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Companies need a mindset shift on employee health

Jeffrey Pfeffer

Professor of Organizational Behavior, Stanford University

Mental and physical health is front and center as a result of the pandemic. COVID-19 has exposed the many problems of inequity and access that plague US health care. Although many employers offer what they consider to be generous health coverage — and many have expanded their mental health offerings in response to the psychosocial strains of the pandemic — substantial challenges remain.

The important task of creating a healthier workforce needs to start with a fundamental shift in how companies think about employee health. As we emerge from a year that’s upended the way many of us think about and approach work, it’s time to focus not just on the health of our business but also the health of our employees — one cannot exist without the other.

Approach employee health like customer satisfaction

Currently, there is a tendency to think of employee health as just an HR and benefits issue, evidenced in the little time and attention employee health gets from CEOs, which often then gets delegated to benefits people and sometimes outsourced to benefits administrators and consultants. Given the economic and strategic importance of employee health, this lack of priority seems like a profound mistake.

Much like when customer loyalty and satisfaction became recognized as key drivers of company performance and became a priority of senior management, employee health needs to be regularly on senior leadership and board of directors’ agendas.

When companies became serious about improving customer service and loyalty, they set goals for these outcomes, measured them, and were willing to invest money  — in a cost-effective way — to improve the customer experience. This is a great outline for how to approach employee behavioral and physical health.

The true cost of employer-paid health insurance

There is currently an overwhelming discussion of and emphasis on health insurance costs. Although costs are important, they cannot be the sole criterion by which employers assess their healthcare performance and perhaps not even the most important indicator. A healthy workforce misses fewer workdays, turns over less frequently, and is more productive.

As Jeff Immelt, the former CEO of General Electric, told me, the company was spending $3 billion a year on health benefits, and until the recession of 2008, he was giving that spend almost no attention, consistent with my observation that employee health has typically not been a top management priority. When Immelt decided that $3 billion was too large to not prioritize and engaged more actively with employee health and its costs, GE began to take health much more seriously and improved employee health while cutting expenses.

How to build a culture of health

Building a culture of health is no different from what is required to build a culture of innovation or customer service and loyalty.

First, measure behavioral and physical health. Then you have to hold health-relevant vendors, such as benefits administrators, healthcare providers and organizational leaders, accountable for ensuring improvement on these measures over time. As the quality movement and management experience illustrate, what is measured gets attention and improves, and what isn’t measured tends to get ignored and worse.

Second, appoint a Chief Health Officer, someone responsible for overseeing, coordinating and improving employee health. When companies get serious about diversity, equity and inclusion, they appoint an individual to oversee these initiatives. To build a culture of health, take those same steps. It will occur more readily if there’s someone appointed with the explicit job of ensuring that physical and mental health becomes a priority in the organization’s culture.

And third, building a culture of health requires understanding the dimensions of work such as work hours, job autonomy and the other things that affect employee health. The more employers understand what affects health, the better able they can create health-promoting work arrangements.

The business imperative of employee wellbeing

Employers spend a fortune on employee health — large employers estimate they spent about $15,000 on benefits of each of their employees in 2020. But only when it’s made a business priority, and implemented effectively, will companies see the benefits of their investment across multiple dimensions.

In a world where companies are increasingly focused on sustainability and are called to report their sustainability performance, human sustainability — represented by employee health and wellbeing — is an integral part of building a sustainable company.

Pragmatically, employee health is important because of its economic impact on company performance and its societal-level economic consequences. The connections between work and health have been explored for decades. In a 2020 study I conducted with colleagues from the Gallup organization, self-reported health was positively correlated with job satisfaction and employee engagement and negatively related to the number of missed workdays, stress and burnout.

As a matter of moral values, we should not have workplaces creating so much stress and depression that people are literally putting their health at risk to earn a living. Employers need to change their mindsets about employee health, making it a strategic priority and undertaking decisions that create workplaces that foster total worker health.

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IDC MarketScape:統合型タレントマネジメントの世界的企業 2021年ベンダー評価

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IDC MarketScape:統合型タレントマネジメントの世界的企業 2021年ベンダー評価

コーナーストーンが「リーダー」に選ばれた理由 従業員体験は、企業の生産性、離職率、顧客満足度など、ビジネスの多くの側面に影響を与えます。統合タレントマネジメントは、彼らが体験する日常活動すべてに対する満足度を向上させます。 だからこそ、私たちはコーナーストーンが2021年のIDC MarketScapeレポートにおいて、統合タレントマネジメントの分野でグローバルリーダーの一社に選ばれたことを知っていただきたいのです。 IDCの定義によると、タレントマネジメントが貢献することとして、従業員の興味を引き、彼らの人財育成を支援し、報奨につなげ、人財としての確保を実現していくことが挙げられています。それらの目的は、人財の募集、採用者への初期対応と指導、教育と能力開発、活動評価、報奨の管理、キャリアアップと後継者選択の計画など多岐にわたる作業をコンピテンシーの管理や評価をもとに推進することで達成されます。 このレポートでIDCがコーナーストーンを高く評価した理由は以下のとおりです。 Sabaの研究開発チームが統合され、研究開発チームがさらに強化、拡大された スキルの特定、管理を可能にする機能が業界随一である 人財教育と能力開発の分野における優れた実績と豊富な経験・知識 IDCのレポートをダウンロードしてください。統合タレントマネジメントのベンダー評価詳細に加え、コーナーストーンが業界トップに選出された理由を確認いただけます。 出典:『IDC MarketScape:Worldwide Integrated Talent Management 2021 Vendor Assessment(2021年統合タレントマネジメントグローバルベンダー評価)』、リサ・ローワン、2021年7月、IDC# US45943220 IDC MarketScapeは、特定市場におけるICTサプライヤーの競争力を把握できるベンダー分析モデルです。調査方法として、定量的および定性的な評価基準に基づいた厳密な採点手法を用いています。調査結果は当該市場における各ベンダーの位置付けを示す、1つのグラフィックスによって図示されます。ケイパビリティスコアでは、ベンダーの製品、市場戦略、事業運営の短期的な評価を行い、戦略スコアでは、3~5年の期間にわたるベンダーの戦略が顧客のニーズに沿うものかどうかを評価します。ベンダーの市場シェアは、グラフ上の円の大きさで示されます。

新しい働き方と同じように 進化してきている コンテンツ

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新しい働き方と同じように 進化してきている コンテンツ

新しい働き方と同じように 進化してきている コンテンツ ビジネスに貢献でき、成功するために必要なスキルは常に変化し続けています。そのような状況に対応するために、Cornerstone Content Anytimeは、現在最も必要とされてい るスキルを従業員に身につけさせることで、より優れたコミュニケーター、より力強いリーダー、より機能的なチームを構築することを目指しています。最新のコンテンツとそれぞれの学習者一人ひとりに合わせてパーソナライズされた学習体験により、パフォーマンスを向上させます。

コーナーストーン・パフォーマンス CSX

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コーナーストーン・パフォーマンス CSX

個人のゴールをつないで組織全体の成果を出す 従業員全員が高いモチベーションを持って仕事に取り組んでいるといいのですがそれを確認するのは簡単なことではあり ません。従業員が自らの業務に目的を見出し、その目的を組織の目標と一致させる必要があります。コーナーストーン・パフォーマンス CSX では、人財の状況をハイブリッドワーク環境下でも 詳細に把握することで、組織の最優先課題を解決するための人財を迅速に特定し、動員することができます。

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