In Australia and across the globe, the health of employees is increasingly recognised as an essential factor underpinning performance and ultimately business success.

Australian Unity’s Wellbeing for Performance strategy sets out to build evidence of the relationship between the health and wellbeing of employees, the effect of Australian Unity’s products and services, and key measures of workplace performance (including engagement and productivity).

The first initiative is a collaborative project between Australian Unity, its subsidiary Remedy Healthcare and research partner, Towers Watson. This initiative is designed to measure the impact of Remedy Healthcare’s health coaching service on the health, wellbeing and workplace performance of Australian Unity’s employees.

The research found that healthier employees, from the onset, were twice as likely to be rated a higher performer by their manager and there were significant positive outcomes for the high risk intervention group as well.

The intervention group improved in both biometric health and lifestyle factors, while the control group tended to improve in lifestyle factors only. We found members of the intervention group also said they were more likely to remain at the organisation, addressing key a retention risk.

Here are some of the findings:

  • In the high risk intervention group there was a 14% reduction in the number of employees at high risk of developing diabetes compared to a 4% reduction in the high risk control group over a six month period.
  • The high risk intervention group saw a 4% increase in the number of people who received a higher than average performance rating, compared to a 5% decrease in the high risk control group.
  • One of the strongest positive outcomes for the organisation was in the retention metric—the high risk intervention group returned a 14% decrease in the intention to leave the organisation, which has direct cost savings and knowledge retention benefits for the organisation. Intentions to leave did not shift for the high risk control group.
  • The high risk intervention group also reported the most positive shifts in employee engagement compared to the high risk control group.
  • Employees in the low risk control group, who had better health, were two times more likely to be rated a high performer by their manager than those in the high risk intervention or control group.

The full report can be found in the Downloads section.