As seen in the Vancouver Sun on May 29th, 2017
Top corporations have identified the need for comprehensive executive wellness programs – happily, so too have the employees.
So the company really does care for you, and here’s the proof. Research published in the February edition of the Harvard Business Review listed coverage for greater health, vision and wellness as the single most desirable employee benefit. This comes as music to the ears of CEOs and senior executives who have been trying to shift priorities towards corporate wellness as a means of optimizing executive performance.
“Happy, healthy leaders are more energetic and engaged leaders,” says Nancy MacKay, CEO of MacKay CEO Forums, “Research has repeatedly shown that better leaders drive superior results.”
A 2015 Towers Watson study revealed that among top-performing companies, workplace wellness goals have shifted from merely minimizing ongoing health expenses to actually driving long-term behavioural change.
Successful businesses have recognized that their leaders are a key asset that can positively influence the entire organization. So as an asset, they are either thriving and appreciating, or their health is suffering and their value to the organization is declining.
Executive health programs beyond mere risk mitigation strategy
The case for executive health as a risk mitigation strategy has been well documented. A 2009 study on health and productivity demonstrated that skyrocketing healthcare costs could be significantly reduced by targeting the promotion of comprehensive workplace wellness. A combination of early detection, preventative care and ongoing maintenance was shown to save companies billions in health-related expenses.
“Corporations need to start thinking about leadership wellbeing beyond mere risk mitigation,” Says Les Jickling, Sr. Director of Marketing and Communication at Copeman Healthcare. “Risk mitigation is certainly important, but the new thinking is in terms of how health in the executive ranks can actually drive results.”
Driving results through health optimization
Executive health programs have been shown to drive quantifiable gains while at the same time curtailing costs. A Medisys Executive Health study showed such programs can drive a 51% increase in productivity, a 70% increase in employee satisfaction and engagement, while simultaneously driving down costs such as absenteeism, disability, and prescription drugs.
Copeman Healthcare, a private, primary care Centre offers two programs designed to maximize the health of overloaded corporate leaders. Dr. Beth Donaldson, the Centre’s medical director and family physician explains how the Comprehensive Health Assessment and LifePlus programs address the special health needs of executives.
“Leaders know they need care. They might even know about existing health risks,” she says. “But it usually comes down to time. These are educated, intelligent people who just don’t have any time. So it’s important to offer flexibility – these are people that are under tremendous stress, have hectic travel schedules and often don’t get a lot of sleep or exercise. ”
But as Dr. Donaldson notes, it’s not about simply identifying health risks and sending patients on their merry way.
“Whether we’re talking prevention, detection or timely resolution – we work with our clients, ideally to prevent health issues entirely. It’s that proactive collaboration between patient and care team that drives excellent health outcomes and keeps these high-performers operating at the top of their game.”
Executive wellness programs bring health into sharp focus and relieve pressure by offering a dedicated team under one roof, running appointments on time and personalizing care to the specific needs of the client. Some programs also look beyond physical health to assess psychological and cognitive factors.
A shift in thinking
The Towers Watson report concluded that 94% of companies are aiming to create a culture that helps employees become more health-conscious, and that 96% are also increasing their efforts to promote greater employee wellbeing.
So folks, it looks like employees everywhere might just get what they asked for.