Posted by Pallavi Borkar on July 20, 2023
Pallavi Borkar

Employee expectations are on the rise. It’s no longer enough for organizations to solely focus on competitive salaries or distracting perks. And benefits without measurable outcomes (like your HSA) might be missing the mark.

Canadians now look to their workplaces to provide a sense of belonging, community, and purpose. But, increasingly, also well-being support.

In fact, job-seekers and employees agree that organizations have a critical role to play in protecting and improving team well-being. With many struggling to find the time or resources to put health first, employers are urged to take the torch.

Why does high-touch care matter?

A winning high-touch solution is one that supports employees throughout their care journey, providing them with the necessary support exactly when they need it. This approach equips team members with easily-accessible tailored care and evidence-based clinical support. Why? A unified solution that breaks down barriers between benefits is better suited to help employees address all aspects of health.

So, move your ping-pong tables aside. Learn why employers of choice set their sights on high-touch benefits for their team’s well-being. 


Reduce costs related to absenteeism

For HR leaders, balancing budgets and boosting well-being means walking a fine line. But investing in a high-touch virtual care solution can be a game-changer. With a comprehensive well-being program, you're arming your workforce with the power of prevention and early intervention.

When you proactively address potential employee health concerns, you effectively prevent them from escalating into financial burdens for your organization. At the same time, you can foster higher levels of employee engagement and productivity – reducing costs related to absenteeism and turnover.

Take a look at Dialogue’s cost-saving impact on leading organizations. 

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Post-pandemic, industries across the board are seeing an increase in health-related absences. This trend extends beyond traditionally high-absenteeism sectors like education and now includes unexpected sectors like construction and manufacturing.

What does this mean for organizations?

Employee absenteeism and presenteeism cost Canadian employers $645 million annually – with over 500,000 employees missing work for mental health reasons. 

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Taking into account the average Canadian salary, an estimated 10 days of absenteeism can cost your company around $2,000 per employee annually (and could be much more if your workforce is highly paid).  

Employers can reduce absenteeism with the right mix of health resources. 

1. Focus on prevention to reduce future costs

Up to 80% of chronic conditions can be eliminated with early intervention from timely primary care support. 

When faced with long wait times to see a physician, 20% of Canadians report stress, anxiety, pain, lost income, delays in diagnosis and treatment, redundant testing, and worsening health conditions.

Delayed care has also been documented to increase future hospital visits and increase related costs for employers. 

2. Improve access to mental health services

The Canadian economy loses $50 billion annually due to mental health issues. And, for employers, mental health disability leave costs twice as much as physical illness leave.

Research shows that clinically effective virtual mental health care can treat issues before they get worse and reduce costs.

3. Provide family care

Employers face an annual loss of at least $2.7 billion due to family-related issues. Plus, employees with children under age 5 take nearly twice as many days off, compared to those without children.

Almost 60% of children are sent home from child care services unnecessarily due to symptoms of illness.

With Dialogue, parents seeking rapid medical consults for their child can avoid days lost waiting in clinics, reducing employee absenteeism.


Spend less on employee benefits plans

According to Benefits Canada, Canadians face major health risk factors:

  • Poor stress management

  • Lack of health screening

  • Physical inactivity

  • Poor nutrition

The good news is that many of these risks can be mitigated through preventive care measures.

Employers are well aware of this. In fact, large companies typically allocate up to 30% of payroll for group insurance, which can include access to Health Savings Accounts (HSAs) and paramedical services, specifically to address these concerns. And, it has become common practice to increase these benefit dollar amounts to make employees feel supported.

But instead of providing real value, HR leaders may be unwittingly just checking a box. 

Even with care options available, employees often face barriers when trying to access the right support. Long wait times, and limited sessions, follow-ups, and measurable outcomes are far too common.

On the other hand, employees with Dialogue’s Primary Care, EAP, Mental Health+, and Wellness programs enjoy prompt access to care practitioners and clinical well-being support – benefiting from close guidance until functional remission. This helps treat health concerns fast and delays the onset of chronic conditions. And, in turn, could help employers reduce paramedical and HSA spending.

Increase workplace productivity

Research shows that, unsurprisingly, healthy employees are more productive than peers with health issues.

What does this mean?

  • Employees with depression are three times more likely to experience lost productivity.

  • Teams of four to eight members experience a 22% drop in productivity when one of them is absent due to illness.

  • For every 1,000 employees, employers can face $380,000 of productivity losses yearly (in addition to health care costs).

With high-touch care options, employees are more likely to get hands-on support to prevent, treat, and recover from well-being issues fast.

That’s exactly what Ubisoft did by granting its teams access to Dialogue's primary care, mental health, and employee assistance programs. This initiative relieved health-related concerns, allowing employees to focus on their passions and priorities.

Improve access to high-quality clinical care

With employers going remote or hybrid, the WHO stresses that virtual care gives all workers timely access to medical care.

Employees using Dialogue benefit from secure and reliable care from anywhere, and their health history is easily retrieved for more comprehensive support. Plus, with the appropriate level of intervention based on their unique needs, members are more likely to return to function quickly.

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If multiple consultations are needed, Dialogue prioritizes continuity of care by enabling members to connect with the same practitioner or smoothly transition to a new one – even across different programs.

Boosts job satisfaction, retention, and work-life balance

Healthcare benefits are the most attractive workplace factor. One study found over 90% of millennials worldwide consider work-life balance as a crucial component in their job search.

We also know that healthier employees have increased job satisfaction, which is a top factor for retaining employees.  

So, it’s a no-brainer for organizations to offer solid health benefits.

But Canadian employees continue to have high expectations of virtual care. This means that employers should choose platforms and providers that meet their workforce’s preferred criteria.

Dialogue members reap the benefits of their employers’ investment. In fact, 50% of employees who have access to Dialogue’s health and wellness program report better job satisfaction.

Another 30% report better work-life balance, and 33% say they’re less likely to miss work for health reasons.

And client organizations also report feeling less worried about employee productivity, innovation, absenteeism, and retention when they choose Dialogue. 

High-touch virtual care is more than telemedicine

Unlike traditional telemedicine, a high-touch approach goes beyond replacing visits to the doctor's office. Dialogue’s programs bring proactive, ongoing support and seamless communication to your team members, ensuring their well-being is always a top priority.

Through our Integrated Health Platform, you can confidently provide customized care, coaching, and engagement – resulting in improved health outcomes and cost savings. 

Want to learn more about how you can reinforce your
organization and build a healthier culture?

Discover Dialogue

Topics: For Organizations

About the author

Pallavi Borkar est une spécialiste du marketing de produit et de contenu qui possède 8 ans d’expérience dans l’édition, les biens de consommation, les loisirs et les technologies de la santé. Elle est titulaire d’un MBA de l’Université McGill au Canada et occupe actuellement le poste de gestionnaire du marketing de produit chez Dialogue. Son expertise consiste à donner vie à des programmes et à des solutions par le biais d’un positionnement et d’un message percutants qui résonnent sur le marché.