Earlier this year we launched our Health and Wellness program as a way to give back to our employees and put their well-being, first. With a wide variety of resources available, the program supports different aspects of health and wellness to help you achieve your wellness goals, whatever they may be.
“CP cares about each and every individual that works here,” said Mike Redeker, Vice-President and Chief Information Officer. “We support our employees and their physical and mental health and are committed to providing resources to help individuals tackle many of the challenges they’re facing at home or at work.”
Everyone’s health and wellness journey is different. Some dream about fitting into their jeans from college, some want to manage stress better, while others feel good knowing they are financially set for the future. Whatever your wellness concerns are, CP is here to help.
Similar to CP’s foundations, our Employee Health and Wellness program has five core pillars: Nutrition and Fitness, Mindfulness, Healthy Choices, Financial Health and Community. Through education, access to professional resources, programs, benefits and through participation in CP-sponsored events, the goal is to motivate and empower employees to make informed decisions and take actions to improve their total well-being.
“If you try to undertake everything on your own, it can become overwhelming,” said Redeker. “We want employees to know that these resources exist and that CP is here to help. With the program structured in this way, we are hopefully making it easier for employees to pinpoint and tackle one area they’d like to improve upon, rather than trying to address everything at the same time.”
The program is the internal extension of our CP Has Heart (CPHH) community investment program which focuses on improving the heart health of men, women and children in North America. Since 2014, CPHH has committed over $16 million to communities across our network.
Nutrition and Fitness
Some of us share similar struggles when it comes to eating well and getting regular exercise. The Nutrition and Fitness pillar focuses on eating properly for your health goals and incorporating physical activity into your daily routines to become a healthier, more active version of yourself. To that end, CP offers a number of programs that support this pillar such as the Physical Wellness Subsidy or Wellness Rewards (U.S.), nutrition support and dieticians.
In 2018, we also launched the Healthy Eating Challenge during the month of February to celebrate heart month. Weekly challenges throughout the month helped educate and motivate employees to change eating habits by encouraging them to paint their plate with vegetables, ditch sugar filled beverages and high-sodium snacks, all within the framework of a companywide points-based competition.
“I joined the challenge this year because I thought it would be something fun to do with my co-workers,” said Conrad LaDoux, Manager Engineering Support. “I saw co-workers participating the previous year, sharing healthy meals and recording their points, it looked like fun so I decided to join in this year.” Based out of Minneapolis, LaDoux and his team, aptly named the Minnesota Thins, enjoyed the competition as well as the camaraderie of weekly healthy potlucks.
“We had really great turnout at our healthy potluck each week,” said LaDoux. “The challenge makes eating healthy fun and enjoyable. Put a little competition into it and it’s a really great motivator. That’s what fueled our team, we wanted to win.”
“CP has a wide and vast network and there are a lot of employees willing to take part in these programs. The challenge was fun and I had a great time talking to new employees I may never meet face-to-face.” – Chris Schiller, Mechanical Field Rep East
Also bringing together employees from across the network are Fitbit challenges. The One Step at a Time challenge introduced CP’s partnership with Fitbit (giving employees a great discount on a variety of fitness tracking devices) and was the platform for a friendly team-based step competition in March.
“The challenge is always a fun way of getting motivated to get off the chair and exercise,” said Chris Schiiler, Mechanical Field Rep East. “It pushes me that extra distance and time and keeps me going. The texting between the team members helps a lot.”
Based out of Thunder Bay, Schiiler appreciated connecting with employees from both sides of the border.
“I think it’s a great opportunity,” said Schiiler. “CP has a wide and vast network and there are a lot of employees willing to take part in these programs. The challenge was fun and I had a great time talking to new employees I may never meet face-to-face.”
Mental health is extremely important for a person’s total well-being. The Mindfulness pillar is focused primarily around mindset, thoughts, and emotions. It helps with motivation, positive thinking practices, ability to cope with difficult situations, stress management, being self-aware and life-long learning.
“I joined the challenge this year because I thought it would be something fun to do with my co-workers.” – Conrad LaDoux, Manager Engineering Support
As part of our existing benefits package, all employees have access to the Employee Family Assistance Program (EFAP or EAP) at no additional cost. This support program includes short-term professional, confidential counselling and social worker access. Our first 15-day Happiness Challenge in April aimed to educate employees about the importance of self-care while helping to boost employees’ mindsets and mood with daily challenges such as practicing gratefulness, doing something nice for others, or no complaining.
“You wake up every day with a huge opportunity to either have a positive or negative day,” said Redeker. “And the more you choose to be positive, the more you choose to approach life’s challenges with a positive mindset, the better you’ll ultimately feel. The Happiness Challenge offered simple steps to help you achieve this mindset.”
The Healthy Choices pillar is different from the Nutrition and Fitness pillar. This pillar places emphasis on making sustainable and healthy lifestyle choices by understanding your personal health and taking advantage of all the existing opportunities to do so; it’s about having the tools and information to create those healthy habits.
“It’s important for employees to know that their benefits offer many great resources to support healthy choices,” said Jennifer Mena-Yiukay, Director Global Benefits.
“I encourage employees to actively re-enroll for their benefits each year so they understand what’s being offered to them and how they can take advantage of these opportunities to improve their total well-being.”
The Financial Health pillar focuses on giving you the necessary tools to understand and reach your financial goals. Things like the Physical Wellness Subsidy, short and long-term income protection plans, retirement and savings programs and financial planning services are great ways to help ensure your financial stability.
The Employee Share Purchase Plan (ESPP) which gives employees the opportunity to buy CP shares, is another great tool to potentially spur your long-term savings. All regular full-time and part-time employees are eligible to participate in the ESPP through employee payroll deductions. Employees can choose to contribute between 1 percent and 10 percent of their eligible earnings, and for contributions up to 6 percent, CP will contribute 33 cents for every dollar. For unionized employees, only participating eligible union bargaining units will receive the company match.
“When employees enroll, they invest in themselves and the success of CP,” said Jennifer Fox, Assistant Vice-President Total Rewards. “Over the years, employees have paid for their weddings, for a child’s post-secondary schooling or bought their vehicles with the help of ESPP.”
The final pillar is Community, which focuses on our social connections and how we interact and participate in our community around us. Community is at the heart of everything we do. One way CP supports this pillar is through the Giving Engine, our online charitable giving site.
“Charitable giving is often done for personal reasons and the Giving Engine helps our employees support the charities that matter most to them, in their community,” said Heather Woods, Specialist Community Investment and Workplace Giving. “It is also CP’s way of supporting employees and the things that they are passionate about by providing a 50 percent match to any non-religious/non-political charities up to $1,500 per employee per year.”
“The Giving Engine helps our employees support the charities that matter most to them.” – Heather Woods, Specialist Community Investment
Whatever your passions or goals, our Health and Wellness program is here to help you achieve them. For more information about what the Employee Health and Wellness program has to offer, visit CP Station under the Employee tab. Together, we can continue to motivate and inspire one another to live happier, healthier, more active lives.