Health Culture and Business Barriers: 3 Step Approach

A quick search of studies, surveys and white papers reveals interesting trends regarding business leaders’ thoughts about barriers to business growth and organizational health culture. Increasing evidence puts employee health in perspective with other business growth barriers or concerns about health culture. The perspective is whether to do something about the costs and how to do something. Below are 3 easy steps to challenge your status quo and ultimately mold health culture into your business strategy.

Stop thinking that health culture is just another benefit you can’t afford to act on
Observe your employees and business habits: Don’t analyze until you’re paralyzed.
Measure something: don’t waste time and energy deciding where to start.
1. An insurance broker once opined, “Wouldn’t the investment in human capital be considered Health Insurance? Perhaps salaries and other benefits as well.” Whether you choose to believe the empirical evidence, anecdotal evidence or both, the fact is that the direct and indirect costs associated with employee health are trending higher each year at an accelerated rate. Those costs include premium rates, worker’s compensation rates, lost time due to injuries, sluggish sales force, absenteeism, presenteeism, employee errors, and many others. As business leaders continue to look for ways to create value in their organizations health culture and the associated benefits are increasingly incorporated into the overall business strategy.

To further illustrate poor health culture as a barrier to business growth by viewing it as just another benefit, in a recent report, Deloitte, LLP reported that senior executives surveyed, identified health costs as a greater barrier to business growth than taxes. Not surprising when you consider the findings from Nationwide Better Health and the FDA Department of Health and Human Services. Their combined report identified a trend that health costs will surpass wages by 2032. That means that countless organizations, currently run by senior executives and business owners, will eventually be paying more for their grandchildren’s associated health costs (when they become wage earners) than they will for their wages. However, if you do nothing, at least you don’t have to worry about spending any money on the problem.

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