Demonstrating the economic value of investments in employee health and well-being
thesisposted on 2015-10-12, 10:25 authored by Paul S.J. Miller
The extent to which any organisation dedicates its finite resources towards employee health and well-being issues is driven by some combination of ethical, legal and economic factors. This thesis is concerned with demonstrating the economic value of investments in employee health and well-being, focusing on how economic information is and could be generated and how organisations process this information in their decision-making regarding employee health and well-being issues. The thesis explores the notion that better, more appropriate economic information and more rigorous economic evaluation methodologies are important in creating incentives for organisations to invest in and better manage the health and well-being of their employees. A series of studies are presented: a review of the existing literature reporting cost-of illness and cost-effectiveness type studies; a study exploring current practice using a focus group followed by a series of individual interviews with key occupational health professionals in the UK; a study reporting a survey of specialist and generalist managers' attitudes, perceptions, information needs and experience of employee health and wellbeing 'business cases'; economic evaluation methods and their application to the occupational health setting are reviewed. These studies served to directly inform the design and development of an economic framework approach using employee self-report data to construct empirical case studies to demonstrate the correlation between employer costs and employee health and well-being metrics. These studies provide new information on the relative marginal effects of cost to an organisation of changes in different employee health and well-being measures. This knowledge could aid resource allocation decisions by providing estimates of the value to an organisation of effects that could be delivered by a diverse range of employee health and well-being interventions or policies. The separation of this economic information about the costs of employee health and well-being issues from economic information about specific interventions is likely to be key in creating incentives for organisations to invest in employee health and well-being.
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