For the first time, this March, the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI) released a report revealing the detailed Health and Productivity Management scores of 2,000 Japanese companies. Health and Productivity Management scores track the degree to which companies promote their employees’ health as a form of human capital and integrate it into their business strategy.
Health and Productivity Management is Good for Business
In a nutshell, Health and Productivity Management is a practice where companies invest in the health of their employees as part of their business strategy. This includes improving employee health and motivation, making workplaces more attractive, and other initiatives that ultimately enhance corporate value. Since 2014, METI annually evaluates a wide range of programs offered by employers including educational seminars, support for regular exercise and healthy eating habits to prevent lifestyle-related diseases, as well as initiatives to address mental health problems and the risk of infectious disease.
Institutional Investors Take Notice
As in any company-wide effort, health and productivity management initiatives require the commitment of top management to build a supporting organizational structure, ensure programs are customized to address inherent challenges, and oversee efforts to continuously refine them.
Companies that show they care about their people are more highly valued by employees, job seekers, and business partners. What’s good for people is good for business. For instance, companies with active health and productivity management programs are increasingly being appraised as having greater growth potential. Consequently, they attract more investment from institutional investors. Firms including Nomura Asset Management Co., Ltd. and AXA Life Insurance Co., Ltd have even declared that they will evaluate potential investments based on the companies’ attitudes towards and progress of Health and Productivity Management when considering them for the “S” (Social) category of ESG investment.
Increasing Recognition for Companies Engaging in Health and Productivity Management
METI has created the Health & Productivity Stock Selection and Certified Health & Productivity Management Outstanding Organizations Recognition Program to illustrate which companies are doing outstanding work in that area. METI hopes that through this Program, companies will gain positive attention from employees, job seekers, partners, financial institutions, and society at large for investing strategically in employee health as good business practice. The Program continues to gain momentum, evolving even further this year by disclosing more than 2,000 companies’ individual scores.
For this year’s report, a record 2,869 companies, 1,058 of which are listed, responded to the 2021 Survey on Health and Productivity Management. Of them, 2,000 companies, including 156 listed on the Nikkei 225, allowed METI to publish their evaluation summary report, which outline their strategies for health and productivity management. Each summary report is presented as a dashboard featuring scores for the evaluated company and compares them with the best and average scores for within their peer group by business segment and business type. Every year, the Survey provides a wealth of data about human capital strategies to better inform companies, investors and other stakeholders based on voluntary rather than mandatory disclosure.
Evaluation summary example
While it takes courage for companies to let their scores be published, they can also expect the opportunity to gain greater public recognition for their efforts.
Wellness in the workplace has been gaining increased attention over the past decade, and the COVID-19 pandemic has made proper management of health in the workplace even more critical – not just for individuals, but also for companies across the globe. METI shares the Program’s awards and reports in English to shine a spotlight on these companies and their efforts in health and productivity management so that talent and investors anywhere in the world can appreciate their efforts.
Healthcare Industries Division, METI
- Evaluation Sheets Published for 2,000 Enterprises Under the FY2021 Survey on Health and Productivity Management (March 15, 2022)