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πŸ§‘πŸ”Ž 47% of Working Canadians Rely on Employer Benefits to Improve Well-Being πŸ’΅

Friday, 12 April 2024 10:22.AM

- Environics Research study commissioned by Dialogue reveals Canadians are relying more than ever on workplace benefits, with 8 in 10 wanting sufficient virtual care from employers -

Canadians are experiencing a decline in overall well-being and are expecting their employers to provide key benefits to support them in 2024. A new report commissioned by Dialogue Health Technologies Inc., Canada's premier care and wellness platform, and conducted by Canadian market research firm Environics Research, reveals that 71% of working Canadians have become more conscious of their health in the past few years. Despite this, 1 in 3 Canadians feel negatively towards their current state of well-being, notably in the areas of physical and mental health, sleep, and financial wellness, which for many have worsened over the past year.

The 2024 state of workplace health and wellness in Canada sheds light on these issues, reporting new trends and insights into the well-being of working Canadians, as well as the perspectives of HR professionals. It also highlights barriers to improving health and the role employers are expected to play. The report reveals that several barriers hinder employees from taking action, including employees facing financial constraints (39%), experiencing a lack of motivation (41%), and simply a lack of time to tend to their well-being (45%).

"Taking care of one's well-being goes beyond seeking help when you are feeling unwell. It means maintaining a healthy lifestyle with accessible solutions to reduce stress every day," shared Dr. Stephanie Moynihan, Associate Medical Director at Dialogue. "To get there, Canadians must have the right tools, which range from treatment-based solutions, self-serve resources, habit trackers, and wellness challenges β€” and employers need to make these solutions clear with employees."

When it comes to workplace benefits, the report reveals several findings capturing the disconnect between Canadians and their employers. While nearly half (47%) are interested in improving their well-being and plan on using workplace benefits to do so, working Canadians report dissatisfaction with their current level of support:

β€’ Half view their overall benefits plan as insufficient or state that they don't meet their well-being needs.
β€’ 4 in 10 report that their employers do not prioritize employee mental health.
β€’ Only 18% indicate their managers are equipped to recognize and support employees' mental health.

In reality, employees may not always perceive the efforts made by employers to improve well-being. In fact, a majority of HR professionals (86%) affirm their organizations value employee mental health, acknowledging the responsibility, and believing that their organizations are taking appropriate measures to safeguard well-being. Despite the majority recognizing the importance of providing support, 70% still face organizational financial constraints when looking to improve their benefits.

"As Canadians in the workforce admit to a decline in their health and well-being, and the impact of workplaces on their well-being, employers must look for what makes employee benefits more accessible, as well as ensure these benefits are properly utilized," said Ahsan Sadiq, Vice President, Health & Wellness at Environics. "Employer-paid services, properly catered to employee needs, can help improve workforce well-being, job satisfaction, work-life balance, as well as improve chances of attracting top talent."

Despite significant progress by Canadian employers to offer more accessible benefits, there's a noticeable gap: 1 in 3 employees and HR professionals continue to view their workplace mental health support as insufficient, which can further lead to decreased performance and burnout.
More traditional models of benefits provided, such as old-school Employee Assistance Programs (EAPs), are also under-utilized; 53% of working Canadians reported having never used their EAP, despite employees citing it as a valuable resource for mental health, family issues, and financial advice.
This situation underscores the need for a thorough review and enhancement of workplace benefits. Improving these benefits is crucial for reducing absenteeism, turnover, and productivity losses, and for closing innovation gaps.
With 8 in 10 working Canadians expressing a preference for virtual care options, it's clear that modernizing benefits to include such services is becoming increasingly important.
Only then can workplaces thrive, as well as address HR teams' number one challenge: talent attraction and retention.

SOURCE: Dialogue Health Technologies Inc.

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