Chief financial officers know, in nearly equal measure, that ill health has an important effect on workers’ absence, on their ability to focus on the job and on the corporate bottom line. In fact, the management of all health-related costs (e.g., medical, absence, disability) is the second-ranked healthcare management objective for CFOs over the next two years, trailing only the need to control health plan costs.

This survey of 343 senior finance executives also found, however, that CFOs seldom get information on the financial impact of absence or presenteeism (the effect of health conditions on performance at work). Such information, put in the business context that CFOs respect, would affect CFOs’ willingness to approve interventions in health-related productivity. Armed with the right information, two-thirds or more of the CFOs would consider absenteeism and presenteeism costs against the cost of healthcare programs and would take steps to reduce absence and presenteeism and more closely manage all health-related costs.