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How to improve your workplace wellness program

How to improve your workplace wellness program

Health and wellness programs are now widely accepted as an integral component to any comprehensive HR plan but a recent study by one industry leader has shed some worrying light on the efficacy of such initiatives.

According the Workplace Health and Wellness Study – conducted by Ipsos Reid in association with GoodLife Fitness – employee participation is a major challenge for 34 per cent of organizations.

Customization, it seems, is the most significant obstacle standing between employees and a healthier lifestyle – a full 61 per cent of workers surveyed said they would be more inclined to take part in a health and wellness program if it was tailored to their individual needs.

Employers were also quick to identify the corresponding weakness in their company programs with 62 per cent admitting their health and wellness benefits failed to accommodate the broad range of individuals within their organization.

Deloitte’s chief talent officer Jason Winkler told HRM that this was one of the major struggles for the organization when setting up an effective health and wellness program.

“It’s hard for us to divine programs to meet a very wide demographic with 9,000 people across the country and 50 locations,” he said.

With Canada boasting one of the most diverse and multicultural populations in the world, catering to every employee’s health and wellness preferences may seem impossible but Winkler says he’s found a solution.

“By having this discount program people can choose what matters to them,” he told HRM, referring to Venngo’s WorkPerks program. “It’s great because it provides them with that choice.”

The fully-managed program offers employees over 1,200 discounts – more than 400 of those are health and wellness related.

“We have relationships with fitness clubs, spas, yoga studios, massage therapists, clothing providers, weight loss programs – all of those kinds of things,” reveals Venngo representative Joe Parent.

Venngo has also partnered up with GoodLife Fitness to offer significant employee discounts and while Parent acknowledges the fact that many organizations have already established a similar connection on their own, he says participation rates often go up after implementing the WorkPerks discount program.

“We’ve got many examples of a program being in place before we arrived on the scene where employees could access discounts at GoodLife Fitness yet the engagement rate was very low and there’d be just a small number of employees actually taking advantage of that,” he told HRM.

“When we go in with the WorkPerks program, with all of our support and communications, working closely with people, we see a very immediate acceleration in terms of the number of employees that actually purchase fitness memberships, get engaged and start becoming more fit,” he added.

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Working with Canada’s top employers since 2000, Venngo promotes financial, physical and mental well-being.  Over 300 health & wellness partnerships make it possible for individuals to more affordably pursue a healthy lifestyle and help employers reduce health care and benefits costs while creating a happy, healthy workplace. In total, Venngo’s more than 1,200 unique partnership relationships provide discounts that make it possible to save $1,000’s every year on a broad range of goods and services including everything from entertainment and travel to dining, clothing, electronics, home & auto insurance and more.  Find our more at