HomebusinesshealthAwards and RecognitionbusinesshealthResourcesBlog
The Callery Group
About UsOur ServicesContact Us

A Bounce in Their Step
Canada Rubber Group employees are embracing their new wellness program

Canada Rubber Group employees are having a ball.

The Durham-based manufacturer recently introduced a formal workplace wellness program, helping to enhance a sense of teamwork and improve health along the way.

An astounding 85% of employees are already participating -- thanks to the combination of a dedicated wellness committee and events that are based on the results of employee surveys. "People are becoming really excited about some of the [program's] challenges," says HR manager Lisa Badurina. "We're all really passionate about it."

There are plenty of reasons to be excited from a business context alone. Programs like these are believed to lower absenteeism and help to reduce long-term healthcare costs.

January's focus on better nutrition was supported with a presentation from a nutritionist, baskets of fruit in the cafeteria, and a blender to make healthy smoothies. Employees were given the chance to earn prizes through the Drop the Pop challenge, which encouraged people to track their water intake rather than reaching for soft drinks. Bottle water intake surged. Vending machine sales plummeted. Some good-natured ribbing from coworkers near the vending machine certainly helped.

Physical activity was the next target. The Take Steps to a Better You challenge equipped employees with pedometers for four weeks, offering prizes to those who reached a recommended number of steps. "Out in the warehouse they were up on us for sure," Badurina jokes, noting that office staff had to accumulate some of the required steps at home. Teams have also joined together in basketball and baseball games. Early risers now join together in 10 minutes of stretching exercises before each shift.

The next phase of the program will be to increase awareness about preventive health measures that are supported through the existing workplace benefits plan.

The company doesn't even record sick days anymore. "They're wellness days," she says.

It is all part of a shifting mindset.

A well-structured wellness program like the one at Canada Rubber Group is always based on a company's unique needs and experience.

 "You can better understand your benefits data by working with your provider and using that to guide your wellness program, one disease state at a time," explains Dr. Alain Sotto, chief occupational physician at the Toronto Transit Commission, in the most recent Sanofi Canada Healthcare Survey. "From there you can build bridges with your benefits, for example covering smoking cessation and screening tests and promoting that to employees."

And the long-term value of a formal wellness program should not be overlooked during the planning process – particularly when businesses take a moment to calculate the cost of absenteeism. A typical Canadian employee missed 9.3 work days in 2012, according to Statistics Canada. Based on average wages, that means employers lost $1,700 per employee, not counting the price of replacement wages, sick leave costs, and administration.

In contrast, the Alberta Centre for Active Living discovered in a 2003 study that active employees take 27% fewer sick days and report 14 to 25% fewer disability days than their coworkers.

The returns are not limited to ensuring that employees remain on the job when they collect a paycheque, either. The teambuilding which emerges through a wellness plan is widely believed to support recruiting and retention efforts alike.

Healthier employees certainly reduce the strain on a workplace's health-related benefits programs.

"Health benefit plans – including components that drive personal accountability toward health – represent an untapped source of sustainability," Sanofi Canada president and CEO Jon Fairest recently observed. "Healthier employees in the workplace will also significantly lower the stress on our public healthcare system."

That could put a bounce in anyone's step.

 Top Tips:

  • Ask your benefits provider about software to track the costs of employee absences.
  • Embrace workplace wellness programs to fight absenteeism and workplace injuries.
  • Form a workplace health and wellness committee to design a wellness plan that meets the unique needs of your workplace.
  • Monitor the financial returns including changes in absenteeism costs, the number of disability claims, and the affect on other benefits such as drug plans and chiropractic visits.
  • Promote available wellness programs in your recruiting tools.

Copyright Notice

All rights reserved. All of the content herein is the sole property of the Callery Group, and may not be reproduced, transmitted, or stored in a retrieval system - in whole or in part - without the written permission of the Callery Group. Links to the originating article at www.callerygroup.com are permitted.

The Buzz Bits
Miscellaneous links to interesting benefits information

Pre-existing conditions and travel insurance: The Informed Traveler Show

Works of Wellness Taking the business case for wellness programs beyond anecdote: Business London

The Sanofi Canada Healthcare Survey

Developing a positive relationship with your manager: Dr. Linda Hill

Finding the wandering patient Try LOLA: Rupert Case Management

Myths of Generic Drugs: Shylo Kennett

Employers step up wellness investments: smallbizadvisor

Community Ethics, Big City Expertise

Subscribe to the Buzz Blog

Blog archive

Unintended Lessons I've learned about Blogging so far

You never know what's going to happen when you click on a link [more]

Drugs, Alcohol and, Oh Yes, Marijuana

Changing times may require all of us to take a long hard look at our drug-and-alcohol policies [more]

Best Tips For Sleeping Well

If you're just not sleeping well, there are some pretty effective things you can do to make it better [more]

Survey Says: Wellness Programs Improve Overall Satisfaction

It seems that employees' satisfaction with wellness programs spills over into satisfaction with their benefits programs and their jobs in general [more]

Changes Coming to Personal Emergency Leave Laws

Amendments to the Employment Standards Act will significantly increase legally mandated employee leaves [more]

The Good News and the Bad News on Diabetes

We keep hearing about a "diabetes epidemic," but there are things we can do now to improve our odds of beating the statistics [more]

Who's Your "Broker" Working For?

In a world of brokers, agents, advisors and consultants, it's important to stay focused on who's really working for you [more]

The Secret to Really Good Workplace Wellness

Workplace wellness is a way to solve a lot of problems before they even come up [more]

Medical Marijuana - More Questions than Answers

A lack of medical consensus makes drug plan coverage of medical marijuana very difficult [more]

Pharmacogenomics Means Better Prescriptions

A simple DNA test can now help pinpoint which drugs are going to work best for you [more]

Why Airplanes Crash

What one successful CEO learned from air crash investigations – and how it all applies to managing any organization [more]

Not A Delicate Subject Anymore...

How to start the conversation about mental health in the workplace [more]

A Look Inside

There's more to this business that we usually talk about... [more]

Bio What-Now?

Get ready for "generic" biologics. [more]

What You Don't Want to Say to Your Doctor

There are some things that you want to explain to your doctor, and some things you really should stay away from. [more]

Your Dentist's Pet Peeve

Why you should know all the ins and outs of your dental insurance plan before you ever lean back in the chair and open wide [more]

About that Credit Card Travel Insurance

It may be of some value, especially if you have no pre-existing conditions, but you really need to read that fine print [more]

Right Drug, Right Time, Right Cost

Why you should work with your doctor, your pharmacist, and your drug plan to make sure you get optimal treatmenty [more]

Big Smiles

A focus on dental plans will ensure that everyone remains happy [more]

Your Doctor Doesn't Know Everything

When it comes to prescriptions, patients need to be part of the conversation [more]

Prescription for Disaster

Advances in pharmaceuticals are threatening your drug plan [more]

Sleep Easy

Conditions like sleep apnea can be treated, ensuring proper rest and productive days [more]

Easy as EAP

Formal support makes a big difference when employees face personal challenges [more]

Well Done

10 ways to develop an effective workplace wellness program [more]

Mind Matters

Businesses can't afford to ignore the mental health of their employees [more]

Brian's Story

Brian Callery is celebrating 40 years in our business. It's a commitment that makes a difference in his clients' businesses [more]

The Benefits to You

The same plans designed to protect employees will also offer advantages to employers [more]

Lawyer Up

There are legal ramifications around changing benefit plans - especially if an employee is being terminated [more]

Travel Trauma

Dream vacations can turn into nightmares when travel insurance claims are denied [more]

Evolution Solution

Evolving benefit plans will meet employee needs and support recruiting and retention efforts [more]

Plan & Predict

How rising paramedical claims, drug reforms, and other trends will affect your workplace benefits [more]

Who Benefits

Education makes the case for workplace benefit plans [more]

Season of Renewal

Important questions to ask your benefits advisor before inking a deal [more]

Preventive Measures

Paramedical services help keep employees healthy, on the job, and productive [more]

A Bounce in Their Step

Canada Rubber Group employees are embracing their new wellness program [more]

Business Benefits

Shandex Group and Indaco Manufacturing discuss the value of evolving employee benefits plans [more]

A New Mindset

Workplaces can't afford to ignore the mental health of employees [more]

Cost Cutters

10 cost-cutting strategies to protect your benefits plan [more]

Safe Travels

12 ways to protect yourself on your next vacation [more]

Breaking News

Learn from the mistakes of an AOL executive when discussing any changes to your benefits plans [more]

Watch the Gaps

Protect against turnover and lost opportunities by recognizing the generation gaps [more]

Generation Next

Generation Y represents the future of your business - and will see workplace benefits plans in a different way [more]

Absent Minded

Employers are paying the price for absenteeism, but it can be controlled [more]

Think Positive

Programs that build positive workplaces make business sense [more]

Back to School

8 important lessons your employees need to learn about benefits plans [more]

Find a Better Broker

6 questions you should ask anyone who wants to sell you a benefits plan [more]

Plan Your ROI

5 ways employee benefits plans can deliver a real Return on Investment [more]

The Benefit of Benefits

3 ways a benefits plan can improve your company's bottom line. [more]

A Healthy Dose of Information

5 questions for your pharmacist that might save your drug plan and your wallet. [more]

Claim Denied

Consider these 8 ways to avoid rejected benefit claims. [more]

Travel Planning

6 questions to ask before assuming you are protected by a group plan's travel insurance. [more]

Biologic Logic

Growing list of biologic drugs could bankrupt poorly protected drug plans. [more]

Smart Shopping

8 shopping habits that will protect your benefits plan. [more]

Tough Medicine

Employees will share more responsibilities and higher costs to sustain their benefits. [more]

Crime Costs

5 scams that could be placing your benefits plan at risk. [more]

A Prescription for Your Drug Plan

Skyrocketing drug prices may be threatening your benefits plan, but generic drugs offer a cure. [more]

Planes, Trains and Travel Insurance

The fine print in your travel insurance may leave you more exposed than you think. [more]

Healthy and Wealthy

5 steps to an employee wellness program that will generate real financial returns. [more]

Avoiding Burnout During Holiday Season

Education and Prevention can help control spiraling benefit costs. [more]

Sweat the Small Stuff

Protect your staff by avoiding these common "paperwork" mistakes by administrators. [more]



Services Personal Services Corporate Services