David Prosser, Strategic Development Manager, AXA PPP healthcare
It's an old adage that you 'can't manage what you don't measure' and that 'our people are our greatest asset'. Put the two together and you would seem to have the perfect rationale for organisations to report on how human capital performance is managed and nurtured. Then add to this basic premise the fact that increasingly institutional investors are taking a close interest in how companies are managing their human resources when making investment decisions. And good corporate governance - doing the right thing when no-one is looking - includes how the health of the workforce is looked after. Lots of evidence links workforce health to productivity and performance levels and even shareholder return.So why the apparent reluctance for much of UK PLC to produce and publish meaningful human capital metrics to demonstrate good corporate responsibility? You could be excused for thinking that it's a no-brainer. Business in the Community (BITC) certainly thinks so in campaigning for the FTSE 100 to report publicly on employee health and it will be revealing to see next year how many respond to BITC's call. Further afield, how many other organisations in the wider private and public sector will start to post their human capital metrics - especially beyond narrow sickness absence rates.But, in the meantime, what does good management information (MI) look like? In the past it could have been reams of formulaic and transactional data, which counts the movement of widgets from A to B. Now, we need to raise the bar and ensure that our MI provides actionable insights that show what is really going on and avoids that 'so what' factor. For health and wellbeing 'intelligence' to be meaningful and useful, it needs to start to help organisations to answer the following questions:
Arguably, this depth of health data goes beyond the reporting capability of even our largest organisations. And, of course, FTSE 100 companies may well be reluctant to disclose information that exposes people management issues and/or poor management practices. Who can blame them? However, it is my hope that, whatever they care to publish, at least internally they are starting to look at this kind of granular MI and taking appropriate action.
Recognition of the importance of and resource allocation to employee health and well being are paramount for the optimal performance of any organisation. A professional approach either within HR or separately as OH or welfare will pay dividends. It is a dividend though that is not always easy to quantify in monetary terms. Common sense and good management of the resource can, however, facilitate understanding of the benefits to all. Even an organisation's most talented employees can experience debt problems and mental health issues. It pays to offer confidential support and guidance. HR practitioners can enhance their skills by engaging with welfare - so why not join us at the House of Commons on 21st February for CPD/networking on welfare reform and how carers cope in the workplace. Sally Bundock, Chair,
Institute of Welfare www.instituteofwelfare.co.uk
A trackback is a method for Web authors to request notification when somebody links to one of their documents. This enables authors to keep track of who is linking, and so referring, to their articles. Some weblog software programs, such as Wordpress, Drupal and Movable Type, support automatic pingbacks where all the links in a published article can be pinged when the article is published. The term is used colloquially for any kind of linkback.