How to save your bottom line… in 2023

There are two very destructive risk factors in your business…do you know what they are?

They must be monitored to save you money and your business. These two factors alone will impact the work and work performance of your employees more so than any other risk factor. They also present the highest level of predictability as to whether your workforce will struggle to produce their best work.

The two factors are: physical health and mental health.

Poor health in any workforce leads to a significant increase in costs to the employer as well as the community in which the business is located. These costs can be associated with less time at work as well as reduced productivity during the working day.

Research from the UK is telling us that the impact on work and productivity is greater from mental health issues when compared to physical health issues. There are also times when employees come to work when they are unwell, or their general health is low. This is reported to have happened with over 58% of EU workers, who during 2015, reported for work while sick. This means the employee is present but not working at their optimum. This is referred to as “presenteeism”.

Not all presenteeism has been found to be bad. It does not always lead to a decrease in the employee functioning at work. However, when it does occur and reaches a point where it impacts on work performance it automatically becomes more costly and leads to a dysfunctional workforce.

The research suggests that the presence of physical and mental health factors significantly predict the probability of a dysfunctional workforce. No other human risk factors have anything like this impact on the work and workforces. The onset of physical health matters increases the employees becoming more non- functional by 7%. When the factor is a clinical mental health matter, this probability increases to 12%.

Our data on Australian workforces indicates that 14% of employees are at risk from mental health matters (depression, anxiety and stress) and are heading towards this situation in the workplace.

It highlights again that investing in health, wellbeing and performance in the workplace – particularly mental health – is by far the most effective way of limiting loss of work and work performance as well as maintaining engagement.

The impact of both physical and mental health factors to part time employees and those who have a level of autonomy over their work tasks sees the respective percentages at 8% and 10%.  This does suggest that changing the work environment and accommodating different modes of work may also be worth considering, as it helps employees function at their optimal.

The level of depression particularly appears to generate significant costs to the business. This is due to lost production time as well as hidden costs associated with the reduced performance at work.

We can help you identify and target depression (or any of the mental health elements) particularly as our data collection processes allow for specific risk factors to be targeted.

Further, employees with multiple health conditions return a greater percentage of non-functional work, when compared to those with fewer health conditions. The magnitude of impairment to work and work performance increases with every additional chronic condition.

Evaluating mental health conditions reinforces how significant the impact is on the workforce. The working population who are battling poor mental health are 6-7 times more inclined to be working below optimum levels of performance, when compared to those with sound mental health.

It means without correction or support to improve the physical and mental health issues in any workplace there will be a reduction in output and margins, as well as constantly missing key production targets.

Our data powered; people centred; technology driven platform can help you navigate these potentially destructive elements in your workplace. Let us help you get started in identifying these two major risks to your business. Collecting data and insightful reporting will save you money and enhance your bottom line.

Source: ML Bryan, AM Bryce and J Roberts; Sources: Dysfunctional Performance effects of physical and mental health on work performance, The Manchester School, Vol 90: Issue 4, July 2022, pages 409-438.

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