Billions of dollars are sapped from the Canadian economy each year as workers take time off due to preventable health problems, but could a fresh approach to employee benefits be the answer? HRM asked the experts.
“A lot of people don’t realize that they have a whole host of great services and benefits available to them on their employer plan,” says Erinn Macaulay, pointing to their power to prevent problems reaching crisis levels and to save employers money.
Making prevention possible
Of course prevention is always better than cure, but many employees just don’t know who – or how – to ask for help. “How can you teach someone to use preventative services if they don’t even know they have access to them?” asks Macaulay, of Novus Health.
In 2011, an ADP survey revealed that an alarming 40 per cent of employees don’t understand their own benefits – let alone make the most of them. Novus Health’s navigation platform aims to turn that statistic on its head.
By giving people a centralized resource for any health-related questions or queries they may have, Novus Health is giving Canadian employees the power to make informed decisions and improve overall wellbeing.
Advice on: what to do if they want to lose weight or are grappling with anxiety;, information about eldercare for their aging parents or even help finding childcare for when they’re in hospital. Employees can contact service providers such as Novus Health for assistance on almost anything.
“It’s a destination for people to go to for all their health-related concerns – anytime and anywhere.” said Macaulay.
Impact on employers
Novus Health’s platform has a plethora of benefits for employees but the advantages flow upstream so employers will also be able to harness those benefits for the good of the business.
Unless employees are fully aware of all the benefits that are available to them, they’ll never be able to make the most of what they already have. “You need someone to help you navigate,” says Macaulay.
When employees are given that guidance, often the situation can be managed more effectively, which means employers won’t be left in the lurch when something spirals out of control.
“To be able to provide someone with that knowledge is a great thing to do,” concludes Macaulay. “The benefits you’re going to see are really long term.”