Calling out from work could lead to second day regret
61 percent of American workers say unplanned absences hurt their company’s bottom line, found a new survey by Nationwide Better Health
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
April 2, 2007
Terri Erlenbach 614-249-5755
Columbus, Ohio— A survey of American workers released today by Nationwide Better HealthSM, the leading provider of total population health management solutions, found that unplanned absences increase employees’ workload and stress, negatively impact companies’ bottom lines and are normally due to health conditions.
Absences cost employers an upwards of $74 billion annually, according to the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania.1 By monitoring employee attendance and addressing reasons why employees call off from work, a company can minimize the impact unplanned absences have on both productivity and profit.
“Monitoring and addressing absenteeism is key to maintaining both employee satisfaction and company performance,” said Holly Snyder, president of Nationwide Better Health. “Absence management – and getting to the core of why employees call off from work – not only helps plan day-to-day staffing, but also enhances earnings and delivers higher productivity levels.”
Key findings include:
• Absence of Health: 85 percent of respondents report that unplanned absences are normally due to a health condition, whether their own or of a family member.
• Chronic Youth: When calling off due to a health-related reason, 57 percent of Gen Y (ages 18-27) attribute their sick day to the same recurring condition. Only 41 percent of Baby Boomers (ages 45-60) claim the same.
• Unplanned Absence, Unwanted Work: 53 percent of workers surveyed agree that their colleagues’ unplanned absences leave them with more work to do, and Gen X (ages 28-44) felt the most burdened at 57 percent. 50 percent of both Generation Y and Baby Boomers felt the same.
• The Morning After: More than half of workers, from Gen Y to Baby Boomers, report feeling additional stress after returning from an unplanned absence. 58 percent of female employees tend to have more stress after calling off, as compared to 48 percent of males employees.
• Hands-off Management: 71 percent of respondents state that their managers do not question them after they call off from work. This number varies significantly between generations – 80 percent of Baby Boomers report not being questioned whereas only 57 percent of Gen-Yers claim the same.
• Paycheck Power: 84 percent of those with a household income of $75,000 or more are not questioned by management after calling off. 57 percent of respondents with a household income of $25,000-$35,000 claim the same. At the same time, only 34 percent of those earning $75,000 or more think that unplanned absences have a negative impact on career development whereas 52 percent of respondents with a household income of $25,000-$35,000 feel the same.
“Clearly, employees recognize the repercussions of unplanned absences on their work and on their company. However, to actually reduce absenteeism, employers should be aware of how often employees call off and the reasons behind these absences,” said Bill Evans, president of Productivity Solutions for Nationwide Better Health. “An absence management program coupled with a robust health and wellness program is a win-win for workers and companies alike.”
Nationwide Better Health’s absence management program helps employers identify absence patterns and provides real-time information, tracking and reporting. By identifying employees in need of medical and disease management, Nationwide Better Health can partner with the employee and, using Nationwide Better Health’s personal health coaches, educate them on how to improve their health.
In addition to its robust absence management program and recent agreement to acquire WellCorp, Nationwide Better Health currently offers health risk assessments, on-site health screenings, incentive programs and the following comprehensive health and wellness courses: weight management, nutrition, stress management, tobacco cessation and physical activity. Nationwide Better Health also offers thirteen different disease management programs that address specific chronic conditions, such as heart disease, diabetes and cancer, along with maternity, medical and disability management. These programs are delivered by dedicated health coaches using a variety of telephonic, mail-based and online tools and resources.
The survey results are based upon telephone interviews conducted among a national probability sample of 862 adults, comprised of 512 men and 350 women, 18 years of age and older, and employed full-time. Interviews were conducted by Opinion Research Corporation between March 8 and March 12, 2007. The margin of error is approximately plus or minus 3 percent. A copy of the survey questionnaire and results are available upon request.
About Nationwide Better Health
Nationwide Better HealthSM, a subsidiary of Nationwide® Mutual Insurance Company, is a leading provider of total population health management solutions aimed at lowering health care costs, increasing productivity and improving quality of life for Fortune 1000 employers and their employees. Nationwide Better Health is the first company to truly integrate the best collection of health and productivity services available today, including health and wellness, and disease, disability, absence, medical and maternity management, along with the industry’s first integrated disease and disability management offering. The company’s offerings work together and independently to address both sides of the cost equation: increased efficiency of health and productivity programs and better employee health and well-being to reduce health care-related costs. For more information, call 866-404-6924 or visit www.nwbetterhealth.com.
Nationwide, based in Columbus, Ohio, is one of the largest diversified insurance and financial services organizations in the world, with more than $158 billion in assets. Nationwide ranks #98 on the Fortune 100 list. The company provides a full range of insurance and financial services, including auto, motorcycle, boat, homeowners, life, commercial insurance, administrative services, annuities, mortgages, mutual funds, pensions and long-term savings plans. For more information, visit www.nationwide.com.
Nationwide, the Nationwide framemark and On Your Side are
federally registered service marks of Nationwide Mutual Insurance
Company. Nationwide Better Health is a service mark of Nationwide Mutual
1 Baase, Catherine M., Marc L. Berger, Gary M. Billotti, Sean Nicholson, Ronald J. Ozminkowski, Mark V. Pauly, Daniel Polsky, and Claire E. Sharda, November 2005, “How to Present the Business Case for Healthcare Quality to Employers,” University of Pennsylvania