Tricia Benn speaks at the 2012 Healthy Outcomes Conference

This is Part 3 in our coverage of the 2012 Healthy Outcomes Conference, held in Kelowna, B.C.

Read Part 1: Winning partnerships

Read Part 2: Health and personal responsibility

When employee engagement in health succeeds—whether through social media or integrated programs—the outcomes are invaluable for both employers and employees.

The Sanofi Canada Healthcare Survey, now in its 15th year, speaks to the benefits of a healthy, engaged workforce. Tricia Benn, senior director, Rogers Connect Market Research, with Rogers Publishing Ltd., shared some of the trends and insights that have emerged over the years.

The value of the health benefits plan has increased over the course of the survey, said Benn. “We’ve seen a willingness to pay more for the health benefits plan and not to reduce anything that’s offered.”

In fact, six in 10 employees would keep their benefits plan over a more generous pension plan, and the majority say they would choose the plan over an additional week of vacation. Employees value it so much, Benn stressed, that they would choose a plan over $15,000 extra in their pockets.

“The tips and tactics from our advisory board discussions over the years focus on leveraging this value to motivate, educate and improve employee wellness,” Benn continued. “We don’t have to convince employees of the value of the plan—they know that it’s worth an awful lot to them. But member communication should be developed with the knowledge that the employee is thinking about the plan in terms of peace of mind.”

One major change over the past 15 years is employees’ willingness to have their employer involved in their personal health.

“In 2001, we had a majority agree that their employer has no right to know anything about their personal health condition. By 2011, four in 10 say it would be appropriate for their employer to actively help them manage their health,” she said, adding that this is a significant invitation for employers to be more involved in their employees’ health.

Leigh Doyle is a freelance writer based in Toronto.

Get a PDF of this article and other coverage from the 2012 Healthy Outcomes Conference.

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

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