The transportation sector links people to jobs, delivers products to consumers, connects communities and so much more. Supporting the people in this industry is important; one of the best ways to do this is with employee health benefits.
A Mobile Workforce
The transportation sector in Canada employs nearly 1 million people. It encompasses people working in airlines, trucking, railroads, shipping, transportation infrastructure and more. Some of these employees find themselves moving across towns, regions or the country, while others support and organize the movement. With this multi-modal transportation network, it’s crucial to have the right employees to keep things moving. Inefficiencies and bottlenecks in any element of the sector can have far reaching impacts.
When it comes to employee benefits, the transportation sector does have some unique needs. With so many employees on the move, accessibility to benefits can be a challenge. If employees are travelling, or if they are working shiftwork (common in this industry) traditional hours and location of services may not adequately support employees. It may also be difficult to get all employees together for meetings or to convey information on benefits, so a creative approach to communicating benefits is essential.
Choose the Right Provider
Supporting employees in the transportation sector must start with choosing the right employee benefits provider. Employees in this sector may be located across the country, and those employees need to have easy access to benefits and support no matter where they are. The right provider must understand the unique needs of this sector and be able to support employees as they travel and work across the country.
It’s also important to choose a provider who shares your outlook on benefits. A long term, sustainable approach to benefits and a proactive approach to cost control are a must. A provider who has experience with the transportation sector and understands the ins and outs of the sector can really improve the benefits experience for all involved.
Supporting employees in the transportation sector means providing employee benefits that can improve the health and wellbeing of employees.
Benefits should aim to:
1. Support physical health
Supporting physical health can be done by including common employee benefits like prescription drug and paramedical coverages. Prescription drug coverage is important because without it, many Canadians choose not to have their prescriptions filled. This means health conditions go untreated, and health can deteriorate. With coverage (when some or all of the cost of the medication is borne by the plan), employees are likely to experience better physical health.
Paramedical coverage also contributes to better health. Paramedical coverage refers to coverage for services provided by: Chiropractors, Dieticians, Physiotherapists, Speech Therapists and many more. These services can help prevent illness or injuries, treat existing conditions or compliment other medical interventions.
Other extended health coverages such as dental and vision promote better physical health. Eye examinations can help identify serious health conditions going on in the body, while dental health is said to have an important connection to the general health of the body.
2. Support Mental Health
In recent years, the stigma around mental health challenges has diminished, and employers have begun recognizing how important it is to support the mental health of their employees.
One of the best ways to support the mental health of people working in the transportation sector is to provide access to an Employee and Family Assistance Program (EFAP).
An Employee and Family Assistance Program offers free, short-term counselling. Employees can reach out for help by calling the program any time of the day or night (it’s available 24/7). They can be connected with support right away, with additional counselling sessions arranged during the initial call. Employees struggling with stress, anxiety, depression or anything else have somewhere to turn to. An EFAP also provides online resources including: articles, podcasts, videos and toolkits to help employees who are struggling.
Another way to support the mental health of employees is to ensure the plan includes coverage for visits to a registered counselor, psychologist or therapist to ensure they can get the help they need.
3. Support Wellbeing
Supporting the wellbeing of employees in the transportation sector means incorporating wellness both into the company culture and into the employee benefits program. This means practicing healthy habits to improve mental and physical health. Wellness benefits will look different for each organization. What works for one company may not work for another.
Common wellness benefits may need to be adjusted or tweaked to be most effective for the transportation sector. For example, if offering a subsidized gym membership, it may be important to partner with a gym that has locations nationwide. This way if employees are travelling, they can still have access to a gym. Another option may be to provide coverage for virtual personal training sessions (such as LIFT) – this removes the barriers of location and travel.
Benefits Tailored for Transportation
Ensuring your benefits plan is a good fit for your company is essential. Finding benefits tailored for your industry can make a world of difference. Several benefits that may be a particularly good fit for this industry include:
- Virtual Healthcare – Virtual healthcare means employees can use technology to connect with a doctor or nurse practitioner. The service is available 24/7 from anywhere in the country. This means if an employee is travelling, they can still access medical support (as long as they have a phone, tablet or computer). Giving employees easy access to a medical professional can improve health outcomes.
- Disability Management Services – Disability management services are professional services to support employees who are absent from work due to injury or illness. These services help reduce the duration of disability leave by supporting employees in getting back to work as soon as they’re able. These benefits are a good fit for the transportation sector because this sector can experience higher-than-average disability claims. Professional management of those claims helps reduce claim costs and improve the health of the ill or injured employee.
Why Offer Employee Benefits to the Transportation Sector?
The transportation sector is a very important component to Canada’s economic landscape. It’s a competitive industry and having the right employees can mean all the difference in the success of companies in this industry.
Supporting your employees with benefits helps improve the physical and mental health of employees. This way they can focus on their job, which can mean higher productivity. It also sends the message that you care – which really does matter to employees.
In addition to productivity gains, a robust employee benefits plan can be an important component to your company’s recruitment and retention strategy. In short, it makes good business sense to support your employees with benefits.
Good Advice is Key
Is your employee benefits plan geared towards your company and the transportation sector? Does your provider understand how the transportation industry is sometimes a moving target? Explore your options with one of our licensed advisors on the phone, or contact us for a comparison quote.
Whether you’re looking for extended health and dental coverage, disability coverage, or life and critical illness coverage, GroupHEALTH has affordable benefits packages that work as hard as you do.