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Maximizing the Potential of Your Human Capital

May 22, 2019
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Is your company up to the challenge of attracting and retaining the top performers needed to drive your business? Recruiting and retention has taken on a “Game of Thrones” approach where the competition is fierce to land the right candidate.

And despite what most pundits say about millennials – Forbes estimates that millennials will make up 75 percent of the workforce by 2025 – healthcare benefits do matter to this generation.

An effective recruiting strategy used to include a competitive salary, retirement vehicle (i.e. pension or 401k offering) and fully paid company healthcare premiums. That’s not the case anymore.

Coupled with recent efforts to control healthcare insurance premiums, employers are finding the traditional methods of sharing inflation with employees to post additional complications. With rising deductibles and co-pays, affordability has become an issue for many employees and is placing a heavy burden on both them and their company.

If employees can’t afford or have easy access to healthcare or wellness plans for themselves and their families, their health – both physical and mental – can suffer. This translates to increased absences, reduced productivity, higher rates of job dissatisfaction and lower customer service.

How serious is the problem? According to the Gallup-Healthways Well-Being Index, the total annual costs related to lost productivity due to absenteeism in the United States totals $84 billion. Breaking that down further it adds up to $3,600 per hourly employee per year, and $2,650 per salaried employee per year.

What are companies doing to reverse this trend? They are turning to human capital management and investing intellectual capital, people capital and financial resources to manage their healthcare and wellness benefits.

The cost of healthcare for a typical American family of four covered by an average employer-sponsored preferred provider organization (PPO) plan is $28,166

Milliman Medical Index

“Savvy employers are adding more value in their healthcare plans and looking to secure better returns for both their investment and that of their employees,” says Kyle Anthony, Director, Human Capital Practice for Oswald. “While wellness programs are under increased pressure to prove how they drive lower cost, we know for a fact that effective population health management strategies are more important than ever before.

Anthony says companies need to identify what benefits are most important to employees and which ones drive performance.

Through proprietary predictive data analytics technology and targeted employee education and engagement supported by Oswald, companies can design and manage a suite of offerings that give them a competitive advantage in today’s tight labor market.

“Companies are competing to recruit the top people for positions they are looking to fill, and how the value of benefits are communicated is important,” says Anthony. “An attractive benefits package that is both affordable and comprehensive lets prospective hires and current employees know you value them.”

Proven Results

Companies that embrace the human capital approach typically enjoy better financial opportunities, operating 10 to 15 percent better than the marketplace. In addition to financial efficiencies, companies compound their good fortune with higher employee satisfaction levels, lower turnover and absenteeism rates, and better overall productivity.

“Having your human capital aligned properly allows companies to better position themselves for growth and react to opportunities in the market,” says Anthony. “They won’t be hindered by the lack of a talented or motivated workforce, and that creates a significant competitive advantage.”

Anthony points to a client with 4,000 employees (8,200 total individuals in the plan) that was spread across 25 unique locations. In the period between mid-year 2017 and mid-year 2018 the plan incurred more than $500,000 in inappropriate emergency room use.

When Oswald introduced a new insurance program it followed up with an analysis of where employees lived and provided them with a geo map of urgent care centers that were conveniently located to their homes. Telehealth fees were also waived and during the last six months of 2018 there was a 20 percent reduction in emergency room usage, and a six figure savings for the company.

The same company also experienced a high rate – 70 percent – of its claims coming from chronic conditions such as diabetes and lower back pain. This was due in part to low employee engagement in the plan’s preventive care options.

To raise the level of engagement, Oswald again turned to data analysis and targeted communications. Employees were engaged in a series of text messages and provided incentives to take advantage of the preventive care and wellness benefits available to them. The result: a seven percent jump in participation.

The communications piece of the human capital management puzzle is critical to the success of the initiative, according to Anthony.

“We want to remove barriers to participation and explain how to use their plan to their advantage in establishing a healthier lifestyle,” says Anthony. “Through aggressive data analysis and targeted messaging across various platforms, we are able to share valuable information and secure positive results for both employers and employees.”

End Game

Investing in the health and wellness of your company’s most important asset – its people – shouldn’t be viewed as a budget line item. Your employees certainly don’t.

Forward-looking companies that engage with their insurance carrier and employees can better identify and understand the underlying drivers of their health care insurance expenses and achieve better outcomes for their investment.

For employees and their families, it allows them to discover healthier lifestyle choices and understand the importance of preventive care, maximize their financial investment, and take advantage of all the benefits their health care plan offers.

For more information, contact:
Kyle Anthony
Director, Human Capital Practice

Note: This communication is for informational purposes only. Although every reasonable effort is made to present current and accurate information, Oswald makes no guarantees of any kind and cannot be held liable for any outdated or incorrect information. View our communications policy.