As the pandemic has shown how physical and mental health impacts business resilience and continuity, so businesses are increasingly scrutinising how they are protecting their employees from health risks in the ‘COVID decade’. To help organisations mitigate the impact of a future crisis, the International SOS Foundation has produced the ‘Chief Health Officer 2030: Addressing the Employee Health Needs of the Future’ research1 . It reveals the likely impact of the pandemic on health and wellness within organisations, as well as how the HSE scope and responsibilities will shift over the next decade. The research findings highlight how addressing health and wellness meaningfully requires leadership at C-Suite level, with Chief Health Officers (CHO) now seen as a critical part of an organisation’s leadership team.
Dr Pascal Rey-Herme, Co-Founder and Group Medical Director, International SOS, commented
The concept of employee health and wellness is no longer a matter simply of avoiding accidents. Today it is much broader, encompassing employees’ mental health and more. Increased activity is anticipated in future years to meet these growing needs.”
Global health professionals report in the study:
- 88% see the health requirements of their organisation continuing to increase in complexity, with over half (54%) see them as increasing ‘a lot’.
- Mental health support, infectious disease control and regulatory compliance are believed to be the biggest drivers of increased complexity.
- 74% of all respondents believe their organisation’s investment in health will increase over the next 10 years, with nearly half (48%) seeing this at a level 25% or more.
- 21% indicated that working from home was the biggest factor that would influence their future investment in health.
The research further reveals the expectation that the scope and responsibilities of those in HSE roles will further increase over the next decade. The leadership required to deal with health and wellness challenges ahead is also being recognised, with 22% respondents seeing the future of health role as part of C-Suite.
Just as organisations rely on legal and financial experts, health experts have a vital role to play too. Health and wellness within organisations are commonly delivered by different departments: HSE, Occupational Health, and some aspects by HR. Today, many corporations across all industries appoint a Chief Health Officer within the C-Suite to lead on health issues.
The CHO Role
- A vital aspect of the CHO role is to be a trusted source of information.
- The CHO role goes beyond being a clinician. They are the bridge between health issues and business needs.
- CHOs must have leadership skills to create an appropriate culture and sense of common purpose within the organisation.
- CHOs need to work closely with HSE and HR. Their overall focus should be on a holistic view of health rather than hands-on help.
- CHOs can be internal appointments, external providers, or a combination of the two.
To access the full paper, click here.
- Our research findings represent responses from more than 100 professionals who are responsible for employee health across the world: with representation from those working in the Americas, Asia Pacific, Middle East, Africa and Europe. More than one third of respondents hold Health, Medical, HSE or Chief Health Officer roles.
Notes to Editors
About International SOS Foundation
Celebrating 10 years as ambassadors for Duty of Care, the International SOS Foundation drives and promotes best practice in protecting employee safety, security, health and wellbeing. Through a range of groundbreaking thought-leadership, CPD and IOSH accredited training and expert led events, the Foundation helps to share vital insight, understanding, and practical risk mitigation measures. All employees need to be protected, at home or away, and the COVID-19 pandemic has created an evolving and complex Duty of Care landscape for organisations to navigate.
The Foundation is a registered charity. Initially launched with a grant from International SOS in 2011, it is now an independent, non-profit organisation.
For more information on Duty of Care and the International SOS Foundation, please visit https://www.internationalsosfoundation.org/