Time for an employee health assessment

by Iain Hopkins06 Mar 2013

Poor employee health can affect a business’s viability as well as posing risks to those who work within and in partnership with it. For these reasons, health risk assessments can bring benefits to businesses of any kind.

The benefits that health risk assessments can bring to businesses are often overlooked. “Whilst there are numerous benefits for the individual, the benefits to an organisation can be poorly understood and as such, easily negated,” Mark Cassidy, general manager of risk and innovation at 2CRisk said.

Health risk assessments can enable business operators to examine the causes of costly absenteeism, as well as health and compensation claims. They can help businesses to develop effective health risk management strategies and to ensure employees’ health is working for them, rather than against them.

Personal health risk assessments can benefit employers, as well as employees, by
 

  • helping employers measure and monitor the health of their workforce
  • allowing employers to evaluate changes in health behaviour and risk
  • providing employers with information on productivity
  • providing employers with an indication of employees' readiness for change
  • alerting employees to the many benefits of health management
  • enabling employees to better monitor their own health

In order to benefit fully, however, businesses need to capture the right information. “If HRAs are to prove an effective tool, then they must elicit information that exposes the risks relevant to that organisation and industry,” Cassidy said. If this is achieved, the information that organisations gather can reduce health risk in a number of settings.

“Many organisations spend money on health interventions without actually being able to quantify whether they have been successful or not,” Cassidy added. Health risk assessments provide business operators with ways of reducing health risk, while also enabling them to assess the effectiveness of their strategies – quantitatively as well as qualitatively.

COMMENTS

  • by Lyn Heywood 6/03/2013 4:17:50 PM

    I agree, the return for a company that focuses on employee health is many fold. Often the leaders in a company are not sure of the benefit and so choose not to do anything. Generally what is offered is a flu vaccine or gym membership. A more targeted approach is what is needed for employees to better understand their role in their own health and for employers to benefit from happier healthier and more productive employees.
    wellnessteam.com.au

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