U.S. National Survey Measures Corporate Culture of Health
A U.S. national survey conducted in September 2019 has been published by the Milbank Memorial Fund, and addresses the ‘culture of health’ (CoH) in private sector organisations.
Authors Michael Anne Kyle, Lumumba Seegars, John M. Benson, Robert J. Blendon, Robert S. Huckman, Sara J. Singer measured corporate CoH along four dimensions that assess the extent to which businesses promote employee, environmental, consumer, and community health and well-being.
- The private sector has large potential influence over social determinants of health, but we have limited information about how businesses perceive or engage in actions to promote health and well-being.
- We conducted a national survey of more than 1,000 businesses of varying sizes and industries to benchmark private sector engagement in employee, environmental, consumer, and community health, which we collectively refer to as a corporate culture of health.
- Overall, the private sector is taking steps to foster health and well-being but still has substantial opportunity for growth.
They found businesses took 38% of health-related actions on average. They also found variation among businesses in the number of actions taken (on average, there were almost fourfold differences between the bottom and top quartiles of businesses in terms of actions taken).
Mentioning health and well-being in the corporate mission, having a strategic plan for CoH, and perceiving a positive return on CoH investments were all associated with businesses’ actions taken. Fewer than half of businesses, however, perceived a positive return on their CoH investments.
Overall, the private sector is taking steps to foster health and well-being. However, there remains substantial variation among businesses and opportunity for growth, even among those currently taking the most action.
Strengthening the business case for a corporate CoH may increase private sector investments in health and well-being. Actions taken by individual businesses, business groups, industries, and regulators have the potential to improve corporate engagement and impact.