AS COMPANIES AND EMPLOYEES ACCEPT DOING MORE WITH LESS,
ENGAGEMENT, TRAINING AND HEALTH TOP THE HUMAN RESOURCE AGENDA
2011 Trends and Opportunities Report from Harris Rothenberg
International Shows How Stress
is Impacting Organizations and Individuals, Provides Pathway for Long-Term Health
New York, April 12, 2011 — The 2011
Annual Trends Report released today from Harris Rothenberg International, Inc. (HRI),
a leading employee/employer resource firm, reports that while organizations and
employees are doing more with less, the resulting personal and organizational stress
to find work/life balance is driving an increased need for comprehensive and proactive
employee assistance programming. According to the report, while many, if not most,
employees are adapting well to the changing workplace, the severity of problems
facing employees in need has increased significantly, and the complexity of the
issues they bring is unprecedented.
The 2010 HRI Trends Report assessed how organizations and individuals
were adjusting to the new normal as a result of the most significant economic reversal
since the Great Depression. This year’s report, Employee Engagement: The Secret
to Success in 2011 underscores the need for corporations to rethink their
approach to employee communication, assistance and engagement. The result, according
to HRI experts, will be a more motivated, focused, healthy and productive workforce,
poised to take advantage of the rebounding economy.
“2011 is all about employee engagement: from the executive
suite to the shop floor,” said HRI CEO Edward Trieber, J.D., Ph.D.. “Given the stressors
we are seeing throughout organizations, it is vital that corporations reassess how
they are connecting with those inside their organizations, even those people who
may never need any sort of employee assistance. Just knowing that their company
provides a safety net is a strong motivator for employees and managers alike.”
The HRI Annual Trends Report has tracked changes in organizational
and employee behavior for the past five years., This year’s report is based on interviews
conducted with senior HR executives, consultants, and internal counselors and specialists,
as well as some of the world’s leading authorities on employee engagement and productivity.
In addition, recent Employee Assistance Program (EAP) and Work/ Life Services (W/L)
program data was analyzed to reveal the kinds of mental, emotional, and work/life
issues employees are experiencing in the workplace.
2010 was a landmark year in terms of employee participation
in EAP services services provided through HRI to its clients. Dr. Charles Lattarulo,
HRI’s clinical director, noted that 2010 was marked by an increase in acute calls
for assistance, including expressions of suicidality in the workplace, prescription
medication abuse/dependence, anger management issues including bullying in the workplace,
severe financial issues and the repeated use of EAP services by the same callers.
As Work/Life balance becomes an important issue for employees,
the scope of Work/Life services being offered has expanded to encompass assistance
with a wide-range of issues. As a result, in 2010, the number of people accessing
Work/Life services each month increased an average of 69% over the same month in
2009. A common theme noted by HRI is financial uncertainty for individuals, as well
as families struggling to pay bills, cover health insurance and find affordable
The Answer: Engagement, Well-Being and a Culture of Health
For organizations operating in this new reality, HRI experts stress employee engagement
as the first step to maintaining a healthy, productive and motivated workforce.
As organizations strive to do more with less, it’s the employees who must take on
extra work and go the extra mile. Only employees who feel connected to their organizations
overall goals and vested in organizational success will make that commitment. In
fact, a recent Hay Group study found that organizations in the top quartile of engagement
levels had revenue growth 2.5 times that of organizations in the bottom quartile.
Employee well-being – physical, psychological and social –
is the bedrock of organizational well-being, impacting productivity, health care
costs and the general work environment. What’s more, the relationship between employee
well-being and employee engagement cannot be overlooked, as they can serve as harbingers
of employee productivity, commitment or risk of burn-out.
Both employee engagement and employee well-being can be addressed
by fostering what HRI classifies as a culture of health. This organizational culture
supports employees in their physical, mental and social well-being. By emphasizing
employee health-promotion programs, organizations can realize significant decreases
in medical, hospital, disability, worker’s compensation and drug costs. They also
increase productivity, recruitment, retention, and morale, with a return on investment
often reaching three dollars for every dollar spent. More importantly, fostering
a culture of health, at all organizational levels, can lead to behavioral changes
Awareness is key to creating a culture of health. Some organizations,
as reported by HRI, are recognizing the importance of the extended employee family
in delivering benefits information. Reaching out to families and dependents of employees
to explain the benefits and programs available not only increases utilization, it
can increase compliance and engagement in healthy behavior programs.
“It’s an organizational paradox,” said, Bea Harris, PhD, managing
director of HRI. “Families represent the largest component of corporate healthcare
costs, yet very few corporations provide any outreach and communication to families
regarding health and well-being issues. By extending the reach of engagement to
encompass the entire family, companies can build a healthier workforce while also
building trust, confidence and commitment to the organization as a whole. At a time
when everyone is being asked to do more with less, that commitment and goodwill,
starting with the family, can have a dramatic, positive, impact overall performance.”
The complete 2011 HRI Trends and Opportunities Report is available
for free at www.hriworld.com.
Harris, Rothenberg International, Inc.:
Harris, Rothenberg International (HRI) offers an array of comprehensive, integrated
human resource programs and services designed to maximize organizational and employee
performance. Founded in 1982, HRI is a pioneer and acknowledged leader in the field
of HR strategy, leadership development, and employee productivity. We partner with
clients of all sizes and all industries, from Fortune 100 companies to privately
held businesses and nonprofit organizations. HRI is recognized as the standard by
which EAP and other HR consulting firms are judged. For more information visit us
www.hriworld.com or call 800-441-7509.