Canadian Employers Recognize Importance of Wellness Efforts

October 26, 2011 ( - The 2011 Buffett National Wellness Survey results show 97% of Canadian employers who offer wellness programs recognize that employee health influences overall corporate performance.

While 72% of surveyed organizations indicate offering some sort of wellness initiatives to employees, only 34% of those respondents indicate they are taking a strategic approach to wellness.   

Organizations continue to embrace workplace wellness despite economic conditions (65%), with many (43%) looking to increase health and wellness activities in the next six months. According to a press release, financial measurement and return-on-investment are identified as being important, yet 64% of surveyed organizations that offer wellness initiatives do not evaluate results, and 69% do not calculate return-on-investment.   

Employers identified the key barriers to offering workplace wellness programs as lack of budget (51%), lack of staffing (36%), and lack of ability to quantify results (36%). Only 10% of organizations indicate that they always offer incentives to encourage participation in wellness efforts, and 52% of organizations offer incentives at least some of the time.   

Canadian employers identified the top health risks facing employees in their organizations as: 

  • Work-related stress is (56% of respondents); 
  • Smoking (35%); 
  • Mental health issues (35%); and 
  • High blood pressure (35%).  

The 2011 Buffett National Wellness Survey was conducted over the spring and summer of 2011. A national sample of 677 Canadian employers participated in the online survey. Respondents represented public, private, and not-for-profit organizations ranging in size from less than 100 employees to those with more than 2,500 employees.