Most working Canadians agree on benefits of personalized wellness programs

by Leo Almazora17 Jul 2019

Employers still skeptical about the advantages of implementing a personalized wellness program might have second thoughts after seeing the results of a recent RBC Insurance poll.

According to the survey, nine in 10 working Canadians (92% among women and 87% among men) valued flexibility and customization in group benefits. A majority of respondents also said a personalized wellness program that is customized to an individual’s wellness and health-related interests and goals would improve multiple aspects of daily life, including:

  • Their overall wellbeing (80%);
  • Their physical health (78%);
  • Favourable opinions of their employer (77%),
  • Job satisfaction (73%),
  • Mental health (71%), and
  • Job productivity (68%)

“It's important for employers to design a benefits package that considers the needs of their workforce, especially as new generations enter and leave the market,” said Julie Gaudry, Senior Director of Group Insurance at RBC Insurance. “This is something that can largely influence employee morale and their overall health.”

The poll also found a relationship between the overall wellbeing of working Canadians and whether they have group benefits or private coverage. While 70% of Canadian workers with group or private insurance scored their wellbeing as “excellent” or “good,” only 59% of those without any type of insurance coverage could say the same. The two groups showed similar disparities when it came to having “excellent” or “good” mental health (71% for those with group or private insurance coverage and 59% without any insurance coverage).

“The data shows that employee wellbeing is generally higher when they have benefits in place, whether through work or privately," Gaudry said. “But it's also clear that businesses need to look beyond traditional benefits by offering things such as health spending accounts, customizable wellness programs and even digital solutions to help promote healthier lifestyles.”

While some employers find it challenging to encourage workforce participation in wellness programs, 84% of survey respondents said they would be more likely to participate if the program were customized to their specific wellness goals. To get that type of customization, 76% of the respondents said they would be willing to share their health- and wellness-related information and goals with an insurer.