Most working Canadians say personalized wellness programs would improve wellbeing

Flexibility and customization in benefits are key to improving outcomes in personal and professional aspects of daily life

  • 80% of working Canadians report their overall wellbeing would improve if offered a personalized wellness program through their employer
  • 70% of working Canadians with group or private insurance coverage rank their overall wellbeing as excellent or good vs. 59% of those without any type of insurance coverage at all
  • Over half of working Canadians (53%) find health care spending accounts to be most important in insurance coverage when looking beyond traditional benefits

Toronto, ON (July 16, 2019) – Wellbeing in the workplace is increasingly important, with good employee health and happiness increasingly linked to better performance and productivity. In fact, according to a recent RBC Insurance poll, the majority of working Canadians (80 per cent) report that their overall wellbeing would improve if their employer were to offer a personalized wellness program that is customized to an individual’s specific wellness and health related interests and goals. The poll also revealed that more than nine in ten working Canadians (94 per cent) are more likely to work for an employer that cares about their overall health and wellbeing. Other aspects of daily life they say would improve if offered this type of program include their physical health (78%), favourable opinions of their employer (77 per cent), job satisfaction (73 per cent), mental health (71 per cent), and job productivity (68 per cent).

In particular, the poll revealed that, when it comes to group benefits overall, flexibility and customization are important. Nine in ten working Canadians value choice in their group benefits plan, especially women (92 per cent female vs. 87 per cent male). Nearly as many (84 per cent) agree that they would be more likely to participate in a workplace wellness program that is customized to their specific wellness goals. In return for this type of customization, three quarters (76 per cent) of working Canadians would be willing to share their health and wellness related information and goals with an insurer.

“The poll really underscores the value working Canadians place on having choice in benefits and personalized programs when it comes to their overall wellbeing,” said Julie Gaudry, Senior Director of Group Insurance at RBC Insurance. “It’s important for employers to design a benefits package that considers the needs of their workforce, especially as new generations enter and leave the market, this is something that can largely influence employee morale and their overall health.”

Link between benefits and wellbeing

The poll also revealed a relationship between working Canadians overall wellbeing and those who have group benefits or private coverage. While 70 per cent of working Canadians with group or private insurance rate their wellbeing as excellent or good, that figure falls to 59 per cent for those without any type of insurance coverage at all. A similar trend was found when working Canadians described their mental health (71 per cent for those with group or private insurance coverage vs. 59 per cent without any insurance coverage).

“The data shows that employee wellbeing is generally higher when they have benefits in place, whether through work or privately,” said Gaudry. “But it’s also clear that businesses need to look beyond traditional benefits by offering things such as health spending accounts, customizable wellness programs and even digital solutions to help promote healthier lifestyles. In fact, over half of working Canadians find health care spending accounts to be the most important in insurance coverage when looking beyond traditional benefits.”

How to motivate employees to participate in a wellness program

It can be challenging for businesses to motivate employees to participate in wellness programs. According to the RBC Insurance poll, here are the top three factors that working Canadians say would motivate them:

  • A tailored wellness program targeted to specific health-related goals (44 per cent)
  • Progress-based incentives/rewards (40 per cent)
  • Time away from their desk during work hours to dedicate to wellness (35 per cent)

About the Survey

These are some of the findings of an Ipsos poll conducted between May 7-10, 2019 on behalf of RBC Insurance. For this survey, a sample of 1,501 working Canadians aged 18 years and over was interviewed. Weighting was then employed to balance demographics to ensure that the sample’s composition reflects that of the adult population according to Census data and to provide results intended to approximate the sample universe. The precision of Ipsos online polls is measured using a credibility interval. In this case, the poll is accurate to within ±2.9 percentage points, 19 times out of 20, had all working Canadian adults been polled. The credibility interval will be wider among subsets of the population. All sample surveys and polls may be subject to other sources of error, including, but not limited to coverage error, and measurement error.

About RBC Insurance

RBC Insurance® offers a wide range of life, health, home, auto, travel, wealth, annuities and reinsurance advice and solutions, as well as creditor and business insurance services to individual, business and group clients. RBC Insurance is the brand name for the insurance operating entities of Royal Bank of Canada, one of North America’s leading diversified financial services companies. RBC Insurance is among the largest Canadian bank-owned insurance organizations, with approximately 2,900 employees who serve more than five million clients globally. For more information, please visit

Source: RBC Insurance via RBC Corporate Communications

Tags: , ,