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June 13, 2014

Wellness Boosts Productivity? Hold on

Summary:

I always ask one simple question. I've asked it dozens and dozens of times. And no one has ever been able to answer it. Not one.

An article in Business Insurance(http://www.businessinsurance.com/article/20140521/NEWS03/140529962?tags=334%7C342%7C58%7C339%7C257%7C74) describes how a speaker at a conference said productive gains justify company-sponsored wellness.

He was quoted as saying, “Many employers have implemented disease management programs to try to control health care costs, but the big savings are elsewhere.”   His “elsewhere” is  productivty gains.

Whenever I hear someone make a claim like that I ask one simple question: if an employer is having productivity gains, then are its wages as a percent of sales declining?

I’ve asked that question dozens and dozens of times. Not one person has ever said they even looked at that most obvious measurement of true productivity gains…not one. When discussing productivity gains, the only valid measurement is declining payroll or wages as a percent of sales.

After all, if employee productivity at a company is up, say, 10%, the employer should need 10% fewer workers

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About the Author

Tom Emerick is president of Emerick Consulting and cofounder of EdisonHealth and Thera Advisors.  Emerick’s years with Wal-Mart Stores, Burger King, British Petroleum and American Fidelity Assurance have provided him with an excellent blend of experience and contacts.

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