Health equals wealth.
As individuals, most of us can testify that this statement is certainly true. With the absence of good health, it would be difficult for anyone to hold down a full-time job and to pursue a rich and fulfilling career.
But have you ever wondered if the same concept applies for companies? Would a healthier company perform better than their peers? If so, do companies then have the monetary incentive to ensure their employees are able to stay healthy? More importantly, what can they do about it?
Do Healthier Companies Make Better Investments?
A white paper published by AIA Vitality, AIA’s science-backed wellness programme, shared a study that shows that companies that engage in efforts to promote workforce well-being and safety tend to yield greater investment value to their shareholders. In fact, these companies which were recognised for their health initiatives outperformed the Standard & Poor (S&P) 500 index by almost 5% per annum over a 13-year period.
It’s just like a football team. If players in a team are healthy and available for selection, chances are the team would fare better compared to having a team filled with injured players.
The same logic applies for private companies. Companies are made out of employees and the collective health of their employees will ultimately reflect the health of the company that they worked for. A healthy company should show better results.
Do Your Bosses Care?
AIA Singapore recently hosted the inaugural AIA Vitality Summit in Singapore, which was attended by more than 100 C-Suite executives and representatives from government agencies. A few polls were carried during the event.
The good news? Approximately two-thirds (66.3%) of these business leaders who attended the event believed that employers incentivising their staff to stay healthy is the most important driver for wellness in the workplace.
Rewarding employees’ healthy behaviors (36.6%) and C-suite leadership and engagement (34.7%) were identified as the top two critical drivers for an effective workplace health programme.
What this shows is that business leaders in Singapore know that their employees’ health matters are ultimately their responsibility and concern.
Rising Healthcare Costs In Singapore
In a previous article, we wrote about the danger of the rising healthcare cost in Singapore. The same concern applies for companies who are looking to handle their employees’ healthcare cost.
Given that medical inflation, at approximately 10-15% per annum, is outpacing general inflation, many companies could already been paying for the “poor health” of their employees.
From the simple 1-day MC that results in the loss of productivity, to rising group insurance premiums due to excessive claims, companies who do not care about their employees’ healthcare issues are at the biggest risk of paying extra in the long run. What used to be a nice HR perk may become an important business area to manage going forward.
Making The Right Investment In Health
Just like how we know at the individual level that an investment made into our personal health can translate into good future dividends, as we can perform better and have the option to work longer, companies should likewise consider making investments to promote health and well-being at the workplace.
From giving employees’ incentives to keep fit (e.g. gym membership) to allowing time off to participate in healthy activities (e.g. monthly sports day), the right investments made into health and wellness can potentially go a long way to help improve overall health of a company.
Do you agree that companies should put themselves into the driver’s seat to promote healthcare among their employees? Get into the discussion with us on the open Insurance Discussion SG Facebook Group.
How can you choose winning stocks in Singapore? Join us on 16 November in our next 90-minute series: Guide To Choosing Winning Stocks, as we discuss some of the key elements to look at when choosing stocks to invest in.