A new survey from Aon Hewitt has found that an organization’s productivity is strongly influenced by the health of its workforce. Employee absences are particularly affected by employee health as 38 percent of all absences are due to health problems. Aon Hewitt says that in order to improve overall productivity, employers must engage the underlying causes of poor health by identifying the relationship between health issues and missed work. The survey also found that 60 percent of employers anticipate creating a strategy addressing the relationship between health and absences within the next five years.
“For quite some time, employers have done a lot of data analytics around health spend and pharmacy spend, the prevalence of health risk appraisals, biometric medical data to understand the health of employees and how to control the medical spend, but they haven’t tied in the relationship to work performance and the ability to be at work,” Julie Norville, a senior vice president at Aon Hewitt, said.
Health and productivity improvement go hand-in-hand with employee engagement based in demographically targeted wellness strategies, the survey found. Employees from different groups are motivated by different factors so employers must determine which incentives work for each demographic.
“A lot of employers have some sort of wellness program today, but most of our clients are questioning or seeing a lack of sustainable engagement in those programs,” Norville said. “They’re not seeing improvements in those conditions or biometrics. So employee engagement seems to be the biggest issue that employers are struggling with.”