Intellectual Athlete

Aligning Productivity Expectations with Benefits for Realized ROI

Sometimes getting to DONE, is as easy as a coffee and conversation!

Applying the “Intellectual Athlete” concept to Benefits

Intellectual Athletes are the Brains of office productivity. 

Were you are that the average employee is only productive for 2 hours and 53 minutes per day?

When employees are more productive, they tend to be more willing to participate and be involved with the business and its activities–this is positive engagement. Employees who are actively engaged are more likely to improve customer relationships, resulting in a potential 20% increase in sales. If employees are not productive, they are disengaged and unmotivated, which can lead to a whole range of undesirable impacts on culture and other staff, especially over the longer term.

Intellectual Athlete & Benefits

Just like providing employees with laptop, tools, chairs, etc. it is important to understand the employee themselves are their own best tools—brain, eyes, ears, hands, etc. Inadequate maintenance can lead to inadequate performance results.

Consider how access to benefits can increase performance:

Vision care for proper sight (computer work, drafting documents, comprehension of information)

Did you know… that individuals with severe vision impairment were 20.83 times more likely to experience higher productivity loss than those with mild visual impairment … about $775,325.51 annually.

Eyestrain and fatigue are caused by intense focusing of the eyes. About 20% of Americans say they have these issues. Which can occur from reading up-close or working on a digital device for a long time without proper protective eyewear. Eyestrain and fatigue can also happen when your eyes try to adjust to a sudden change in lighting. If not addressed, blurred vision and squinting can occur, which in turn leads to headaches.

Hearing aids to listen and understand instruction or working with customer’s needs for better service.

When employees experience hearing loss, business performance may suffer as a result of misunderstanding caused by impaired hearing. Because instructions are misinterpreted or need to be repeated, tasks may take longer to perform.

The World Health Organization estimates that unaddressed hearing loss costs the global economy US$ 980 billion annually due to health sector costs (excluding the cost of hearing devices), costs of educational support, loss of productivity and societal costs.

Paramedical services for preventative injury, like ergonomics.

Inadequate access can decrease performance and create barriers to recovery. As an example, back injuries can take anywhere from a few days to several months to resolve. Access to regular treatments like physiotherapy will help shorten this time, which increases productivity output and adds to a positive corporate culture. Inadequate coverage may also serve to discourage proactive, healthy habits. Employees may feel the need to avoid early treatment, fearing they will not have coverage when they need it most. However, this can cause an injury to worsen, requiring more time off.

Employees are 24/7

Whether on the job or off, what impacts an employee for the hours they are not “on the clock” can also impact them when they have reported for duty. For this reason and many more, a baseline needs to include current “where we are now” information.

  • Days lost—sick days, call ins, etc.
  • Timelines not met.
  • Occupational injury—on the job and off.
  • Incidental absences.
  • Disability claims—workers’ comp, employment insurance, benefits.

This is the beginning of how future benchmarking and opportunities can be established with an active return on investment measured.

Make your next hire an Olympian.

To reach for gold on the Olympic platform requires consistent training to purposefully improve both physically and mentally. While this sporting feat is reserved for the elite few, achieving career success gold is a wide-open field. In the beginning, some may say, it all depends on opportunity and with that, a different perspective on how and who we are hiring.


Employee turnover, the quiet quitter, disgruntled staff, absenteeism, presenteeism are all active slogans when it comes to hiring and retaining talent in the organization. Investment into recruitment and retention is a two-way street. Employers “invest” in talent so talent will be “vested” to stay with the corporation in a successful long-term mutually beneficial relationship.

Consider then, the last employee to terminate from your organization:

  • Were they were fired, or did they quit?
  • Do you know the reasons?
  • How long were they employed?
  • Where they in a position where they could be successful?
  • What investment did the business put into retaining them, i.e., training, benefits, salary, career advancement opportunities, etc.?
  • What made you hire this employee in the first place? If you had it to do again, would have hired them?
  • What was the value they brought to the business at the time?
  • What is the value lost to the organization now that they are no longer a staff member?

Traits | Characteristics

Building a team that can be a TEAM is critical for success. This involves believing in common goals, principals, and the same process framework so all can function at a higher level. For the next hire ask, “what value does this person bring to the organization”? Then consider, “how will I work with this person to improve their talent to the best advantage”?

Just like in sports, where every athlete is not an Olympian, in business not every candidate is executive or management level. But that doesn’t mean they are not a value to the team if they can play a precise position to the best of their ability—be integral to the organization as a whole. Sports athletes and employee athletes—whether industrial or intellectual—share many common qualities and values that can make them the “best” at their job.

It’s a natural instinct for a winning play that sets the high performers apart. They have the courage to speak up, offer suggestions, be creative, make decisions, and go for gold.

Re-focus The Lens.

High performers are confident in their ability. This isn’t “ego” where the trap is thinking no one else can do what they do, but a belief that they are not alone and can “make it” despite obstacles. They have a desire to do their very best and a track record for giving their best.

This leads to being motivated, driven by the persistent understanding of the necessary consistent and on-going practice and work to excel. Top talent want to stand out from the competition, continue to be better than they were yesterday, and prove that hard work creates winning gains.

Determination is a disciplined look at the team, work, the project, the mission, the vision, etc. from short-term measures to long-term goals and being passionately committed to showing up and doing their part. These team members exhibit the natural ability to set and achieve goals.

People who believe “they can” are gifted with optimism. To be the best, a person must believe they can be the best at what they do. Self-doubt means never crossing the finish line or stepping up on the podium; therefore, the optimistic employee doesn’t let set back distract from the corporate goals.

Top-level teams perform and work well together because they have a strong sense of belonging. This means feeling a part of something larger than self and knowing they play a valuable role. People doing what they say they’re going to do when they have pledged to do it, and supporting in a professional manner, the other members of the unit. Being the best amongst the best in the organization.

They learn from setbacks, understanding that failure happens—both large and small—and that failure is inevitable. It’s resiliency that allows the best talent to keep moving forward, regardless of whatever they may face, grow from the experience, and get better at what they do.

Long term successful employees trust the organizational system and are process driven themselves. Without embracing a process and trusting the system there is no recovery from unforeseen circumstances and curve balls that come into play. Being able to rely upon a proven process is like staying true to the game plan … there is a goal scored at the end. Just like running every day without injury will result in someone getting healthier, strong, and faster.

Productivity Perspective

Make your next hire an Olympian

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Thank you for generously sharing your time on Let’s Talk About This SHifT with me on Thursday. I am always in awe of your dedication to your initiatives; from the meticulous planning, you do to the great questions you ask.

I really appreciate you as a person in my life and as a business colleague.

Marnie Kiel

I am posting this recommendation for the services provided by Lori Power/MP Benefits. For the past few years, I have worked hand in hand with Lori to assist us with numerous services, including establishing a health spending account for staff. At no one time has she failed me and she has always been very informative and up to date making her a reliable insurance broker. She is always just a phone call or email away and I think her knowledge and experience is top notch.

When Covid-19 started, it was very overwhelming. However MP Benefits provided us with valuable information and kept us updated regarding benefits, employment issues and various other relevant materials to assist us as we strived to maintain a consistent presence to provide emergency orthodontic care to our patients.

I have had a very good experience with Lori Power/MP Benefits over the years for the services they have rendered to us. I strongly recommend their services.

Dr. Diane Ruud, Orthodontist

There are only a handful of companies that set the bar high as we do in our quest to exceed the service expectations and needs of our clients each day and MP Benefits gets very high marks in both categories. We are fortunate to work with you and look forward to a long and successful relationship.

All the best.


An employee group plan has been a great benefit for our employees and has helped with a lower staff turnover and job satisfaction. The health spending account model works well for us as a company, because we only spend what our employees use, plus a small administration fee. Our employees like it because they can spend their entire amount in one category such as dental or optical if they need to. Lori always responds quickly to any questions that we have and is good to work with.

Lowell Grasse

Having a health benefit plan shows employees that GreenLink cares about their well-being. In 2007 we decided to go with MP Benefits Inc., and have no regrets. Lori [Power] was able to understand our needs well enough to find solutions to issues and challenges rather than us selling us a product. Lori is always available and provides valuable information on a range of health plans, costs and benefits. Lori was a valuable resource in helping to develop and maintain an effective health wellness program. In today’s competitive marketplace, finding a company like MP Benefits is an essential part of an overall compensation strategy for retaining employees. You want someone who can guide you through changes and be able to plan ahead.

Sonia Prsa, Office Manager

For the past 8 years, our company has used MP Benefits for our employee benefit program. We like the program for a number of reasons. We can customize the program to meet our specific requirements and requests. The program is very flexible. We have the option of carrying forward any unused funds to the next year, increasing the amount in the employees funds as we see fit, and the administration fees are very small as compared to a lot of other insurance providers. This means our money is being spent on our employees. Our employees like the program because it is a ‘health spending account’ verses ‘insurance’. Therefore, it can be a supplemental program to any employee who may have spousal coverage. payment on claims is quick. Any issues that we have had are resolved easily with one call or email to Lori Power.

Annette Kuester

The employees here at Stellar greatly appreciate the package of benefits MP has supplied us with. It makes staff feel good knowing their health care needs are taken care of. Having a plan with great coverage for both individuals and families has been a great bonus for all employees.
We would certainly recommend MP Benefits to other builders, showing them the great coverage plans, communication and due diligence the company offers for their clients.

Hillary Klein, Director of Public Relations, Stellar Homes/Genesis on the Lakes

For over fifteen years (since 2001), Academy of Learning Career College and its affiliated divisions has been nothing but pleased with Ms. Power’s high level of professionalism, customer service, and knowledge and expertise as a benefits provider.

In our experience, Ms. Power has consistently demonstrated that she is an attentive and diligent representative who prides herself on being proactive in her professional approach. As such, Ms. Power makes the effort to regularly meet with Academy of Learning executives and management, in order to ensure that our benefits plan design continuously meets the needs and expectations of our business and employees. Accordingly, Ms. Power pre-emptively researches, analyzes, and provides comparative information on the most up to date products, services and package options. As a result, Academy of Learning always knows where it stands competitively, in relation to what other businesses in the industry are offering potential candidates, and existing employees.

Shelly Ann Berezanski, Human Resources Manager

Lori has been instrumental in assisting our staff with our benefits plan, whether it be over the phone, by email, or when she travels to Yellowknife to host information sessions for our staff each year. I often seek her advice if I need clarification and she has always been able to answer my questions or act on my behalf in a timely manner.

Lori’s skills as a negotiator can definitely be seen in our budget. Most recently, our insurer proposed a 0.9% increase to plan premiums, however through Lori’s exceptionable negotiating skills, we actually received a 1.4% decrease, resulting in a savings of over $20,000 for the year.

Amy Curran, Pay & Benefits Officer

Lori has been our group benefits consultant for approximately 9 years. Our companies are wide in range and diverse. On Lori’s recommendation, about a year ago, we changed group providers to streamline our benefits to all be combined, but individual per division under one policy and provider. It came with some challenges, but with Lori’s guidance and assistance, it was fairly smooth transition.

Lori is very knowledgeable, professional, and passionate about benefits. If her assistance is needed with inquiries or issues, she is always eager to help and responds very quickly.

Shelley Baker, Senior Accountant & Benefits Administrator