Modern companies rely on motivated and healthy employees for their competitiveness and economic success. Prevention helps.
An individual’s professional activity is not just about generating income. It provides the person with social status, shapes their personal identity, enables them to regularly experience success, and lends structure to their daily life. Work is thus vital for an individual’s psychological balance and their position in society.

But work can also make people ill. In one particular survey*, around one third of professionals in Switzerland indicated that their work had a negative impact on their health. After cardiovascular disease and impairments of the musculoskeletal system, stress, burnout and mobbing are the most widespread diseases of modern life, and the outcome is often time off work.

These problems can have a devastating effect on company productivity, as economic success is based on the loyalty and readiness to perform of the entire workforce. As a result, maintaining and encouraging employees’ ability and willingness to perform are key management tasks, because motivated employees have lower rates of absenteeism and work more efficiently.

Rapid return improves reintegration
The longer an individual is off work, the lower the probability that he or she will be reintegrated into the world of work. According to the Swiss Federal Social Insurance Office, there is a 60% probability that an employee who is absent from the workplace for over 90 days will not return to work and will become a disability case. After one year, this rises to four in five people. However, if professional case management is put in place, this can often be avoided. This is where the corporate management team plays an important role.

Prevention pays off
All the experts agree: early recognition, timely intervention, and the implementation of suitable measures significantly reduce the number of claims. Some 30% to 40% of cases involving disability could be avoided through prevention. What sounds plausible in theory has been proven in practice, for example, by Swiss Life’s “Take care” plan.

The “Take care” prevention initiative supports companies in Switzerland that are no longer prepared to sit by while productivity falls. A central concept of the initiative is early notification to Swiss Life of potential cases of long-term absence and disability, so that together with all the parties involved, effective preventive measures can be taken in time. It’s an approach that promotes employee health and wellbeing in the workplace, with the objective not just of maintaining employee health, but also helping staff work with enjoyment and motivation.

The “Take care” prevention initiative is based on systematic prevention, using the five criteria shown in the diagram. In Switzerland, Swiss Life works with experts in all these areas. The portfolio of services ranges from absence management to health checkups, to management training, coaching, coping with stress, burnout, mobbing, addiction, etc., through to reintegration and monitoring. The partner network has been evaluated by the Prevention Committee of the SVV (Swiss Insurance Association). In line with the starting point and objective, the process is tailored to each company, taking into account its specific needs.

Prevention services for companies
In addition to referring experts, Swiss Life's comprehensive prevention offering also includes a handbook, introduction course, helpdesk service, early examination of cases with a high reintegration potential, and support with reintegration. An annual situation analysis, newsletter, prevention and health seminars complete the service package.

Benefits for everyone
Employees benefit most from the introduction of prevention programmes. Their level of satisfaction increases, and they are happy with their improved working conditions.

Employers are called on to support their employees with health problems, and to work with them to develop their career paths and find solutions. As a result, the company experiences higher productivity, fewer absences, better quality work, and increased employee loyalty. This is not only good news for the company's management, but also for its clients. Ultimately, the entire economy benefits, as an active health management system improves competitiveness, thanks to the way it adds advantages and reduces costs.

*(4th European survey on employment conditions 2005; selected results from the Swiss perspective; April 2007; State Secretariat for Economic Affairs – SECO)

Consistent prevention delivers:

- fewer absences
- fewer disability cases
- increased employee ability and readiness to perform, plus improved teamwork
- higher productivity, since personnel resources are used more effectively and there are fewer upsets in the workplace
- lower staff fluctuation, due to greater job satisfaction, which leads to lower costs relating to employing new staff
- optimised quality of products and processes
- improved company image both internally and externally
- lower insurance premiums in the medium-term.

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