Former Manager, BSR
What do flu vaccination rates, greenhouse gas emissions, and crime and homicide statistics have in common? These are but a few examples of the metrics that companies are monitoring to assess the health of their employees, their customers, and the communities where they live.
The Healthy Business Coalition is a collaborative initiative among BSR, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, and leading companies that are dedicated to realizing the promise of the private sector’s ability to improve population health. The Coalition was founded on the principle that health is not just for healthcare companies; all companies, regardless of industry, have the potential to become healthy businesses. Today, we are excited to announce that we have created a new addition to our suite of tools to help companies transform their organizations into healthy businesses: the Healthy Business Metrics Guide.
For us, a “healthy business” is one with a management approach that seeks to create value and optimize performance by improving the health of consumers, employees, and communities. Our current set of tools helps companies chart the path for their healthy business journeys. Specifically, these tools help business leaders:
- Make the business case for establishing healthy business programs and initiatives;
- Prioritize the health issues that their companies should address;
- Design innovative solutions, including products and services, that support health outcomes; and
- Engage internal and external stakeholders who may be able to positively influence and enhance the success of their companies’ healthy business missions.
In the immortal words of Peter Drucker, “What gets measured gets managed.” Our new addition to the Healthy Business Toolkit is designed to help companies measure the impact of their healthy business programs. Our Healthy Business Metrics Guide can be leveraged by business leaders to pick and choose relevant outcome and impact metrics (and associated key performance indicators) that will help them assess how effectively their company is executing on its healthy business strategy.
When it comes to healthy business programs, trying to measure both business-related and public-health-related outcomes can be a challenge. We sought to harmonize prominent public health measurement frameworks, sustainability reporting frameworks, and other corporate reporting frameworks.
After reviewing 14 frameworks and more than 850 metrics and engaging several business and public health experts, we have developed a user-friendly measurement framework that seeks to help corporate practitioners monitor not only the direct health impacts of healthy business initiatives, but also the upstream social determinants of health that have indirect impacts on employees, customers, and communities. The framework takes a broad and holistic approach to health, while also attempting to focus on a core set of metrics that are relevant to the widest swath of industries and geographies in the U.S.
This is only the beginning. As a coalition of business leaders, we understand the power of iterative innovation and collaboration. We invite you to join us on the next BSR Sustainability Matters webinar on June 13, where we will present the Guide and facilitate a discussion on how it can be used and implemented within a company.
We would also love for you to join us in the Healthy Business Coalition, where we grapple with these issues as a group of practitioners and internal champions who endeavor to make our companies healthier and more sustainable. Thanks to the generosity of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, membership to the Coalition is free of charge, as is access to the downloadable toolkit.
Once you download the tool, please reach out to us to tell us about your experience and share your thoughts about how it can be enhanced. It is our sincere hope that this expanded toolkit will be your map, compass, and pedometer on your way to achieving your healthy business vision.
We are excited to hear from you and join you on your healthy business journey.