When Campbell Co. of Canada opened its annual flexible benefits enrolment window in December 2016, it made a number of changes to streamline the process, including moving it completely online, changing the way it deducts wellness contributions and scrapping the graduated matching for the company’s group registered retirement savings plan.

The company’s plan covers a whole range of health and wellness offerings, says Laura Lee-Blake, director of human resources at Campbell. “What we’ve really tried to do over the last two years is, when we look at employee health and wellness, we look at it holistically. So that includes the traditional health and dental, the more holistic, proactive wellness, the financial health, spiritual health, everything, so that when we’re talking about things, we try to think about everything that impacts the employee,” she says.

Read: How Campbell Canada boosted its wellness program

While the majority of employees had previously enrolled in the flexible benefits plan through a manual paper process, the company shifted everyone to a mandatory online system this year. Employees could log into the program on their work computer, at kiosks set up at the head office or from their homes or mobile devices, says Lee-Blake, who notes having different options was particularly important for hourly-paid manufacturing staff who don’t work at a desk.

The decision to shift the wellness contribution was to highlight to employees how little it costs for them to take part in the benefit. The company used to deduct the annual $104 employee contribution once a year but it now spreads it out through weekly payments for hourly employees and biweekly deductions for salaried workers.

“Employees make a small contribution to be actively involved in the wellness program, basically to join the fitness centre that’s on-site,” says Lee-Blake. “We also try in our conversations to remind people it’s less than a cup of coffee; they probably spend five times more on coffee every week than keeping themselves healthy.”

Read: How three Canadian companies are making employee health and wellness a priority

The final change was to get rid of the five-year graduated employer match Campbell had in place for its group RRSP. Beginning Jan. 1, 2017, all new employees are eligible for the match as soon as they join the plan. “We have up to an $850 match per year and now it’s immediate eligibility, versus a scaled amount over about five years,” says Lee-Blake.

The organization doesn’t necessarily make changes to the flexible benefits plan during every enrolment but it’s always looking at the different services becoming available in the industry or changes in its employee demographics, notes Lee-Blake. “A couple of years ago, we added critical illness to it because we had some employees asking questions about different types of coverage.”

Copyright © 2018 Transcontinental Media G.P. Originally published on benefitscanada.com

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