Archive for 2013

Failure to Communicate Benefits costs Employers £2.7 billion

Jul 08, 2013

I know organisations that try and keep quiet about some of the health benefits they’ve put in place for their employees. They do it in the mistaken belief that if they don’t get used, the saving on future insurer/provider costs will be greater than the wider savings generated by employees using the benefits.

And that’s all it is, a belief. A guess. An unfounded assumption. They have not undertaken any analysis to support the introduction of the benefit or the overall impact it could have on the business. I know, it’s bizarre isn’t it, but it does go on.

This recent research from Cass Business school and sponsored by Unum reveals that 64% of businesses have invested in good employee benefits, but don’t tell staff what they are entitled to.  This willl include the ‘hush hush’ brigade, but many more who just don’t communicate effectively. As a result, they are no better off than companies that don’t provide the benefits at all.

It says that a typical organisation with 1,000 employees that offers good benefits but fails to communicate them  spends £470,000 a year more on staff turnover and sickness absence than those companies that have comparable benefits packages, but have good communications practices.

Whilst it is in the interests of Unum and other health benefits providers to spread this message widely, they make a valid and valuable point.


The Future of Occupational Health

Jul 03, 2013

Has anyone seen the latest report to come from the Council for Work and Health ‘ Delivering a Vision of Occupational Health and Its’ Workforce for the UK for the next 5-20 years’?

You can read it by clicking here.   There are some really interesting observations and the approach to stratifying the different populations to identify those most likely to consume or benefit from occupational health advice strikes a chord with me. With limited resources, it’s key to prioritise your biggest risks.

They also talk a lot more about the increasing preventative remit of occupational health.

My major concern is that the report identifies over 50 stakeholder organisations –  many seemingly duplicating much of what others do. Is it too many to take things forward and make things happen, even if the plan is to deliver objectives for the next 5-20 years?

Award Winning Health Benefits

Jun 27, 2013

I’m delighted to say that Hewlett-Packard have won this year’s employee benefits award for ‘Best Healthcare and Wellbeing Benefits’ for their major cancer awareness and screening campaigns.

I entered them for the awards in my capacity as MD of HealthScreen UK, a role I’m now stepping down from.

Over the past 2 years, I’ve grown HealthScreen UK from scratch to a position where now more than 250,000 employees have access to its cancer early detection services. Big client wins and a fantastic new business pipeline. Revenues grown exponentially and new services launched to market. I’ve achieved my objectives with the company and here’s the press release about my decision:

After 2 years leading the business, John Picken has decided to step down as MD of HealthScreen UK to focus on his own consulting business which will include continuing to advise HealthScreen UK. 

John said, ‘HealthScreen UK now has clients with thousands of employees as the benefits of cancer awareness and early detection move up the corporate healthcare agenda.  It’s a great proposition as evidenced by being the winning provider in the recent Employee Benefits Awards ‘ Best Health and Wellbeing Benefits’ category for 2013. I’m very pleased to have been involved in getting the business to where it is now and will keep involved along with my other projects.’

Troels Jordansen, Managing Director of parent company International Health Technology Ltd said ‘John has been key in raising our profile, winning new clients, revenues and now awards. We have worked together on many projects and product launches. Whilst thanking him for all he has done for our business, I am also grateful that we can still call on his market knowledge and experience in the future.