Beneva unveils first results of a study on corporate health and wellness practices

13 January 2022

Shot of two smart multiethnic business people working together with laptop while talking about job news in the office.

Canadian ICMIF member Beneva, the company born of La Capitale and SSQ Insurance, says health and wellness are very important to the organisation. To that end, Beneva has been working towards creating significant changes and giving people the tools they need to promote and manage health in general. Beneva has been developing innovative programmes that will ensure a greater understanding of how it can provide peace of mind to all Canadians.

This is why Beneva partnered with Le Pôle santé HEC Montréal, a health research centre, a continuation of an agreement brokered with SSQ Insurance. The purpose of the partnership was to study the link between personal well-being and sound health and wellness practices in the workplace.

The first results were announced in December 2021 and the findings are telling. Employers must make the mental health of employees a priority.

“We want to provide tools that help our plan sponsors keep their employees at work and in good mental and physical health,” said Éric Trudel, Executive Vice-President – Group Insurance at Beneva. “This is why we created an end-to-end, health continuum-based approach to support our plan members throughout their active life at work.”

Telling conclusions from the research are:

The presence of a health and wellness culture

Companies who develop a strong health and wellness culture are able to create an environment that fosters good mental health. It is also important to promote physical activity and a sound work-life balance. Together, they have a positive effect on employee motivation and mobilisation as well as on mental health.

The immediate supervisor’s support matters

The importance of the immediate supervisor’s role on employee health and wellness cannot be understated. Caring supervisors who attach great value to their employees’ health will consider their health and wellness objectives. Managers must be made aware of the beneficial effects of workplace health and wellness practices on burnouts and absenteeism. The first results reveal that an immediate supervisor’s support will reduce the likelihood of burnouts and absenteeism. In fact, the more support a supervisor provides, the more likely employees are to participate in workplace health and wellness programs.

Rewards don’t seem to matter

Rewarding employees with items like fitness gear as part of a health and wellness programme seems to have no effect on employee participation or on their perception of a workplace health culture.

Caring objectives

By partnering with Le Pôle santé HEC Montréal, SSQ Insurance wanted to shed light on the impact that health and wellness initiatives have on healthcare claims and benefits. The company’s objective was to identify the most promising management strategies to reduce financial, human and social costs, while increasing performance and productivity.

The project was spearheaded by Mr Denis Chênevert and Ms Marie-Ève Beauchamp Legault. Chênevert is Director of Pôle santé (a health research centre), as well as a researcher and professor at the HEC. Beauchamp Legault is a teacher’s assistant who is currently earning her Ph.D. for her work on organisational behaviour and human resources management.

“Companies who choose to apply the recommendations from this study will definitely reap positive benefits in terms of employee health and wellness,” said Beauchamp Legault, M. Sc., CRHA, whose thesis will include this project.

Tangible results

A number of companies participated in the study.

  • 59 companies filled out the questionnaire on sound health and wellness practices
  • 32 of those also gave a questionnaire to their employees
  • 2,828 employees completed the questionnaire
  • Data was collected from November 2019 to July 2021. Several questions were revisited in light of the pandemic

Beneva says scientific articles will be published on the data gathered. Several workshops based on the report provided to all the companies who participated are scheduled for spring 2022.


For member-only strategic content on the cooperative/mutual insurance sector, ICMIF members have exclusive access to a range of online resources through the ICMIF Knowledge Hub.

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