Nurturing a culture of wellness – the impact wellness plays in attracting and retaining talent

Welcome to the fifth of our six-part Sanofi Insights – a series of articles created to provide you with insights into highlights of the 2020 Sanofi Healthcare Survey results.

It’s imperative to have your finger on the pulse of the wellness culture within your workplace. Of course, wellness may be taking on more of an occupational health and safety meaning for the immediate future while organizations navigate through the COVID-19 pandemic and focus on returning their teams to work safely. . Beyond this focus, there are many components that make up wellness culture, and the decision around what areas to focus on is organization-specific. Many of these components are outlined within the 2020 Sanofi report, with safe work environment being the number one reported way in which organizations encourage health and wellness.

Reviewing the top three gaps between the views of plan members and plan sponsors, we can gain valuable insight. The top areas where the results aren’t aligned  are:

  • Relaxed atmosphere at work
  • Good leadership from senior executives andowners, tied with reasonable workloads/work hours
  • HR policies that support wellness

Closing the gaps

Building a baseline of clear and concise foundational policies, guidelines, and goals is important. If your foundation isn’t yet in place, start small with one new policy in order to keep it digestible. Having leadership’s support is paramount, and consistent leading by example within the workplace internal champions will contribute to building, and maintaining a culture of wellness.

Gauge, then elevate your organization’s wellness culture

There are significant differences in plan members’ views of their workplace based on their employer’s wellness culture.  Plan members who work in organizations that have a strong versus a weak wellness culture have:

  • An average personal health rating of 50%, vs 38%
  • A whopping 29% increase when it comes to being satisfied in their job – 90% vs 61%

The majority of plan sponsors surveyed (88%) agreed that their workplace has a strong culture of wellness, indicating a commitment to invest in areas outside of health benefits that are aligned with specific health objectives. This is  good news for HR recruiters, given that 86% of plan members report that a positive health and wellness culture within a workplace impacts their decision on considering a role within the organization.

Further discussion is needed around what plan members and plan sponsors think are central components of a wellness culture. To foster this discussion, start with implementing a health and wellness engagement survey. It is a good way to gauge your organization’s current wellness culture and to get a benchmark for comparison purposes as you evolve your strategy.

Return on investment as it pertains to wellness programs has been debated for years; however plan members have once again spoken loud and clear: a strong wellness culture is pivotal to attracting and retaining the best talent in 2020 and beyond. What seems to be consistent amongst organizations that have highly effective wellness cultures in place is a great communication strategy, executive/leadership support, employee input when developing strategies, program accessibility, a variety of offerings, and program evaluation.

Written by Brendan Hickey, Director, Health Solutions at People Corporation, with insight provided by Shannon Darvill, Consultant at Silverberg Group, a People Corporation Company, and a Sanofi Canada Healthcare Survey Advisory Board Member.