Striving to keep employees happy and satisfied – that’s what S in ESG really stands for, and health plays a key role in that satisfaction. When we are faced with health issues or concerns, it immediately affects our ability to focus and do our work. Studies have shown that providing healthcare as one of the employee benefits leads to stronger loyalty towards the company and boosts employee performance too. Barclays, Citibank, and J. P. Morgan are already putting these findings into practice. Read on to find out how much money you could be losing because of health concerns disrupting the focus of your employees and see how effective healthcare as a benefit is based on experience from abroad.

When you are faced with a problem, the golden rule that applies to individuals, companies, and society as a whole is that the cure shouldn’t be worse than the issue itself. ESG is often branded as a necessary evil, another regulation that only brings extra administrative workload. But nobody really talks about the opportunities that come with it, despite plenty of concrete, measurable benefits ESG can offer if you handle it the right way. Let’s take a look at how your company can benefit in the S area.

Employees are the core of every company, and let’s say that you are lucky to have honest and hardworking staff. But even the hardest workers will always prioritize one thing above their work. Their own health, and the health of their families.

Seemingly, healthcare costs are borne by the state budget, but it’s really our budgets that are paying for them. Doctors, insurance companies, and even the government swear by prevention and work on motivating us to take responsibility for our own health, but PAQ Research data show that Czechs are real slackers, with only half of them undergoing regular preventive checkups. However, as soon as a health issue arises, everything else is sidelined, including focus and work efficiency. Using the data from the Czech Statistical Office, we calculated that distracted and unfocused employees could cost you up to 100 million a year. A thousand distracted employees equal a loss of roughly 19 million a year, and we’re not even counting soft factors like weakened team spirit or slower task delivery. If we do add those soft factors into the math, the final number could be up to five times higher, approaching 100 million CZK in labour costs (without factoring in delays, lost profits, etc.) that directly affect your profit and loss account.

Want more loyal and better-performing employees? Take care of their health

Barclays, Citibank, and J. P. Morgan are already responding to these new findings (like the business study Salesforce performed for Barclays), adding healthcare into their employee benefits. The Salesforce study, along with others, shows that healthcare related benefits increase employee loyalty and performance while decreasing their turnover. According to Eurostat and Health England, the three most sought-after healthcare areas are:

  1. Fertility treatments
  2. Care for patients with Alzheimer's
  3. General family medicine

By providing your employees with healthcare support, you are also supporting their overall mental well-being and helping them feel safe – knowing that there’s a helping hand available should they need it significantly reduces stress and emotional strain while also increasing efficiency.

The aim to keep employees satisfied is what the S in ESG really is about. In the Czech Republic, we are focusing on the tip of the iceberg – the reporting, the costs, the necessary changes, and the missing data; we are focusing on the E. But we need to realize that ESG is about building a new ecosystem where all parts need to be in sync; one can’t work without the other. Long-term focus on the health and well-being of employees and their families is bound to become a key differentiator in the job market, and not only that – it will also have a great effect on the performance of companies, the quality of their products, and workplace environment and culture. The list goes on and on, with every part of ESG ripe with opportunities for functional and beneficial solutions.

Draw inspiration from those who are already making it work and build a company people will want to be a part of.