellness account to your benefits offering. While this is a taxable amount to employees, most employees enjoy the option to choose items such as:

  • Gym memberships

  • Sporting activities like slow pitch and others

  • Equipment for sports, like new ski boots

Other items that can be added to your employee benefits plan include:

  • Employee Assistance Program (EAP): Often under-utilized, a good EAP program often can or will include many preventative programs that promote well-being. For example, many offer apps, workshops, challenges, and other education opportunities.

  • Health spending accounts

  • Short- and long-term disability

  • Employee life insurance

  • Critical illness

Once you get a great benefits program in place, make sure you promote it well to get the best bang for your buck!

Want support?

Contact Earl at Optimax Benefits to help you find or adapt your benefit plan to ensure it supports employee well-being.

Contact Victoria at Wellness Works Canada to get support for your organization’s overall health and performance through cost-effective memberships, consulting, training and more.



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