What part of key business outcomes is driven by workforce health – compared to work-related elements such as work characteristics and work perceptions? Research from the U.K. finds that poor health of the workforce has a greater influence on absence measures than do work-related elements. Surprisingly, however, ill health’s principal effect is on outcomes like employee performance (self-measured on a 0 to 10 scale) and presenteeism, which are shown to be far less impacted by work-related elements. The analysis is possible only through the use of employee self-reports, an effective management and research tool that, along with health risk assessments, are currently under attack by federal regulators.

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