Implementing an effective health and productivity management strategy is critical to creating a healthy, high-performing workforce and, ultimately, business competitiveness. Although employers have known for a long time that a healthy employee is more loyal and engaged, studies1 have also shown a direct relationship between employee health and profitability.
As employers take a more integrated view of the programs that touch on all of the aspects of employee health, well-being and productivity, they are realizing the importance of having benchmarks that are similarly comprehensive. Unfortunately, such broad benchmarks have been difficult or expensive to come by. This issue was an impetus behind the creation of EMPAQ® (Employer Measures of Productivity, Absence and Quality™).
EMPAQ is an online survey-based measurement tool, developed by employers for employers, that helps quantify the costs of poor health, low productivity, and absence. The goal is to assist companies with health and productivity program evaluation by comparing their experience to benchmarks of peer performance based upon a set of key metrics in four categories:
- Overall absence
- Non-occupational absence
- Occupational absence
- Group health and employee assistance programs
EMPAQ was originally created by the National Business Group on Health in 2001 and after a 5-year hiatus was re-launched this year in conjunction with Truven Health. Employers who submit their data between April 2 and May 29, 2015 will receive an individualized benchmark report for the 30 key EMPAQ metrics. Results will also be pooled across survey participants to create EMPAQ-wide benchmarks and a national report which will be released to the general public.
In short, the EMPAQ initiative should provide much needed benchmarks for the important work of keeping employees, healthy and productive. For more information, visit http://www.empaq.org/.
Sr. Director, Practice Leadership
1 Loeppke RR, Taitel M, Haufle V, Parry T, Kessler R and Jinnett K. Health and productivity as a business strategy: A multiemployer study, J Occup Environ Med. 2009; 51:411-428.
Loeppke RR, Taitel M, Richling DE, et al. Health and productivity as a business strategy. J Occup Environ Med. 2007;49: 712–721.
Edington DW, Burton WN. Health and Productivity. A Practical Approach to Occupational and Environmental Medicine. Philadelphia: Lippincott Williams & Wilkins; 2003:140 –152.