5 ways employers can make diabetes education programs more inclusive
Diabetes doesn’t quit. Employees struggling with the disease often have to make difficult decisions about their medications. It can be hard to keep control of blood sugar every day and feel healthy enough to function well at work.
Many workers don’t tell their employer they have diabetes. Some 81% of benefits decision makers believe employees with diabetes at their companies keep it a secret.
Giving voice to an issue is the first step toward solving it. Diabetes in the workplace is in need of attention: rates are rising in the U.S., as are the associated costs — unplanned missed workdays, reduced productivity and the stress associated with uncontrolled diabetes add up to billions of dollars per year.
To help employers find solutions, Roche Diabetes Care commissioned a survey of more than 200 benefits decision makers at self-funded companies to learn their perceptions of the human and financial burden of diabetes. What’s clear is that addressing the myriad of concerns related to this condition is a top priority for benefits decision-makers; indeed, 70% say it keeps them awake at night.
Benefits decision-makers say the impact of diabetes on their companies is significant:
- More than one in four report diabetes results in increased costs to replace workers (28%), increased administrative and other indirect costs of managing absenteeism (29%);
- One in three believe diabetes results in indirect costs resulting from fatigue and understaffing as well as reduced productivity;
- One in four feel diabetes is responsible for poor morale among employees who must perform work to cover absent co-workers.
The majority (87%) agree it is vital that employers offer continual support to employees with diabetes. Listening, education and help simplifying everyday diabetes management emerge as ways employers can improve the health of their employees with diabetes and the company bottom lines. The following are five approaches to consider.