Fighting workplace wellness
Written by Emily Couch
Everyone has fallen prey to the dreaded office plague. A stuffy nose, a fever, and a germ infested cubical that makes you reach for the antibacterial hand sanitizer by the gallons. Not only do employees have to protect themselves during cold and flu season, but also there is a quiet monster plaguing your employees and causing sick days to rack up by the hundreds.
Employee wellness. The health of your employees is critical to your bottom line. Believe it or not, the health and wellness of your workforce can cost you or save you millions annually. Sick or unhealthy employees take more sick days, often have clouded concentration, and can’t keep up with sometimes demanding hours that burn the midnight oil. A healthier work force can positively impact your business from a financial perspective.
Less sick days
It’s no secret that healthy employees take less sick days, that’s a given. Less sick days equate to an increase in productivity while effectively decreasing the loss of production that happens when people call in sick.
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Happier and healthier employees
Exercise releases endorphins that provide employees with an overall healthier lifestyle and optimistic outlook on life. When employees are happier and healthier it increases employee loyalty resulting in a lower turn over rate. Providing a wellness plan will significantly increase these effects. Happy people are infectious and it’s a domino effect. Early adapters of your health and wellness plan will appear happier and healthier, providing a boost in office moral and giving those around them encouragement to jump on board. Financially speaking, happier and healthier employees will stay longer causing a reduction in training costs and lost productivity caused by employee turnover. Lower turnover it great for your bottom line.
More present and productive
Employees engaged in a health and wellness programs are overall more present and more productive on the job. Employees that aren’t feeling well are often physically present but mentally they tend to be complacent during the workday. When an employee is not healthy, they waste valuable work hours effecting how financially viable your company can be.
When employees are more present while at work they can foster more financially successful relationship with your clients leading to client loyalty and a higher sales volume. The employee/client relationship is critically successful and healthier employees are happier and more willing to go above and beyond for your clients.
A wellness program can have a significant impact on reducing the stress level of your employees. Exercise is great for your mind and it helps generate an increased focus often helping solve complex business problems. Bonus: you get your body moving versus staying stagnated behind a desk all day. A reduction in stress means your employees can solve problems faster and get the ball moving on important projects. When projects are done more quickly, you can take on more projects annually increasing the revenue for your company.
Better sleep cycles
Everyone has been there. You had a terrible night of sleep due to stress or not feeling well and you are essentially useless the next day. You drag all day and multiple cups of coffee barely begin to scratch the service of your tired mind and body. A healthy body and mind leads to more peaceful sleep. When an employee is rested they can focus more on their jobs to increase productivity, which leads to a financial increase for your company.
Less likely to injured on the job
Healthier employees that are fit and more alert are less likely to be injured on the job leading to fewer lulls in productivity, while simultaneously decreasing the number of workers compensation costs. Less employee injuries also increase employee morale, which can also increase the financial prowess of your company.
Containing health care costs
Healthier employees spend less time visiting the doctor and specialists that in turn, help contain your company’s health care costs. Less coverage being used means lower premiums for your company. If your employees are not as dependent upon health coverage it’s possible you can gain discounts on health care by offering wellness plans to your employees to coincide with their health coverage at the same cost as your current health coverage program.
Healthy employees equal happy employees who are more productive. Fewer sick days, decreased stress levels, and greater concentration during the workday all lead to one goal – an increase in finances for your company. The health and wellness of your employees should be one of the elements that your company tackles when you talk about increasing the bottom line of your business.
Six issues at the top of tax and finance leaders’ agenda
New Deloitte research reveals that tax leaders are under increasing pressure to add strategic value as companies accelerate business model transformation, from undergoing digital transformations to rethinking their supply chains or investing in green initiatives.
According to Phil Mills, Deloitte Global Tax & Legal Leader, to “truly deliver value to the business, the tax function needs to rethink its resourcing model and transform its technology infrastructure to create capacity and control costs”.
And the good news, according to Mills, is that tax and business leaders have more options at their disposal to achieve this.
Reflecting the insights of global tax and finance executives at global companies, Deloitte’s Tax Operations in Focus study reveals the six issues at the top of tax and finance leaders’ agenda.
Trend 1: Businesses seek more strategic counsel from tax
Companies are being pushed to develop new digital products and distribution channels and accelerate sustainable transformation and this is taking them into uncharted tax territory. Tax leaders say their teams must have the resources and skills to give deeper advisory support on digital business models (65%), supply chain restructuring (49%) and sustainability (48%) over the next two years. This means redrawing the boundaries of what tax professionals focus on, and accelerating adoption of advanced technologies and lower-cost resourcing models to meet compliance requirements and free up time.
According to Joanne Walker, Group Tax Director, BT Group PLC, "There’s still a heavy compliance load today, but the vision for the future would be that much of that falls away, and tax people become subject matter experts who help program the machine, ensure quality control, and redirect their time to advisory activity.”
Trend 2: Tipping point for resourcing models
Business partnering demands in the tax department are on the rise, but 93% of tax leaders say their department’s budget is remaining flat or falling. To ensure that the tax function can redefine itself as a strategic function at the pace that is required, leaders are choosing to move increasing amounts of compliance and reporting to a combination of shared service centers, finance departments, and outsourcing providers that have invested in best-in-class technology.
Trend 3: Digital tax administration is moving faster than expected
in addition to the rising focus of the corporate tax department partnering with their business counterparts, transformative changes to the way companies share tax information with revenue authorities is also creating an imperative to modernize operations at a faster pace. Nine in 10 (92%) respondents say that shifting revenue authority demands on digital tax administration will have a moderate or high impact on tax operations and resources over the next five years—and several heads of tax said the trend is moving faster than expected.
"It’s really stepped up in the last couple of years," says Anna Elphick, VP Tax, Unilever. "Tax authorities don't just want a faster turnaround for compliance but access into a company’s systems. It's not unreasonable to think that in a much shorter time than we expect, compliance will be about companies reviewing a return that's been drafted by the tax authorities."
Trend 4: Data simplification and lower-cost resourcing are top priorities
Tax leaders said that simplifying data management (53%) and moving to lower-cost resourcing models (51%) must be prioritized if tax is to become more proactive at delivering strategic insights to the business. Many tax teams are ensuring that they have a seat at the table as ERP systems are overhauled, which is paying dividends: 56% of those that have introduced NextGen ERP systems are now highly effective at supporting the business with scenario-modeling insights. Only 35% of those with moderate to low use of NextGen ERP systems said the same.
At Stryker, “we automated the source P&L process for transfer pricing which took a huge burden off of the divisions," says David Furgason, Vice President Tax. "Then we created a transfer price database to deposit and retrieve data so we have limited impact on the divisions. We are moving to a single ERP platform which will help us make take the next step with robotics.”
Trend 5: Skillsets are shifting
Embedding a new data infrastructure and redesigning processes are critical for the future tax vision. Tax leaders are aligned — data skills (45%) and technology process experience (43%) are ‘must have’ skills in a tax department of the future, but more traditional tax specialist knowledge also remains key (40%). The trick to success will be in tax leaders facilitating the way these professionals, with their different backgrounds, can work together collectively to unlock lasting value.
Take Infineon Technologies, which formed a VAT technology and governance group "that has the right knowledge about how to change the system to ensure it generates the right reports", according to Matthias Schubert, Global Head of Tax. "Involving them early was key as we took a greenfield approach, so we could think about what the optimal processes would look like and how more intelligent systems could make an impact
Trend 6: 2020 brought productivity improvements
Improved productivity (50%) and accelerating shifts to remote working (48%) were cited as the biggest operational benefits to emerge from COVID-19-driven disruption. But, as 78% of leaders now plan to embed either hybrid or fully remote models in the tax function long term, 34% say maintaining productivity benefits is a top concern. And, as leaders think about building their talent pipeline and strengthening advisory skill sets, 47% say they must prioritize new approaches to talent recognition and career development over the next two years, while 36% say new processes for involving tax in business strategy decisions must be established.