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What it takes to build an executive health and well-being group benefits program

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executive health and well-being

What it takes to build an executive health and well-being group benefits program

Workplace wellness has become a top business priority. Nowhere is this more obvious than the resources that companies are investing to enhance their executive health and well-being offerings.

As the new-normal era of remote and hybrid work blurs the lines between our professional and personal lives, we’ve seen a heightened awareness of the linkages between executive performance, operational resiliency and overall business performance. At a macro level, that explains why executive health and well-being has become both a focal point for employee group benefits programs and an operational driver for organizations across the country.

Most companies now recognize the importance of investing in the total health of their employees, and that includes their top-tier executives. That hasn’t always been the case. Traditionally, less attention has been placed on the well-being of a company’s leadership team, despite the fact that top executives are the ones absorbing the bulk of the daily stress and bearing the weight of their company’s success. With great salaries and job titles comes great responsibility, the logic goes.

The reality, however, is that every individual, no matter how talented or resilient, has their breaking point. Even highly ambitious professionals will seek out new roles if their professional growth and personal lives are suffering due to unsustainable workplace pressures. That’s increasingly so, as post-pandemic labour mobility trends have underscored. Many professionals are no longer willing to tolerate positions that leave them unhappy or in a constant state of stress and fatigue.

Case in point: The Future Workplace 2021 HR Sentiment survey found that 68 percent of senior leaders rated employee well-being and mental health as a top priority. However, a recent survey from Deloitte revealed that nearly 70 percent of the C-suite are seriously considering quitting for a job that better supports their well-being.

Maintaining an optimal state of health and well-being is critical for any executive to function at their best and to inspire employees to perform at peak levels. A leader’s commitment to health also sends a message that overall wellness is a table stake of the company’s culture.

That explains why organizations are relying on robust executive group benefits programs to attract, retain and engage top leadership talent, while also employing their executive benefit offerings as a risk-management tool.

A healthy bottom line starts at the top

Why? The loss of a key leader to a physical or mental health challenge could potentially derail the delivery of products or services. At the very least, that executive down-time can result in distracted teams or missed growth opportunities. The mere uncertainty around a key executive’s future could muddy an organization’s short- to medium-term plans.

In that sense, executive health and well-being initiatives are about ensuring continuity and success, while setting the stage for leaders to achieve their full workplace potential.

Working to understand executives’ needs and what total wellness means to them is a fundamental consideration when designing an effective group benefits plan that they’ll use and value—with the ultimate goal being to discourage them from departing for a competitor. Take the time to develop a coherent strategy that serves your organization’s business-development and human capital goals. That process should involve your HR and executive teams at all levels (from the C-suite/ownership to vice-presidents) so that every element of the program is built to deliver a strong return on investment.

The four pillars of executive health and well-being programs

Every organization will (and should) customize their executive health and well-being programs to suit their needs. But there are typically four pillars common to any comprehensive program, including:

Preventative care and executive medical—This includes reactive and proactive tools to help executives tend to their overall health and wellness. Examples might include health and fitness offerings, weight-loss or mental health counselling. The medical side typically involves services such as in-depth examinations that are far more extensive than those provided during annual physicals in most Canadian provinces—namely advanced blood and genomic testing.

Global care—Many executives either work abroad or travel extensively to meet clients, for business development or to visit different sites if their employer’s facilities are scattered in different countries. They need coverage while on the road, and global care packages are designed to guarantee a level of medical care at least on par with what they would expect to receive in Canada. This could also include a budget for surgery or treatment when better options are available abroad.

Diagnostics—The wait time for diagnostics in Canada can be lengthy. Executive diagnostic coverage can provide business leaders with access to state-of-the-art services such as CT or MRI scans in a matter of days instead of weeks or months—and when timing allows, in advance of scheduled doctor’s appointments, enabling the more efficient discussion and development of treatment plans. Business executives also have access to medical experts who can answer their questions and clarify prognoses so they can more accurately balance decisions around their personal health and professional responsibilities.

Concierge medicine—Think of the concierge service you might receive at a luxury hotel, but applied to your health and well-being. Concierge medicine helps executives efficiently navigate the often-complex healthcare system in Canada, allowing them to lessen time in medical queues, gain better access to diagnostic and screening services and access treatment in a timely way to address their medical challenges.

However your plan is designed, executive health and well-being programs offer immense value for your organization and its leadership team. This is far more than a C-suite-friendly perk—executive-focused group benefits can be an operational game-changer that helps your leaders stay healthy, focused and as productive as possible.

The Bridgewell team

To learn more about our executive health and benefit packages, contact a member of our team today.

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