Sun Life pilots new wellness rewards website among its workforce

Sun Life Financial is piloting its new wellness rewards website among its workforce before rolling it out widely to its employer clients.

Since the program was launched in August, Sun Life’s website has received 43,000 visits. “We’re off to a great start,” says Helena Pagano, executive vice-president and chief human resources and communications officer at Sun Life. “We have a registration of about 50 per cent of our employees and, based on statistics of what you can expect participation rates to be, that’s quite high.”

The website provides a personalized program for the user based on their goals in the areas of mental health, physical health and financial wellness. It offers users reminders and allows them to track their progress as they accumulate points, which can be traded in for rewards.

Read: Can points-powered apps help employers boost wellness programs?

Rewards include gift cards and users can bid on bigger prizes using their points. “It’s meant to be personalized, help you, be a bit fun and then, through the reinforcement of the gaming and the points and winning prizes, further reinforce the behaviour,” says Pagano.

The program is a modern way for Sun Life to show it cares about employees, says Pagano, noting it goes beyond a philosophical alignment with company policies and touches into the area of responsibility. “As a company that’s focused on health and wellness, we have a responsibility to help people be healthy and well. It really goes deep.”

So far, Sun Life has received positive feedback from employees about the program. Through the pilot, the insurer is aiming to learn how it might refine the program before it’s rolled out more widely. “So that would be a win-win for our employees, that we put in place improvements as they were needed or thought about future changes, but it also lets our group business go out to their clients with ‘Here’s a product, it’s been tested, here’s testimonials, we know what works,’” says Pagano.

The program will be available as a benefits plan option for Sun Life’s employer clients in January 2019.

Read: Carrot Rewards adds peer-to-peer platform to wellness app