More than a third (35%) of respondents named demonstrating return on investment (ROI) as their number one priority over the next 12 months, according to research commissioned by PMI Health Group and conducted by Imperial College Business School.
The research, which surveyed HR directors and managers for large UK organisations, found that other priorities include the need to implement new systems, such as IT and flexible benefits (30%), and looking to save money on healthcare support costs (28%).
Only 15% of respondents regard managing absence as a top priority over the next 12 months, although 49% said managing absence effectively posed a problem in their organisation.
The research also found:
- 39% of respondents need expert advice on how to run a successful corporate wellbeing scheme, with three-quarters using specialist advisors to help select healthcare products for staff.
- 24% of respondents look for information from the HR press to help select healthcare providers.
Mike Blake (pictured), director of PMI Health Group, said: “Business confidence may be returning but HR professionals remain under pressure to demonstrate the value of the HR function.
“Employee healthcare programmes are often considered as a nice-to-have rather than a strategic imperative by business leaders, but a healthy workforce can contribute to a healthy bottom line.
“With appropriate evaluation frameworks in place, the returns can be measured to reassure [chief executive officers] and [chief financial officers].
“Managing sickness absence should be a key driver behind any healthcare programme.
“The business cost can be considerable from paying salaries or sick pay, to replacement staffing costs, not to mention its impact on customer satisfaction and workforce morale.
“This cost can be calculated however if robust processes for measuring absence are in place.”