Modern health care options for employers to help keep their employees healthy, cut down on absenteeism and attract the best talentSick days and absenteeism are expensive for businesses: projects are delayed, clients are put off, workflow is interrupted. Whether an employee calls in sick and shorthands the team, or pushes through and spreads their germs around the office, a sick employee will always increase costs for your business.
EMPLOYEE HEALTH AND THE COST OF ABSENTEEISM
In 2012, only 15% of organizations measured the direct costs of absenteeism, while even fewer tried to track its harder-to-quantify indirect costs. A report by the Conference Board of Canada released in 2013 revealed to what extent Canadians, and Canadian companies, are affected by sickness and absenteeism.
- Direct cost of absenteeism: The direct cost of absenteeism, according to the report, is defined as the salary cost associated with the number of days absent, and represents 2.4% of a company’s gross annual payroll. This translates to a $16 billion annual cost to the Canadian economy.
- Indirect cost of absenteeism: The indirect costs, which includes replacement of workers, administrative costs, lower employee morale, reduction in productivity, and decrease in customer satisfaction, drive that annual $16 billion up much higher.
CORPORATE HEALTH STATISTICS ON ABSENTEEISM
Absenteeism is not static across industries, companies or employees. Statistics fluctuate according to a variety of factors, including:
- Absenteeism rises with age – workers 20-24 took 5.9 days off annually, compared to 13.2 for those aged 55-64.
- Absenteeism rises with the number of hours worked – This is according to a study published by the Journal of Health Economics.
- Sick days are used more often in the public sector – Public sector employees take 12.9 days off, compared to 8.2 days in the private sector.
- Women tend to take more sick time – 11.4 days compared with 7.7 for men.
- Those with children under age 5 take almost twice as many days off for personal/ family responsibilities – However, this usually balances out as these workers take fewer sick days for themselves.
While there’s no way to ensure your employees remain healthy, there are a variety of methods available to help employees remain happy, healthy, and working at their peak efficiency. This has a lateral effect of creating a workplace where employees feel more valued, which attracts and retains the best workers.
THE TOP PREVENTIVE EMPLOYEE HEALTH CARE OPTIONS
1. Preventative health programs for executives
Increased stress and hours worked are shown to aggravate health problems that can cause employees to take more sick days, or even cause burnout. Turnover and absenteeism at the executive level for positions at higher salary brackets can be especially costly to businesses.
- The Benefit – Preventative health programs, with annual check-ups, can help ensure high-level executives remain in good health, and catch potential health complications before they start causing bigger problems down the road.
2. Employee wellness programs
People who don’t dedicate time to exercise or take care of themselves are sick more often and take more time off work. In fact, Canadian employees with only four lifestyle risk factors (i.e. obesity or smoking) take 50% more time off. While it’s unreasonable to demand that your employees embrace a healthy lifestyle, you can encourage them to pursue healthier choices by incorporating an employee wellness program.
- The Benefit – Employee wellness programs offer a multi-pronged approach to help increase employee engagement. These often include nutritional planning, fitness programs, and mental and physical risk-evaluation. Taken together, these programs can increase the health of your workforce, decrease the use of sick days, and improve employee retention.
3. Virtual Care for all employees
Finding, booking and attending a doctor’s appointment is not only time-consuming but must often be done during business hours. With virtual care, employees can access health care professionals from their phone or other devices.
- The Benefit – Virtual care gives employees the ability to quickly and easily see a doctor for themselves or their child, without taking time off work or taking their child out of school. In a recent market survey, 47% of respondents said virtual care would help them take less time off work. By simplifying access to medical professionals, this can also allow for early diagnosis and treatment of health issues before they become problems.
With Medisys On-Demand, your employees and their family members can communicate instantly with canadian healthcare professionals, 24/7/365.
4. Occupational health for employees
The workplace can pose dangers to those who are not physically or mentally prepared. Occupational health allows employers to screen employees to make sure these are ready and able to take on the work required of them.
- The Benefit – Hiring and employing workers who present a higher risk of injury on the job increases absenteeism and the indirect costs associated with it. From drug and alcohol testing to pre-employment screening, occupational health can prevent workplace incidents and accidents before they cause injury, loss of life, and excessive costs.
CREATING A HEALTHIER CORPORATE WORKPLACE CULTURE
Perhaps the best way to ensure the health of your employees, and lower absenteeism, is to create a positive workplace environment and a solid employee-employer relationship.
Research suggests that employees who have a good relationship with their boss and a positive work environment take less time off and are more effective at their job. Offering increased benefits like those defined above could help businesses create a positive, healthy work environment to not only encourage a well-engaged, happy workforce, but also attract the best talent.
Click here to learn more about how we can support your employee health goals.