Effective and results-driven wellness programs go well beyond lunch and learns, discounted gym memberships and walking clubs. Stringing together activities for employees without a strategy could actually be costing your company more than you think in the long run, without making the real changes you are looking for.

“Having a wellness program is not just about ticking a box and feeling good about your company,” says Susanne Cookson, Co-founder of BestLifeRewarded, whose goal is to motivate and encourage Canadians to embrace a healthier lifestyle. “If you can’t measure the results of your program, you don’t know if you are making a difference and you’re likely wasting resources.”

The cost of being unhealthy

Poor health costs Canadian companies in many ways, from workers not able to work to their full capacity, increased absenteeism and use of health benefits, as well as lost productivity.

Fuelled by data and research, BestLifeRewarded supports over 12,000 companies in Canada and is the only system of its kind that uses multiple science-based behaviour models, including tangible rewards, to motivate people to adopt healthy living practices. “Wellness is an individual journey, impacted by one’s physical, mental, and financial health,” says Cookson. “This is why we create a personalized health action plan that is tailored to both the organization and to the individual.”

Without innovative solutions, the burden of health-related costs for organizations across the country will increase. Business leaders have an opportunity to change the face of health care in Canada by thinking differently about their wellness programs and being part of a movement for change.

“This is something that organizations aspiring to be top employers should be looking at,” says Cookson. “You build businesses by strengthening people. If we could improve health outcomes by even one percent, we’d save billions of dollars. Imagine playing a part in creating that kind of change while making people in your business well.”