Reduce absences and related costs with a holistic approach

Does your company have a workplace health management program in place? Workplace health management programs, such as EAP, disease management and wellness initiatives, can help improve the bottom line. In fact, medical costs fall by about $3.27 for every dollar spent on wellness programs, and absenteeism costs fall by about $2.73 for every dollar spent, according to a Health Affairs article.1

What’s included in a typical workplace health management program?

  • Wellness initiatives can include services like weight management, tobacco cessation and health education
  • Disease management services aim to help employees identify and manage chronic medical conditions, such as diabetes or cardiovascular disease
  • An EAP can offer counseling, stress management and financial advice.

A holistic approach that includes both a health management program as well as a program for managing absence and disability can help reduce the cost and impact of employee absence and disability, improve productivity, and retain and motivate top talent.

An effective, integrated absence and disability management program should include four key elements:

  • On-site interventions. A nurse or vocational specialist to assist employers at their facilities. The Standard’s Workplace Possibilities℠ program provides an on-site consultant to help.2 The on-site consultant helps employees return to work and stay at work and is the “quarterback” to connect these employees to the employer’s specific health management programs.
  • Job accommodations — To help keep an employee with a medical condition at work, solutions like ergonomic adjustments or modified work schedules can be advantageous. Our on-site consultant can take an all-inclusive look at the workplace to help the employer make the necessary accommodations.
  • Absence management solutions — When the management and tracking of various employee leaves is handled by an outside provider, it can diminish the burden placed on the company’s HR team. A provider with a customer-focused approach allows the HR team to focus its time and efforts elsewhere.
  • Health advocacy solutions — When employees are faced with confusing medical bills or need to find a new doctor, it can distract them from everyday work. Health advocates provide tools and guidance to help employees work through and understand complex health care issues, so the employee can stay productive at work.

By implementing a comprehensive solution that pairs a company’s health management initiatives with a well-rounded program for managing absence and disability, companies are best positioned to increase productivity and significantly reduce costs. When employees can stay at work or return to work faster, you are helping to build a stronger, happier workforce.

1Baicker K, Cutler D, Song Z. Workplace Wellness Programs Can Generate Savings. Health Aff. 2010;29(2): 304-311. Available at: Accessed December 13, 2011.

2The Workplace Possibilities Program is available through The Standard’s Group Disability Insurance. An on-site consultant is available for groups with 1,000 or more employees. This policy has exclusions, limitations, reduction of benefits and terms under which the policy may be continued in for or terminated.

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