Ageing Workforce and Insurance Costs – What is the Link?

Retaining NursesI’ve recently been asked what is the relationship between the work that I do at WCD-Workers’ Compensation Solutions and the mature workforce management work at Activetics.

In my first years of working in rehabilitation and the insurance industry, we often had the attitude that older people did not lodge workers’ compensation claims, and at that time it was probably true. We now know, thanks to the good work of research colleagues, that mature employees are increasingly claiming workers’ compensation, their claims are often protracted, more costly when left unmanaged and there are a variety of reasons why they initially claim (some of the drivers are: concerns about job stability, fear of not being able to do the work into the future and financial pressures).

I think the best way to answer the original query is to provide a short case study.

Several years ago a colleague of mine worked with a major hospital in Victoria. At the time their issues were:

  • An ageing workforce
  • Escalating workers’ compensation premiums
  • High turnover, vacancies and absenteeism
  • Ageing patients – more manual handling
  • Generational change
  • Ageing/obsolete infrastructure
  • Poor culture

With Board approval they adopted an integrated approach to address the issues across five key platforms:

  • Culture change
  • Talent management
  • Process improvement
  • Coaching/mentoring
  • Attention to workers compensation and safety

An Activetics programme was implemented, collating initial data, working with the employees and their managers, training supervisors, examining responsibilities within the hospital structure, setting KPIs over a set timeframe and provising the support services for sustainable change.

The medium term results were:

  • A reduction in workers’ compensation costs of 1.7M
  • A profit turn around of over 9M
  • Instead of paying incentives to graduates to join the hospital, they became a popular place to work at; they received mulitple graduate applications two years later for positions.

There are other major health organisations, manufacturers and transport providers involved in Activetics programmes. We are inspired by the results of our programmes in Workforce Management. There is a strong correlation beween organisational culture, workforce management and insurance costs. Get it right and everyone wins socially and financially.

Blog: Kristine Gatt