A survey among employer clients carried out by Best Doctors in association with Canada Life has revealed some interesting insights into the way employers look at benefits for their staff’s health and wellbeing.

Respondents were HR managers, HR directors or compensation and benefit managers of a variety of firms For the majority (29%) the main objectives of their workplace health benefits programme was integration of benefits. For 15% it was to differentiate and remain competitive, to tackle absence management and to attract and retain staff.

In respect of workplace health, many managers (18%) highlighted communications amongst their top three priorities. Absence management was still top at 32% but for 15% mitigating costs was key and return on investment was a priority for just 6% of respondents.

Dominic Howard, director Europe, Best Doctors said: “Our respondents confirmed that their primary objective was integration; ensuring their benefits worked in tandem with one another to ensure maximum efficiency with regards to communicating, lowering absence levels, employee appreciation and cost.
However when it comes to determining the importance of those objectives, by and large our respondents are looking for benefit communication to improve employee awareness to then positively affect staff retention and recruitment.”

The survey also found that e-based communications dominate the respondents’ attitudes to the most effective communication channel (29%). One-off activities such as induction packs and benefit fairs have been traditionally used to aid benefit communication, yet do not receive strong support in terms of the most effective communication tool. This could suggest that respondents may prefer regular and convenient opportunities to ‘drip-feed’ benefit information via email, meetings or posters.

Dominic Howard added: “Best Doctors can play a part in helping to accomplish company goals within each of the main workplace health objectives. Our account management strategy provides support, insight and engagement when communicating to employees. Our core aim of ensuring right diagnosis and right treatment by providing staff with access to world leading medical expertise addresses a wide range of medical conditions. Chief amongst these are musculoskeletal, neurological and oncological conditions where our intervention can potentially improve absence levels and lower healthcare costs. Some of the features of our proposition, such as extending access to our experts to certain family members, improve employee appreciation of Best Doctors, the employer and company benefits in general.”