The Business Case for Health: View from the C-Suite
About 40 percent of GDP in the United States is spent on either the health or financial industries, yet workers themselves are in increasingly dire health and financial straits. The plight of a large segment of the American public should be a siren call to sector leaders to align their business goals with actions that enhance household well-being and healthy communities. Fortunately, many industries are recognizing the value of integrating wellness outcomes into their core mission and business metrics. Executives from the C-suite talk about why the business sector should care about health and how they can help to build it.
There’s no question in David Anderson’s mind that the financial and physical health of individuals are inextricably linked with the health of a community. And as president and CEO of HealthNow, Anderson takes it a step further. Watch as he makes the business case, with examples from his own career, for why companies should invest in both the physical and financial health of their own communities as well:
If ethical concerns don’t drive a company to invest in the financial and physical health of their employees, Jamie Kalamarides, president of Prudential Group Insurance, thinks financial concerns alone should be enough motivation. Over a quarter of Americans’ visions of their own finances don’t match their realities, according to Kalamarides, and that can have big implications for a company’s success.
Big IdeaWhen employees bring stress to work, they’re unproductive, they’re more absent, they go out on disability more. We have a less productive workforce. We have a less engaged workforce. We have a less loyal workforce. Even if you’re not altruistic, we can convince employers to get into this game…to get a better outcome for the shareholders.Jamie Kalamarides
Kalamarides points to his own company as proof. After implementing wellness programs, they saw real reductions in short-term disability due to mental stress. And financial stress amongst employees was more than halved when his company introduced financial counseling programs.
Wellness programs clearly benefit both employers and employees, but smaller businesses just don’t have the ability to offer the same wellness programs that larger companies can. So what’s a small business to do? Donald Felix, head of financial health at JP Morgan Chase, and other panelists discuss a possible solution:
When small businesses come together and pool their resources for employees, they can offer wellness programs on par with much larger companies.
Employer-sponsored health insurance, retirement plans, and even bank accounts have historically been the pillars of both financial and physical health in the United States. Now that more U.S. employees work as contractors with few to nonexistent benefits, companies are having to think how they bolster employee well-being.
By The Numbers
If well-being can’t be sustainably scaled through employers, Dave Anderson says that we need to get creative in how we connect people to resources for well-being. It’s too early to tell what’s most effective, but whether it’s through new start ups, government programs, or social media networks, companies need to start thinking now about how best to support their employees.