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Beneva Unveils First Results of a Study on Corporate Health and Wellness Practices

December 9, 2021

Quebec City, December 9, 2021—Health and wellness are very important to Beneva, the company born of La Capitale and SSQ Insurance. The company is working towards creating significant changes and giving people the tools they need to promote and manage health in general. Beneva is developing innovative programs that will ensure a greater understanding of how we can provide peace of mind to all Canadians.

This is why Beneva partnered with Le Pôle santé HEC Montréal, a health research centre, a continuation of an agreement brokered with SSQ Insurance. The purpose of the partnership was to study the link between personal well-being and sound health and wellness practices in the workplace.

The first results are in and the findings are telling. Employers must make the mental health of employees a priority.

“We want to provide tools that help our plan sponsors keep their employees at work and in good mental and physical health,” said Éric Trudel, Executive Vice-President – Group Insurance at Beneva. “This is why we created an end-to-end, health continuum-based approach to support our plan members throughout their active life at work.”

Telling Conclusions

The presence of a health and wellness culture

Companies who develop a strong health and wellness culture are able to create an environment that fosters good mental health. It is also important to promote physical activity and a sound work-life balance. Together, they have a positive effect on employee motivation and mobilization as well as on mental health.

The immediate supervisor’s support matters

The importance of the immediate supervisor’s role on employee health and wellness cannot be understated. Caring supervisors who attach great value to their employees' health will consider their health and wellness objectives. Managers must be made aware of the beneficial effects of workplace health and wellness practices on burnouts and absenteeism. The first results reveal that an immediate supervisor’s support will reduce the likelihood of burnouts and absenteeism. In fact, the more support a supervisor provides, the more likely employees are to participate in workplace health and wellness programs.

Rewards don’t seem to matter

Rewarding employees with items like fitness gear as part of a health and wellness program seems to have no effect on employee participation or on their perception of a workplace health culture.

Caring Objectives

By partnering with Le Pôle santé HEC Montréal, SSQ Insurance wanted to shed light on the impact that health and wellness initiatives have on healthcare claims and benefits. The company’s objective was to identify the most promising management strategies to reduce financial, human and social costs, while increasing performance and productivity.

The project was spearheaded by Mr. Denis Chênevert and Ms. Marie-Ève Beauchamp Legault. Chênevert is Director of Pôle santé (a health research centre), as well as a researcher and professor at the HEC. Beauchamp Legault is a teacher’s assistant who is currently earning her Ph.D. for her work on organizational behaviour and human resources management.

“Companies who choose to apply the recommendations from this study will definitely reap positive benefits in terms of employee health and wellness,” said Beauchamp Legault, M. Sc., CRHA, whose thesis will include this project.

Tangible Results

A number of companies participated in the study.

  • 59 companies filled out the questionnaire on sound health and wellness practices
  • 32 of those also gave a questionnaire to their employees
  • 2,828 employees completed the questionnaire
  • Data was collected from November 2019 to July 2021. Several questions were revisited in light of the pandemic

Scientific articles will be published on the data gathered. Several workshops based on the report provided to all the companies who participated are scheduled for spring 2022.

For companies who would like to participate in the research project, data collection is still ongoing.

About Beneva

Created by the coming together of La Capitale and SSQ Insurance, Beneva is the largest insurance mutual in Canada with more than 3.5 million members and customers. Beneva employs over 5,000 dedicated employees: people looking out for people. Its human approach is rooted in mutualist values that are shared by its employees. With $25 billion in assets, Beneva positions itself as a major player in the insurance and financial services industry. Its head office is located in Quebec City.

The policyholders of Beneva Group Inc. are the plan members of SSQ Mutual Management Corporation and La Capitale Civil Service Mutual.