How Employers Can Affect Health Issues Impacting Productivity

How Employers Can Affect Health Issues Impacting Productivity

May 12, 2014
“As employers increase their focus on managing lost work time, they need to understand how disability is changing and what opportunities they may have to intervene and improve experience,” said Dr. Thomas Parry, CEO, Integrated Benefits Institute.

Analyzing 20 years of short-term disability claims, Cigna revealed some trends that could help employers understand how to structure an integrated wellness and absence management program in order to improve workforce productivity.

 “As employers increase their focus on managing lost work time, they need to understand how disability is changing and what opportunities they may have to intervene and improve experience,” said Dr. Thomas Parry, CEO, Integrated Benefits Institute.

Claims related to obesity, treatment for skin cancer and herniated disc surgery increased significantly from 1993 to 2012.

The company also found a reduction in absences related to depression coupled with an increase in prescribed anti-depressants, and believes that may signal a hidden problem.

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that American businesses lose an average of 2.8 million work days each year due to unplanned absences, costing employers more than $74 billion.

More on workforce healthcare on NED.

NED is a companion site within Penton’s Manufacturing and Supply Chain Group. 

About the Author

Adrienne Selko | Senior Editor

Focus: Workforce, Talent 

Follow Me on Twitter: @ASelkoIW

Bio: Adrienne Selko has written about many topics over the 17 years she has been with the publication and currently focuses on workforce development strategies. Previously Adrienne was in corporate communications at a medical manufacturing company as well as a large regional bank. She is the author of Do I Have to Wear Garlic Around My Neck? which made the Cleveland Plain Dealer's best sellers list. She is also a senior editor at Material Handling & Logistics and EHS Today

Editorial mission statement: Manufacturing is the enviable position of creating products, processes and policies that solve the world’s problems. When the industry stepped up to manufacture what was necessary to combat the pandemic, it revealed its true nature. My goal is to showcase the sector’s ability to address a broad range of workforce issues including technology, training, diversity & inclusion, with a goal of enticing future generations to join this amazing sector.

Why I find manufacturing interesting: On my first day working for a company that made medical equipment such as MRIs, I toured the plant floor. On every wall was a photo of a person, mostly children. I asked my supervisor why this was the case and he said that the work we do at this company has saved these people’s lives. “We never forget how important our work is and everyone’s contribution to that.” From that moment on I was hooked on manufacturing.

I have talked with many people in this field who have transformed their own career development to assist others. For example, companies are hiring those with disabilities, those previously incarcerated and other talent pools that have been underutilized. I have talked with leaders who have brought out the best in their workforce, as well as employees doing their best work while doing good for the world. 

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