Why are companies making workforce health a priority?
A decade ago, “workforce health” was not a term that was on the radar for most corporations. Today, that’s changing rapidly. The fact is, a company’s employees are its most important asset, and more and more companies are recognizing that it pays to invest in taking care of them.
Beyond the human benefits of supporting and nurturing people and workforce health, it just makes good business sense to do everything you can to keep employees healthy. That’s because studies show time and time again that happy, healthy employees are more productive and innovative in their job performance. On the other hand, the costs of employees with poor health can be significant. These numbers were reported by the World Green Building Council:
- In the US, the cost of missing work due to illness approaches $2500 per employee each year.
- In Australia, absenteeism due to poor health costs companies $7 billion each year, while lost productivity due to illness (sometimes termed “presenteeism” or not functioning at full capacity at work) is estimated as high as $26 billion.
For the majority of companies, staffing is by far the largest business operating expense. In fact, according to a report by the World Green Building Council, staffing accounts for as much as 90 percent of operating costs. Since staffing is such a big ticket item, even a modest gain in productivity can have a large financial payoff for a company.