Making the Right Investment: Employee Health and the Power of Metrics
There is a wealth of evidence that assessment and analysis of metrics lead to positive change for organizations and their employees in many areas worldwide. For example, marketers use metrics to refine their campaigns, demonstrate their contribution and prove the value of marketing to the organization by assessing perceptions, tracking the number of website visitors, downloads and attendees at events. Marketers use a top-down approach to develop metrics and key performance indicators (KPIs) and, through data mining, determine what the company must implement to obtain the desired result. Metrics in marketing throw light on potential relationships between factors, allowing for targeted actions aimed at specific outcomes. Without metrics, marketing would be based on little more than intuition, making it much more challenging to stay on the cutting edge in a fast-paced, ever-evolving and competitive world.
Similarly, although there may be a strong intuition that workplace wellness1b is likely to be beneficial to companies and “the right thing to do” there is no consistent or global measurement of programmes, health status and results. Shifting demographics and evolving rules and regulations only compound measurement challenges. The recent difficult and uncertain economic climate has increased pressure on organizations to justify developing and maintaining workplace wellness programmes from a financial perspective. The World Health Organization (WHO), the International Labour Organization (ILO) and the Mexico Workplace Wellness Council are interested in further developing measurements around employee health and the impact of workplace wellness programmes. Many academics and companies, such as Buck Consultants, have been reviewing best practices, assessing metrics and working on health strategies that tackle these challenges and that could enhance productivity (Buck Consultants 2008 and 2009). Nonetheless, gaps remain globally because there is as of yet no benchmark standard allowing companies to compare their own data and results to their peers’ or in a broader global context.
Senior Managing Director – President, Center for Healthcare Economics and Policy
Senior Managing Director – Chief Operating Officer, Center for Healthcare Economics and Policy