Link between employee wellness management practices and disability claim cost reduction
MONTREAL, Nov. 5, 2014 /CNW Telbec/ - Increasing job autonomy, providing opportunities for promotion, implementing initiatives to promote physical activity and offering the option of a flexible workday schedule are some of the management practices that foster good mental health in the workplace, according to the findings of the SALVEO study conducted by Université de Montréal researchers in collaboration with colleagues from Concordia University and Université Laval, with the support of Standard Life in Canada.
"Our research confirms that there are five major practices that have an impact on mental health claim rates. Practices related to job design, demands, rewards, workplace physical activity and work–life balance are proving to be particularly important in preventing mental health problems in the workplace and reducing disability claim costs," said Professor Pierre Durand, co-leader of the study, along with Professor Alain Marchand, at the Université de Montréal.
The researchers interviewed over 2,100 workers from 63 organizations to analyze both the personal and professional factors that could lead to the development of psychological distress, depression and burnout. They examined different factors, including work schedules and workload, management policies, supervision styles, married and family life, alcohol consumption and self-esteem that were identified as triggers or inhibitors in the development of psychological distress, depression or burnout.
During Phase II of their research, the team reviewed 63 corporate management practices designed to reduce stress and improve employee health. These practices range from introducing workplace physical activities to implementing shorter working hours.
According to the researchers, the study also showed that companies with integrated management practices that keep every organizational, psychosocial and individual factor in mind would be more effective at preventing mental health problem-related absenteeism and presenteeism.
Notes to editors
- The preliminary findings of the SALVEO study and their usefulness in a health and wellness program have been reported in scientific publications by the research team and in a preliminary publication by Standard Life: Improving workplace mental health.
- The Mental Health Commission of Canada reports that, every year, approximately one out of five employees (21.4% of Canada's working population) suffers from a mental illness that potentially affects his or her productivity at work. Lost productivity related to absenteeism, presenteeism (when a worker is physically present but unproductive) and turnover costs Canadian companies $6.3 billion.
- The study was funded in part by the Canadian Institutes of Health Research and the Fonds de recherche du Québec – Santé, and conducted over a period of more than four years with 2,162 Quebec workers from all sectors.
About Standard Life
In Canada, Standard Life provides long-term savings, investment and insurance solutions to more than 1.4 million people, including group retirement and insurance plan members. It has 2,000 employees, and the main operating companies are The Standard Life Assurance Company of Canada and Standard Life Mutual Funds Ltd.
The parent company, Standard Life plc, has its headquarters in Scotland and operates in the UK, North America, Europe, Asia and the Middle East. It had $581 billion in assets under administration, including $52.1 billion in Canada through Standard Life Financial, at September 30, 2014.
SOURCE: Standard Life
For further information: Anne-Julie Gratton, 514-499-7999 or 1-877-499-9555 (Ext. 8150), [email protected]