Health and Wellness Program Planning Pitfalls

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The trend of increased Health and Wellness programing for both small and large organizations is continuing to grow.  We have more and more clients looking to us for assistance in providing Health and Wellness related content and programing to their employee groups.  There are a number of things an organization should think about prior to implementing their Health and Wellness plan in order to avoid some common pitfalls.

Potential Pitfalls to address in planning:

The Construction Industry – Building Blocks for a Group Benefits Program

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It takes a team of specialists, architects, engineers and laborers to build a new home, office building or bridge. To effectively design and manage a Group Benefits program, a high level of expertise is also required. Choosing the right consultant to build a plan that provides the flexibility required by your industry and that is aligned to your company’s corporate and financial objectives and unique needs is essential to the long term success and sustainability of your plan.

The following are important considerations in developing a strategic plan for the construction industry:


Benefits Considerations for Not-for-Profit Organizations

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Every industry has different and specific needs with respect to their group benefits offering.  As specialists in employee benefits for not-for-profit organizations, we have learned that there are a number of unique items not-for-profit organizations should consider when implementing a benefits plan or making changes to their plan.

1. What is the purpose of the group benefits plan for your organization?  Does your organization simply want to offer a basic benefit to employees to provide some support, or does the organization want to compete with the benefits offered in the for-profit sector. Determining the purpose will assist in building the plan that is right for your organization.

Benefits Change Management Communications

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Communicating a benefits take away is always a challenging exercise.  However, if it is done properly and within the parameters of a well-designed communications strategy, the outcome need not be negative.  When communicating any change in coverage to your plan members, the communication process should be well thought out and the message should be clear and concise.

Anytime a change to the benefits program is being implemented the communications should provide the following information:

  • Clearly identify which benefits are changing and what the changes are
  • Advise employees when the changes will take place

Managing workplace absenteeism

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Recently, there has been a great deal of attention given to the problem of workplace absenteeism. According to the most recent information from Statistics Canada, the average Canadian worker was away from work for the equivalent of almost two weeks in a year.

To read more on this topic, please visit Kim Siddall’s latest Benefits Canada article here.

Energize your life…

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Many people feel stressed due to factors such as not having enough time in the day to complete tasks, lack of energy due to poor nutrition, etc.  It is possible to energize your life and relieve stress with simple lifestyle changes.  Try some of the following strategies:

Manage Stress

When stress is managed well, the mind and body are both able to function in a healthier way.  One technique is to concentrate on your breathing, inhaling with slow, deep breaths through your nose and exhaling through your month.  Imagine calmness entering your body and tension leaving your body with every breath.

What employers need to know about rheumatoid arthritis

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As rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is a leading cause of disability and can be a significant claims cost driver, it’s important to understand how RA impacts those who have been diagnosed with it and what employers can do.

To read more on this topic, please visit Kim Siddall’s latest Benefits Canada article here.

Keeping your Kidneys Healthy

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March is Kidney Health Month, promoted by the Kidney Foundation of Canada (

Kidneys are vital body organs located below the ribs on either side of your spine.  Kidneys have three important functions:

  • They remove excess water from the body, or retain water if your body needs more.  They also regulate the levels of minerals your body needs to function properly, like sodium and potassium.

  • Kidneys act as a filter, cleaning the blood and removing waste from the body through the production of urine.

Canada’s off-label drug problem

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Canada has no process in place for monitoring off-label drug use. For public and private drug plans struggling to contain increasing drug claims, should their plans cover off-label use prescription drugs?

To read more on this topic, please visit Kim Siddall’s latest Benefits Canada article here.

AQ Speaks HR – Human Resource Planning in 2014

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Happy New Year! According to the Chinese zodiac, 2014 is the Year of the Horse.  The spirit of the horse is recognized as reflecting an unremitting effort to self-improvement. The start of the Year of the Horse is a good time for businesses and organizations to review their Human Resource and people management activities and plans for the upcoming year, all in the spirit of continuous improvement.

Following are five key areas that should be included in your organization’s HR plan:

1.   Employee Engagement Survey