Canada Life case study on workplace wellbeing
In 2007, Canada Life’s (one of Ireland’s leading insurers) HR department carried out a due-diligence on its health and safety policies within the company and its legislative requirements with regard to the Health and Safety at Work Act 2005. In the course of the study, it became clear that many employees placed employee wellbeing, flexible working conditions, employee assistance programmes, at least on a par with their salary and bonuses. A business case for an employee welbeing programme was developed and presented to top management for approval. Using the NHF materials, Canada Life decided to launch a wellbeing policy into its head office in Dublin to actively promote stress management, general health and wellbeing of all employees.
Main aim for Canada Life
Canada Life wanted to address a number of factors:
- to launch a comprehensive stress management policy;
- to improve retention of staff;
- to enhance goodwill between staff and management;
- to nurture a spirit of corporate social responsibility; and
- to foster a light touch by introducing an element of fun into the workplace.
In designing its initiative, Canada Life drew on the NHF’s toolkit to develop an intervention strategy, using the NHF step-by-step approach. Canada Life divided its programme into themes, dedicating one week each quarter to mental, physical and nutritional wellbeing, and to health and safety matters. A simple and cost-effective suite of activities was developed at little additional cost.
Canada Life carried out an initial staff satisfaction survey, with a response from 176 staff members, after its mental wellbeing week. The survey found that of the four wellbeing themed weeks, 50% of staff identified the ‘nutritional wellbeing week’ to be of most relevance to them; 49% identified the ‘physical wellbeing week’ of the most relevant to them.
The staff satisfaction survey will be carried out again at the end of the wellbeing programme, to gauge if the introduction of the campaign has had an impact on staff satisfaction or influenced retention or absenteeism levels. The overall awareness of health and wellbeing among staff was raised even after the initial themed mental wellbeing week.
Retention levels will be measured over a period of one year. However, initial feedback from staff indicated that morale was certainly boosted by this easy-to-implement intervention.
For further information on the Canada Life case study or the Nutrition and Health Foundation's Workplace Wellbeing Campaign, contact Adrienne McDonnell