Workplace Wellness Reaps Rewards


Tri Fit Inc. is a leading provider of workplace health and fitness solutions. Building on a proven “better health, better performance” business philosophy, Tri Fit provides a broad range of services for forward-looking companies and organizations. Since 1978 the company has teamed with clients to engage their employees and improve productivity through enhanced personal and organizational health. Tri Fit’s goal is to promote workplace wellness and make a lasting and beneficial difference in workplace culture and bottom line results. In April 2013, the Great Place to Work Instituterecognized Tri Fit as one of the top 50 Best Workplaces in Canada and one of the 25 Best Workplaces for Women in Canada.

Veronica Marsden

President, TriFit Inc.


  1. Chronic Diseases: The Power to Prevent, The call to Control. At a Glance 2009. National Centre for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion.

  2. Committed, and proud of it, Globe & Mail, April 5, 2013


Workplace wellness doesn’t just happen. Building a healthy workplace culture involves more than providing a menu of programs and services. It is about creating spaces, norms and traditions that revolve around health and wellbeing. 

With employees spending over 50% of their waking hours at work, employers have a huge opportunity to impact their well-being. In fact, many top employers see wellness as a way to not only reduce health care costs, but also attract and retain the best and brightest and keep them engaged at work.

According to the National Centre for Disease Control and Prevention, close to 80% of health care costs are due to modifiable risk factors, including tobacco use, poor eating habits, excessive alcohol use and physical inactivity.1 Clearly, a major opportunity for managing the economic impact of disease is keeping low-risk employees from moving into higher risk categories – i.e. keeping low risk employees, low risk. Since aging workers are at increased risk of illness and disability, this philosophy acquires increasing importance as baby boomers remain in the workforce years after their dream of Freedom 55. 

Attention to workplace wellness reaps rewards for everyone. Even the smallest organization can benefit from a strategically designed wellness program targeted to organizational cost pressures, strategic goals and employee needs. By avoiding expensive, untargeted “one offs” and instead, maximizing use of internal resources, external partners and community resources, workplace wellness solutions can be both affordable and cost effective.


For success in building a healthy workplace culture you need to set goals and develop strategies that address the specific needs of both your employees and your organization.

Here are some points to consider:

  • Executive support is critical. It demonstrates that health is an important part of your company’s culture. When employees see a supportive leadership team, they want to get involved.

  • A program champion is an important sustainability strategy. Your champion should be a personal advocate of health, have the influence to engage senior leaders and the authority to drive your program forward.

  • Health cost pressures, employee engagement scores and wellness interventions are connected. For example, if high blood pressure medication is a top drug prescribed, promote physical activity, healthy eating and weight management. If engagement scores are low, look for ways to involve employees through fitness and wellness team initiatives. Each disengaged employee may cost an organization an average of $10,000 in profits annually.2

  • Employees are at different stages of adopting new health habits. Meet people where they are at by providing a variety of ways to engage – some may want to download information from your intranet while others may prefer wellness clinics, one-on-one coaching or team challenges.

  • Organizations thrive on a little healthy competition. Participation in wellness programs spikes when there is something fun going on, like a weight loss or pedometer challenge. Recognize participation and keep employees engaged with draw prizes, trophies, and braggng rights. You can even reward them with an extra vacation day or an increase in their health spending account.

  • As the burden of health care costs often relate to dependents. Include families in wellness challenges, provide access to your wellness portal, and organize family wellness events. Encourage employees to take wellness home and send the message that a healthy lifestyle is a “family affair.”

Fostering a culture of wellness is an important part of creating a Great Place to Work. Your success will be rewarded with employees who say, “I love coming to work. I feel cared for and connected to my team.” Such employees take pride in their work, are engaged and productive and have fun at work. Happy employees are ultimately healthy employees.



Categories: Editorial