Advertise Here
Icon

Directory

IconActuaries
IconAssociations & Institutes
IconAuditors
IconBBBEE Consulting and Verification Agencies
IconBenefit Administrators & Investment Managers
IconBusiness Chambers
IconBusiness Process Management
IconBusiness Process Outsourcing
IconCompliance
IconConsumer Protection
IconCorporate Governance
IconCredit Bureaus
IconDebit Order Collection Facilities
IconEducation and Training
IconFAIS
IconHuman Resources
IconInformation Technology and Software Partners
IconLegal
IconOmbud
IconPension Fund Trustee Liability Insurance
IconPension Fund Trustee Training
IconPension Funds Adjudicator
IconPolicy Administration
IconPolicy Trading
IconPublications
IconRegulatory Authorities
IconRetirement Funds registered by the FSB
IconRetirement Products
IconSocial Grants (Government)
IconSurveys and Research
IconTraining Courses & Workshops
IconTrust Establishment & Management
IconWellness Programs
Image
  Subscribe To »

Assessing the value of Workplace Wellness

Published

2018

Mon

19

Mar

 

Article by Dr Dicky Els and Jene’ Palmer, and reviewed by Terrance M. Booysen

The Board is responsible for overseeing and monitoring the execution of the organisation’s strategic plan by, inter alia, driving a culture of accountability through appropriate and transparent reporting and disclosure.  In today’s increasingly competitive business environment, stakeholders are demanding more information on the social and ethics risks facing the organisation.  As such, effective boards are recognising the inter-dependencies between stakeholders and adopting a stakeholder-inclusive approach to setting strategic objectives and reporting on the organisation’s performance.  Furthermore, integrated reporting requires greater emphasis being placed on providing feedback on the organisation’s use and impact of its capitals, which include the financial, manufacturing, intellectual, human, natural and social and relational capitals.  However, some of these capitals are intangible and difficult to quantify, and consequently don’t get the focussed reporting that they deserve.  While most integrated reports effectively include human capital information such as their core competencies, capabilities, experience and skills development initiatives, they generally fail to report on workplace wellness indicators.  Integrated reports normally also include disclosures pertaining to occupational health and safety initiatives, human resources development and traditional HIV/Aids programmes, but very few integrated reports refer to the value of, and risks associated with, workplace wellness and effective disease management.

“One objective of Integrated Reporting is to support integrated thinking, decision making and actions that focus on the creation of value over the short, medium and long term.”

Source: The Framework, IIRC

The value of workplace wellness programmes can only really be appreciated when the outcomes of these programmes are measured and evaluated in the context of the organisation’s strategic objectives. Identifying and regularly measuring workplace wellness metrics such as group risk insurance claims, onsite health care, presenteeism and absenteeism costs as well as related changes in work performance, functional capacity and quality of life of employees, will better inform health risk mitigation strategies and organisational development processes tailored to add value to the business.  Understanding employee health risks and accurately quantifying their associated costs, is essential to developing workplace wellness objectives which support the organisation’s strategic objectives. For example, by measuring the employee health risks (such as inadequate exercise, unhealthy diets, smoking, obesity, poor sleep and substance abuse) and comparing them with the costs of non-communicable diseases (such as cardiovascular diseases, diabetes, cancer, chronic respiratory diseases, mental and muscular skeletal disorders); the organisation can gather management information critical to optimising human capital management.

Where workplace wellness metrics can be accurately monetised, which includes tracking non-financial trends of employees’ behaviour, relationships and their performance; these measures all demonstrate the impact of effectual workplace wellness programmes.

Raising the standard

The business case for workplace wellness is realised when financial and non-financial management objectives are aligned, integrated and effectively managed.  While there is no ‘one size fits all’ approach to workplace wellness programmes, these management interventions should, as far as possible, be benchmarked to those of industry peers and at the very least, important physical and mental wellness metrics should be measured, tracked and analysed.  This benchmarked information can be used to establish organisation-wide transformation initiatives and evaluate the impact and effectiveness of specific workplace wellness programme interventions.

Enlightened organisations adopt a combination of curative (disease management), preventative and health promotion (wellness management) interventions.  By embracing a holistic integrated workplace wellness management and reporting approach, organisations can broaden their views on human capital management and the extent to which its preserves, creates and promotes business value.  It is well-known that an integrated workplace wellness strategy creates significant value when management interventions involve several aspects of the business such as occupational health and safety, human capital development, employee benefits and corporate social responsibility.  As such, benchmarked workplace wellness programmes should incorporate and capture information pertaining to multi-dimensional aspects of workplace wellness, including the prevalence for communicable and non-communicable diseases, health and safety risks, organisational climate and the physical and mental health status of employees.  Such information should be analysed in the context of the organisation’s social and ethics risks and their (potential) impact communicated to material stakeholders.  Importantly, the outcomes and the actions taken to address the potential negative impacts of these risks, should also be disclosed in the organisation’s annual integrated report.

The organisation’s health and wellness metrics also inform organisational change management processes.  Leaders in the organisation must consider and monitor the ripple effect of their decisions and how these decisions influence organisational behaviour and employee wellness (and consequently business outcomes).  For example, organisational restructuring and downsizing initiatives often result in job redesigns, re-assignments, retrenchments, different business processes and the re-distribution of certain managerial duties.  These volatile situations typically introduce additional stressors into the workplace environment which may negatively impact employee wellness and ultimately human capital performance. 

“We must develop a comprehensive and globally shared view of how technology is affecting our lives and reshaping our economic, social, cultural, and human environments. There has never been a time of greater promise, or greater peril.”

Klaus Schwab, Founder and Executive Chairman, World Economic Forum

In these circumstances, well-designed workplace wellness metrics can help provide leaders with the information they need to make informed investment decisions regarding the allocation of resources to workplace wellness programmes specifically aimed at countering work stress and increased job demands.  This management information becomes even more important when organisational change is driven by positive intentions and aimed at increasing efficiency, optimising performance and employee engagement and maximising talent retention.

As the speed of change continues to increase -- and as more industries become more complex with the introduction of the Fourth Industrial Revolution and the advent of “cyber-physical systems” -- the requirement to understand the benefits of leveraging workplace wellness programmes to create value for the organisation becomes even more important. Stakeholder communication programmes should therefore ensure that critical workplace wellness information is timeously and transparently disclosed, especially during times of organisational transformation. Moreover, employers should be able to demonstrate how their workplace wellness programmes promote social cohesion and help the organisation to manage its social and ethics risks by reducing ill health, changing behaviour and developing a culture of wellness.  

 
Source: CGF Research Institute (Pty) Ltd
 
« Back to previous page Print this page » |
 

Breaking News »

Liberty Drives Hope - and places the needs of ordinary South Africans at the core

                                    It was a desperate cry ...
Read More »

  

Is the Covid-19 e-commerce boom here to stay?

The Covid-19 pandemic has accelerated the adoption of e-commerce in a way no company could have imagined. In fact, in many instances, it has brought 3-5-year sales projections forward in just a matter of months ...
Read More »

  

Art as a store of value in times of crisis

During times of crisis, the appeal of collectible assets like art can intensify. Nervous of the present risks in investment markets, investors will look to include assets with a more consistent store of value in ...
Read More »

  

SAIA Successfully Holds Annual General Meeting (AGM) 2020

Johannesburg – At its first ever virtual Annual General Meeting (AGM) held on 23 July 2020, the South African Insurance Association (SAIA) successfully nominated a new SAIA Board of Directors composed of ...
Read More »

 

More News »

Image

Healthcare »

Image

Investment »

Image

Life »

Image

Short-term »

Advertise Here
Image
Image
Advertise Here

From The Glossary »

Icon

Syndicate (Lloyd’s):

A group of individuals or companies at Lloyd’s who pool resources to underwrite risks.
More Definitions »

 

Advertise

 

eZine

 

Contact IG

 

Media Pack

 

RSS Feeds

By using this website you agree to the Terms of Use.
Copyright © Insurance Gateway (Pty) Ltd 2004 - 2020. All Rights Reserved.