Canadian employers are facing increasingly complex human resource challenges which adversely impact employee health and productivity and jeopardize business success. By providing comprehensive employee benefit plans, employers expect to achieve high standards of organizational health and productivity.
Attend any conference on employee benefits and read articles on workplace wellness and you will see that organizations are struggling to find the right solution to design benefits plans that meet the needs of all employees.
The first step to finding the right solution is to gain a solid understanding of the problem from qualitative and quantitative standpoints. In the words of Lord Kelvin, “If you cannot measure it, you cannot improve it.”
Let’s begin with what we already know:
Happy employees are critical for an organization’s success.
In 2009, Kansas State University researcher Thomas Wright found that when employees have high levels of psychological well-being and job satisfaction, they perform better and are less likely to leave their job, making happiness a valuable tool for maximizing organizational outcomes. “The benefits of a psychologically well workforce are quite consequential to employers, especially so in our highly troubled economic environment,” Wright said. “Simply put, psychologically well employees are better performers. Since higher employee performance is inextricably tied to an organization’s bottom line, employee well-being can play a key role in establishing a competitive advantage.”
Stress is a major risk factor in the workplace that adversely impacts productivity.
An astounding 83% of Canadian employers surveyed in Towers Watson’s 2013/2014 “Staying @Work” survey, indicated that stress not only impacts productivity, it increases the incidence, duration and cost of employee absence. Major contributors to stress and employee dissatisfaction are inadequate staffing, heavy workload, lack of work/life balance, difficult and frequent organizational change and lack of management support.
The cost of health and productivity losses to employers continues to grow and is not sustainable.
In the 2011/2012 “Staying@Work” survey, Towers Watson reported that health and productivity costs as a percentage of payroll totaled 17.1% in 2011, representing a 35% increase over the reported result in 2009.