Why do we have two eyes? We don’t use them separately. But they send our brain different pictures, and blending the two perspectives is what gives us depth perception. Without it, we couldn’t tell how big an object is, or how far away. If we tried to move ahead, it would be with extreme caution.
When it comes to seeing business risks ahead, blending two perspectives may just hold the key to gearing up from Driving Miss Daisy to Mario Andretti.
Insurance brokers and the U.S. businesses they serve typically look at risk management completely separately from healthcare benefits. Healthcare is viewed under the Human Resources business unit, a vertical silo. Another vertical silo considers risk management issues under a risk manager or CFO, entirely apart from the employee benefits package. Risk management influences risk mitigation through safety processes and risk transfer by the purchase of insurance. Risk managers do not typically look to their healthcare benefits package to impact business continuity or projected productivity levels. Insurance brokers, in parallel, are licensed in separate areas of specialization. The silos remain intact.
When employers consider implementing an onsite health and wellness program, it may begin as a single line item that they are trying to impact – medical cost. Certainly, the right onsite provider can show a substantial influence on medical claim trends. The real challenge is to look at the exponentially greater value of a healthier workforce across multiple lines: short-term disability, long-term disability, leave of absence, worker’s compensation, absenteeism, presenteeism and overall productivity. When an onsite health and wellness program is managed with best practices, it influences all these measures, dwarfing the benefit of just the single medical cost line item. It is time for employers who want to shift their productivity into a higher gear to break out of their vertical silos and start measuring how far across their business interests an onsite health program can reach.
Let’s take a hypothetical example based on common outcomes. The Healthstat onsite clinic you implemented has helped Bill to lose weight. As a result, he is more mobile, breathes better and has lower blood pressure. He has an easier time getting up in the morning. He misses fewer days, is more productive on the job and doesn’t need to stop as often due to discomfort. He is at lower risk of injuring himself because of over exertion or poor balance. He comes to work as scheduled so his workload doesn’t have to be redistributed causing stress on his co-workers, increased risk of injury, reduced product quality or missed deadlines. With regular healthcare visits that are convenient, affordable and on company time, Bill’s weight is kept under better control long term and he isn’t moving up the risk continuum quite so quickly as he ages. He believes you care about him, and he repays you with his loyalty. He has more mental energy on the job and he is a better problem solver.
Here’s one of the most important problems Bill has solved. While you were helping him control his weight, he has helped your business stay leaner as well. With less absenteeism and more predictability, you don’t need to increase your head count. The onsite clinic keeps your trained workers onsite, allowing you to lift that caution flag and put your foot back down on the accelerator.
*Guest blog based on an interview with Lester Morales, CEO of Envisage Human Capital and former Executive Vice President and Chief Growth officer for Willis North America.