A significant majority of employers lack confidence in the accuracy of their absence data and even more do not calculate the total cost of employee health.
According to research by Aon Hewitt, 70% of employers were not confident in the accuracy of their employee absence data, while 80% said they did not calculate their total cost of employee health.
Around one in 20 (6%) respondents to the Employee Benefits & Trends survey reported 'low' confidence in the absence data system or the method used to calculate it.
The consultant said this contrasted with a widely expressed desire to measure the return on their investment in health initiatives. However, a third of those who did not measure the cost of health, indicated that they would like to monitor return on investment (ROI) in this area.
Aon Hewitt head of health and risk Stephen Hackett said: "Organisations are under increasing pressure to demonstrate value and ROI in all areas of their operations, and accurate data is crucial to this.
"Companies need to prioritise the areas of highest importance and they need to know from where they are starting, in order to measure tangible improvements. However, with only 30% of companies reporting high confidence in their absence data, and just 20% measuring their total cost of employee health, the desire to measure the ROI of health initiatives is being derailed by poor data.
"Absence management and employee health approaches have developed hugely in recent years. It is now affordable for even the smallest organisations to measure employee health cost-effectively - and to put in place actions to reduce their cost of health. The desire to do this is evident among the UK's employers; they just need the data to support them," Hackett added.