• Sunday, June 16, 2024
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How top companies use healthcare insurance to attract and keep best talents — Leila Abu

Leila Abu, SVP of People Operations at Reliance HMO, recently shared valuable insights on Lagos Talks 91.3 FM’s “Health Talk” segment.

Abu discussed how leading businesses are leveraging extended healthcare coverage for employees and their families to boost productivity and growth.

The interview explored the direct connection between employee well-being, driven by comprehensive health insurance plans, and overall business profitability.

“Investing in employee healthcare and ensuring their well-being creates a positive environment for employees to thrive and deliver the highest quality of service to clients, thereby ensuring business goals are achieved,” Leila stated.

This perspective underscores why modern businesses have prioritized employee health and well-being to improve overall performance and service quality.

With one of the lowest insurance penetration rates in Africa, reported by a global insurance market report to be 0.5 percent compared to 12.2 percent for South Africa, the Nigerian insurance industry has struggled with significant trust and confidence issues dating back to the early 19th century.

However, emerging businesses now understand how employees’ health issues can reduce productivity. They are actively exploring various reliable health insurance options to empower their workforce and improve productivity. Research shows that health-related absenteeism costs small businesses between N23,399 and N113,399 per employee per year. That number rises to between N24,650 and N414,700 for large businesses.

Abu addressed the common misconception among employers that employees are perpetually healthy and explained how unexpected health issues can impose a heavy financial burden on employees.

She stated, “Unfortunately, some employers assume their employees are healthy, and there is no certainty they will fall ill. Healthcare does not work that way; accidents happen every day, and paying out of pocket for emergency care can severely impact anyone’s finances.”

Abu also noted that a common trend among top-tier companies is establishing a strategic advantage in their industry by providing comprehensive healthcare benefits.

“Top companies now use access to healthcare as a strategy for keeping their best talent. This is also a tactic used to attract the best talent in the market. Employees feel valued when they know their company covers healthcare for them and their families,” she shared.

According to her, this approach helps them retain top-performing employees and attracts high-value talent, giving them a competitive edge in the talent marketplace.

2023 research from the WEF shows that businesses with comprehensive health initiatives recorded a 115 percent growth in earnings per share compared with their competitors’ 27 percent earnings per share, underscoring the competitive edge and financial benefits for businesses prioritising their employee health and well-being.

Furthermore, she touched on the demanding situations employees face and how investing in their health can improve and sustain productivity and profitability for business owners.

“The pressure to perform can be very draining for employees, and maintaining or attaining profitability remains a priority for every business owner. That is why our healthcare plans were designed to keep people healthy and businesses productive,” she emphasised.

Regarding the expectations from HMOs, she highlighted the comprehensive Reliance HMO’s health insurance benefits, which extend beyond mere hospital visits. “Health insurance benefits at Reliance HMO go beyond hospital visits when people fall sick. They also include preventive care such as wellness checks to monitor health status, gym access for fitness, health talks for lifestyle modifications, and telemedicine for days when you do not want to visit the hospital,” she elaborated.

These holistic benefits provide employers with preventive care and overall well-being, which they need to foster a healthier and more engaged workforce.

The key insight from Leila Abu’s interviews is the critical role of health insurance in performance and business growth.

By strategically investing in employees’ health and well-being, business owners can enhance their workforce’s performance and boost business competitiveness. This forward-thinking approach to health insurance is essential for businesses aiming to thrive in today’s dynamic market.