Conference Coverage: 2022 Healthy Outcomes Conference

After a brief hiatus, Benefits Canada’s long-standing Healthy Outcomes Conference returned as an in-person event designed for employers to exchange ideas and best practices for achieving improved employee health outcomes.

Nearly 85 employers gathered at the Omni King Edward Hotel in Toronto on Oct. 18 to hear from several panels discussing themes that are currently top of mind, including: the evolution of mental-health strategies; the role of diversity, equity and inclusion in employee well-being; linking data and disability in wellness programs; communications during the coronavirus pandemic; attraction and retention efforts amid the ‘Great Resignation;’ and the connection between mental health and financial wellness.

Here’s what you missed!

Linda Duxbury
Carleton University’s Sprott School of Business
Centering employee well-being in return-to-office plans

After two and a half years of coronavirus pandemic-induced remote work, employers are attempting to bring employees back to the office, but many are failing to do so in a way that supports employees’ mental well-being and takes their desire for work-life balance into account, according to Linda Duxbury, a professor at Carleton University’s Sprott School of Business

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Laura Glenn

Merlyn Sequeira

Samsung Electronics Canada

Elena Shiganova

City of Mississauga
Using flexible, customized benefits to create healthy outcomes for employees

As employers increasingly see four generations represented in their workforces and a diverse range of employee needs, customization and flexibility in benefits and wellness plans are becoming key to creating healthy outcomes for all employees.

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Kelly Dawson

Taryn Huyer

CBI Health

Brooke Schwarz

BDO Canada LLP
How can employers link disability management, employee well-being?

For too long, disability programs have been reactive rather than proactive, but connecting disability management to overall employee well-being strategies can help reduce disability trends and help employees on leave successfully return to work.

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Ayman Alvi

Zabina Meru
Workplace Safety and Insurance Board

Judith Plotkin
People Corporation

How is the pandemic changing plan sponsors’ mental-health strategies?

During the pandemic, employers are facing the “perfect storm” of major workplace disruption coupled with a poor mental-health baseline leading up to the crisis, according to Judith Plotkin (centre), vice-president of health solutions at People Corporation Inc.

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Nermin Ibrahim
Halton Diabetes Program

Robin Doobay
Labatt Breweries of Canada

Rita Mizzi-Gago
Capital One Canada
Integrating DEI strategies into benefits programs

The majority of Capital One Canada’s workforce are second-generation Canadians and/or immigrants, so many employees didn’t see their families during the pandemic. While they wanted to take extended leaves from work, the financial company found few were actually taking advantage of its existing leave program.

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Kelly Dawson

Tanya Hickey

Ontario Power Generation

Nicole Horbatiuk
CAA Club Group

Using disability data to improve employee wellness programs

While short- and long-term disability leaves can be challenging and disruptive for both employees and employers, reviewing trends data can help plan sponsors begin to better support workers who are struggling.

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Karin Adams

Crystal Arnold


Janet Young

How is the pandemic changing plan sponsors’ communications strategies?

As the coronavirus pandemic prompted a meaningful change in how employers communicate with their workforces, Telus Communications Inc. reviewed job types and created personas around these employee groups, communicating well-being information differently depending on the persona.

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Brittany Dunlop
York Region

Pragashini Fox
Thomson Reuters

Zayna Khayat
Teladoc Health

Strong mental-health supports critical to plan sponsors’ attraction, retention strategies

In the face of a tight labour market and fierce competition for top talent, employee mental-health and well-being supports are emerging as key components of employers’ attraction and retention strategies.

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Ayman Alvi

Dr. Jim Chung
Air Canada

Michael Dimaano
Ottawa Community Housing Corp.

Employers target timely, topical education in financial well-being strategies

Financial education and well-being initiatives are in the spotlight as employees face the stress of multiple financial headwinds — from inflation reaching a 40-year high to the strong likelihood of an impending recession — and search for advice and clarity.

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