Next Things First

Limeade Makes Progress on Productivity Measures … by Rob Coppedge
March 2, 2009, 5:41 pm
Filed under: seattle market, start-ups, wellness | Tags: ,

imageprovideraspxFor those who are unlucky enough to go to health care conferences regularly, there are certain old saws that get played again and again: the 80/20 rule, the astronomical growth rates in health care spend, the explosion in the numbers of elderly Americans …

The one I like best is about the significant costs related to productivity-related issues: absenteeism, presenteeism, etc.

I like it best because it has been hard (if not impossible) to baseline these conditions and costs and measure improvement.

The disease management and wellness companies would reference this stuff, but much like quantum physics one had to mix faith with reason to believe in all this unmeasurable dark matter (or to give the DM companies the benefit of any supposed improvements).

So, it is with some excitement that I have followed Limeade‘s work with productivity-related measures. They’ve just released the first findings from their recent study, and they contain some interesting bits:

Companies keep rolling out these Health Risk Assessments (HRA), thinking that they really help predict productivity.  Well, they kinda sorta do.  A little bit.

But as it turns out, there are much, MUCH better predictors out there.  In fact, the health risk factors from our study barely crack the Top 10 predictors of productivity.

What does?  Things like job satisfaction, belief in your company, meaningful work, the ability to manage depression (OK, that counts as a health risk) – even “openness & optimism” – trump more “conventional wisdom” wellness measures like heart health and nutrition.

The Limeade well-being assessment covers work, personal and health factors, and predicts productivity more than ten times better than health risk factors alone, per our recent study of over 9,000 participants.  There is quite a bit of fancy math behind this, which we will find a way to publish soon.

You can find the full posting on Limeade’s blog. I look forward to reading more of their findings – cracking the code on productivity measures (enabling employer action to improve the supposedly sorry state of affairs) will present huge opportunities.

Posted by RobC