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Canada: Investing in Workforce Health Generates Higher Productivity

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Wed Nov 23 2011

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(From Business Wire) -- As Canadian organizations search for ways to improve workforce productivity, they are trying new approaches to combat the double-whammy of rising health costs and increased employee absence, stress and disability - and some are succeeding more quickly than others. High-effectiveness companies are using tactics like financial rewards to encourage and support their staff in making better lifestyle health decisions. While incentive pay to encourage participation in health and productivity programs is a common practice in the US, a new survey by global professional services company Towers Watson shows that the number of organizations implementing this strategy in Canada is on the rise.

According to Towers Watson’s 2011/2012 Staying@Work survey, a quarter (26%) of Canadian employers are planning to offer some type of financial reward in 2012 to individuals who participate in their health management programs -- up from just 13% who currently do so. As Wendy Poirier, Health and Group Benefits Leader for Towers Watson in Canada notes, “We are seeing employers increasingly realize the importance that health and productivity programs can play in their efforts to control health care costs and maintain a productive workforce. While the outcomes of any one tactic can’t be guaranteed, high effectiveness companies with thoughtful multi-faceted programs are reaping clear returns on their investments in workforce health.”

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