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Employee Health: An IoT Use Case

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Initiative: Health-monitoring of employees

Even in today’s fast-paced world of technological advancements, employees remain the biggest asset for any organization. The Human Resources department of an organization takes care of managing the onboarding and the attrition of the resources. Once the employee is onboarded, the Human Resources focuses on aspects of the employee like motivation, focus, renumeration, etc. However, one key aspect of the employees that the Human Resources must take ownership of in the future organizations is the Employee Health.

Initiative analysis

Employee Health has always been viewed as an individual responsibility of the employee. While this is true to a large extent, the Human Resources need to understand that a sick employee cannot contribute to the organization despite the will and motivation. It is thus imperative for the Human Resources of the future organization to take ownership of the employee health. This can only be achieved through a 24/7 Employee Health surveillance.

According to a survey conducted by PwC, US workers took an average of 4.9 sick days per year whereas UK workers took 9.1 sick leaves per year. We ignore the Asia-pacific workers took 2.2 sick days per year for now. Assuming these figures represent “the actual number of days a person was sick per year” (as the sickness on weekends has been discounted), following is the loss of productivity for each region:

Region Sick leaves per year in days Sick leaves per year in man-hours Average Salary per hour Annual loss of productivity per employee
US 4.9 39.2 $21.63 $847.70
UK 9.1 72.8 £13.75 £1,001.00

 

The annual loss of productivity mentioned above is per employee. If you multiply these amounts by the number of employees in the organization, you could get a clearer picture of how much organizations are losing out due to sick employees per year.

Solution

It is necessary for the organizations to track the employee health just as the Human Resources track the employee performances. Organizations should implement KPIs (Key Performance Indicators) that would indicate acceptable levels of an individual employee’s health. If an employee exceeds these KPIs, it shows the employee’s commitment to his/her fitness and the eventually the organization is assured that the productivity loss would be minimalized from that particular employee. The employee would get additional bonus points or brownies for meeting or exceeding their fitness goals for the year. This would ensure a literally healthy organization that can be more productive than any competitors in the world.

The tracking mechanism could be fitness trackers or chips hidden in employee id-cards. It will depend on the nature of the organization as to which method they would prefer. The data collected from employees like their heart-rates, calories burnt, steps taken, activity hours etc. could be centrally stored in the organization’s Human Resources applications with all the necessary data protection laws applicable. A lower-limit threshold per employee needs to be defined in the system. That would help the system give alerts to the Human Resources as well as the Employee about any early warnings from the Employee health perspective. The Employees who beat the upper-limit thresholds need to be recognized and appreciated. That would motivate everyone in the organization to join the bandwagon.

Costs

Following could be the cost of implementation for this initiative.

Item Cost
Fitness trackers per employee $30
App development cost $5000

 

App development is a one-time cost. The maintenance of the app will be under the purview of the team maintaining the HR application.

Thus, the total cost of implementing this initiative would be $5000 + ($30*No. of employees)

From a purely financial perspective,

No. of Employees = x

Cost of initiative = App development cost + (Fitness trackers per employee * x)

Annual loss of productivity per employee = $847.70 * x (for US) and £1,001.00 * x (for UK) 

Considering the employee strength of an organization to be 1000, the calculations go as follows:

No. of Employees = 1000

Cost of initiative = $5000 + ($30 * 1000) =$35000

Annual loss of productivity per employee = $847.70 * 1000 = $847,700 (for US) and £1,001.00 * 1000 = £ 100,100(for UK)

Hence, the cost of implementation remains lesser than the annual loss of productivity.

However, viewing this initiative from a purely financial perspective would mean having a narrow outlook. The overall benefits of this initiative include:

  • Fitter employees
  • Happier employees
  • High productivity
  • High idea generation for improvements
  • Lesser attrition

Architecture

Employee Healthcare IoT Use Case

Recommendation

Considering the benefits of the initiative, it is highly recommended to use IoT device such as tracker to boost employee productivity