Creating resilient employees with workplace wellness

People spend one third or more of their lives at work. This environment can either be a place that supports employee health or it can have the opposite effect, leading to an increase in chronic stress and other work-related illnesses.

Rick Tiedemann, Senior Business Development Director at Copeman Healthcare recently sat down with Bruce Bowie of 630 CHED to talk about how you and your employees can stay resilient during times of adversity.

What issues and illnesses are most commonly seen as a result of the workplace, Rick?

Well Bruce, in my role at Copeman, I have the opportunity to meet with many of Alberta’s business leaders and unfortunately the workplace doesn’t seem to be getting any kinder. The work world is fast-paced and the demands on employees are often significant.

As you’ve mentioned already, stress continues to be the most prevalent health issue that arises in the workplace. Overtime this stress has a way of reducing our physical, psychological and brain resilience. We all handle stress differently, but common health expressions of stress are anxiety, disrupted sleep, stomach issues, depression, poor concentration and other examples.

Yeah, people are listening right now and saying “hey man, we can relate with that.” What work can be done to prevent these health issues?

Well, the cornerstone to being healthy still lies with making daily healthy therapeutic lifestyle decisions. So things like good nutrition, being physically active, getting the proper amount of sleep – and let’s not underestimate the value of sleep. Listening to your body and being open to various mindfulness or meditation approaches that can inject calmness into our busy lives are important.

In addition, a multidisciplinary annual health assessment like those done at Copeman are really important. These assessments provide you with a thorough baseline of health information which puts you and your health team in a much better position to prevent the onset of various health issues and/or detect them as early as possible. Now thankfully Bruce, many health issues can either be resolved or effectively managed if they are identified soon enough.

So Rick, why do you think employers should put a priority on employee health?

Well, employees are the number one asset and the number one component of any business. When I talk to business owners and CEOs they will tell me again that people are their number one asset. So from a purely business perspective, it would make sense that an employer would have a defined risk mitigation strategy in place to ensure that this number one asset is in fact an appreciating one.

It is well-documented that healthy employees are simply happier, are more productive and take less sick leave. If a business helps their employees to be healthy these same employees will in turn help the business to be healthy – it’s reciprocal. Supporting employee health should be seen as a core dimension of the business versus just being a perk.

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What’s one of the more novel approaches that organizations are using to address employee wellness?

Some of the innovations that we’re seeing in the workplace right now, I think would fall under the heading of a stratified wellness program. It’s important that we first recognize that most organizations already have various benefit differentials in place that are associated with individuals taking on greater responsibility within an organization. These benefit differentials can come in the form of salary, car allowance, vacation, variable pay and others.

Fundamentally, these benefit differentials are in recognition of the additional responsibility and stress that comes with the role and are not only accepted, but are actually expected. So what the leading companies have recognized is that there should also be a wellness differential as people take on greater responsibility. A stratified wellness program adds additional wellness dimensions as the individual’s responsibility increases, and this is designed to counter the potential impacts of filling a role that has more pressure, stress and the all too often negative health impacts that come from that stress. At Copeman Healthcare, we can uniquely help companies to design this type of stratified wellness program.

So in conclusion, what takeaways would you like our listeners to be left with today Rick?

We talked a little bit earlier Bruce and we said, when it comes to your health, don’t settle with being just okay. We deserve better than this. When you prioritize and invest in your health it can have such a dramatic impact on our quality of life. Centres like Copeman offer a refreshingly unique approach to preventative primary care by aligning you with a wellness team that can address your physical, psychological and brain health needs. Collaborative care in one centre that sees you when you need to be seen and respectfully starts your appointments on time, can help to reenergize you and help you to enjoy the best possible health.

If you’d like to know more about Copeman Healthcare for you, your family or your business, please call the Edmonton clinic at 780-455-2273 and ask for Treena, or you can learn more by going to our website at