a follow-up visit after their virtual health consult. Giving your em-ployees
the choice to engage virtually enables them to choose the
program that works best for their needs and schedules. Employers
lose approximately three to four hours of productivity when em-ployees
wait prolonged periods of time to receive in-person care,
according to the Canadian Institute for Health Information.
PROVIDE MEANINGFUL ENGAGEMENT WITH ONE-ON-
ONE HEALTH COACHING
Over 87.5 per cent of healthcare claim costs are due to an indi-vidual’s
lifestyle choices, according to research. How we eat, move,
think and sleep determines the majority of our health outcomes.
When an employee needs help in one of those lifestyle areas, an
app is the tool, not the answer. Impersonal, one-size-fits-all digi-tal
programs may be good for extensive reach, but research shows
they have little impact. To ensure lasting, positive behaviour
change, employees need to develop a relationship with a profes-sional
who will act as their personal coach. Regular, one-on-one
communication for at least 16 weeks seems to have the most “stick-iness”
for positive behavioural change impact. That change doesn’t
seem to activate without follow-through and interaction with a
MAKE SUPPORT EASY TO GET
Simple design works best. Whatever wellness options you offer
your employees, make sure they are intuitive or they won’t be used.
For example, offer patients access to case management support.
Knowing how to navigate the health care system can be a large
cause of stress in itself, especially for employees with a complex
health issue. This support – from booking specialist appointments
to ensuring follow-up care – can provide peace of mind for em-ployees,
reduce delays and get them back to work faster.
INCLUDE ALL YOUR EMPLOYEES WITH YOUR
COMPREHENSIVE WELLNESS INITIATIVES
Historically, exceptional wellness programs were a benefit or bo-nus
exclusively for high performers. The future of employee health
is inspired by population health. All employee health results in
broad impact across the organization.
ENCOURAGE MENTAL HEALTH CHAMPIONS IN
“You want to retain your workforce as much as possible. In or-der
to do that, you’re going to have to notice the signs,” said Dr.
Gina Di Giulio, director of psychology with Medcan, who recom-mends
appointing champions of mental health awareness within
One great program for potential champions is Mental Health
First Aid by the Mental Health Commission of Canada. Early
recognition can lead to treatment options or further medi-cal
attention before symptoms accelerate. This can also help
change the mindset that people are people, and not defined by
SLEEP IS THE NEXT VITAL SIGN
Not long ago, Type As bragged about how little sleep they got.
Today’s research shows that sleep is a weapon for performance and
productivity. An emerging area of focus is on defining and sup-porting
precision sleep. If you can figure out how many people in
your workplace aren’t getting proper sleep, you can offer the right
interventions. Many professionals in the medical field are ener-gized
about the science of sleep. n
Dr. James Aw is the chief medical officer at Medcan.
health & wellness
ASSET IS THEIR
CREATE A CULTURE
Paul Bence / Unsplash
34 ❚ JANUARY 2018 ❚ HR PROFESSIONAL