From Lafarge’s perspective, why is focusing on health and wellness a
good business strategy?
If we’re spending money on benefits above and beyond what the actual cost should be, it takes money out of the actual business operating budget, and we need to come up with that money somewhere else.

Has Lafarge received recognition for its health and wellness strategy?
Absolutely. This year, we were named to Business Insurance’s 2011 Benefit Management Honor Roll. Last year, we won the Integrated Benefits Institute & National Business Coalition on Health’s Healthy Workforce Award. Most companies that win range from 30,000 to 50,000 employees, and in North America, we’re a mere 12,000. So they really looked at our programs and our innovation, in terms of how we’re doing what we’re doing.

What are you doing to educate your employees about healthy habits?
We send out a quarterly in-house eight-page newsletter. The first one was sent to Canadian employees this year. It talks not just about the benefits plan but also about why it’s so critical to focus on prevention.

What is your communications strategy?
Every piece of communication we create internally, we mail to everyone’s home because our target audience really is the spouse. And it’s worked very well.

The average age of employees is 45 in both countries, and we are male dominated. I tell [employees] in all of the meetings, ‘Your spouses are the ones who are driving you to do things.’ They all laugh but then agree with me.

Brooke Smith is managing editor of Benefits Canada. 

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Copyright © 2020 Transcontinental Media G.P. This article first appeared in Benefits Canada.

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