Employee wellbeing directly impacts your benefits costs

You know your people are your organization’s greatest asset. Improving your employees' wellbeing can:

  • increase their productivity and performance at work
  • lower your benefit costs
  • contribute to your organizational success

What is employee wellbeing? Why does it matter in your workplace?

Employee wellbeing refers to the mental, physical, financial and social health of your workforce. It's about supporting individuals across all aspects of their lives so they bring their best selves to work every day.

Employees spend almost 65% of available waking hours at work. Their wellbeing has a direct impact on work outcomes.  Absenteeism, short and long term disability and mental health issues may be an indication of wellbeing not being managed effectively and are the main cost drivers of your employee benefits spend.

Your employees want your help managing their wellbeing not just treating illnesses.

Mental health has a direct impact on your employee benefits costs

Did you know that employee mental health costs employers approximately $10 for every $100 of payroll in Canada today? 1 Costs are on the rise, making the traditional, reactive approach to employee benefits unsustainable for most organizations.



adult Canadians will experience a mental illness in their lifetime

of employees report their job is very or extremely stressful

of workers say that workplace stress cause difficulties and more than 10 percent describe these as having major effects

Move from mitigating costs to preventing costs

Why do your company wellbeing programs not deliver results? Often because they are separate, reactive efforts that are not strategic or targeted to address the top cost drivers.

The workplace is well positioned to help support employee wellbeing. You have taken action. But why are you not seeing results?

You may rely on broad and generic initiatives that yield low participation from your workforce. Or you try single actions, like fitness discounts, to impact broad based health improvements. Your data comes from multiple areas and is disconnected. You don’t address wellbeing as a benefit. You see it as an expense, so you tend to choose the lowest cost options. These actions no longer serve the individual needs of your workface and are contributing to the increase in your benefits costs. We can help with our 4-step approach to Total Health Management.

A total health management approach is strategic, targeted and cost-effective

When you implement a strategic and targeted wellbeing approach, you can increase employee engagement and address your increasing health benefits costs.

Total Health Management includes:

  • tailored and strategic approach
  • targeted employee programs
  • proven management practices that deliver results
  • continuous monitoring to evaluate outcomes against specific goals

The result can be reduced benefits costs, increased productivity and healthier, happier employees who remain with your organization.

We understand the challenges you face including:

  • the cost structure is too high to offer wide individual employee choice, you can’t afford to offer all services to all employees
  • managing the fast-paced, changing vendor market is complex and risky
  • employees do not use the current intranet sites resulting in low overall engagement with their benefits

4 steps towards total health management you can take now

Step 1: Know your drivers
You start with leverage existing data, including your own internal sources along with Mercer’s databases, to identify your main cost drivers and significant expense trends.

You can use predictive models to fully understand your future health and drug costs. We can help you with tools like BenefitsMap and Organization Health Evaluations.

Step 2: Know your goals
Ask yourself - What do you want to change?  You know that changing behaviors is challenging. Some of your employees will be early adopters, and some will avoid change at all costs. We can help you choose appropriate goals based on the best opportunities for change in your organization.

Step 3: Focus your programs
We help you build targeted programs that aim at supporting your goals. If you have other initiatives that aren’t supporting your goals, consider reallocating and focusing your finances and efforts. Wellbeing needs to be strategic to work and we have the expertise to help you evaluate your existing programs.

Step 4: Monitor and improve
You can continue to revisit your data and combine it with your drivers – to forecast cost and impact. We can help you collect your program data beyond mere participation, to include employee engagement levels, health metrics, absence and productivity. We create the integrated, powerful connections by making sure you collect and use the right data that will support your immediate and longer term design decisions.

The future of health is wellbeing. A Total Health Management approach will support employee wellbeing and can help you manage your benefit costs now - and for the future.

Improving employee engagement with their benefits can increase wellbeing

Employees want to be healthier and they want to choose benefits that support their own personal wellbeing efforts. They want an experience as easy to use as online shopping – I can find what I need, when I need it, on the device I choose- and it's personalized for me.

Mercer 365™ is a digital portal that gives employees easy, one-stop access, 365 days a year, to all the health, wellbeing and lifestyle benefits they need to become healthier and more engaged.

1Source: Mercer Financial Database 2015; assuming $60,000 average annual salary

We can help you start managing employee wellbeing now.

Connect with a Mercer Total Health Management consultant.
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