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Global Workforce

Why Employers Care

Multinational corporations continue to expand operations outside the U.S., and are increasingly encountering challenges such as rising health care costs, shrinking government-funded care, and fragile health delivery systems. Additionally, the constellation of health risks is changing around the world as chronic diseases are becoming increasingly prevalent in both low- and high-income countries. According to the World Health Organization, chronic disease is the leading cause of death and disability worldwide. Worldwide, non-communicable diseases cause an estimated $2 trillion in losses each year in economic activity, as well as the premature deaths annually of 18 million people still in their productive years.1 Ultimately, the direct impact of avoidable poor health on employers globally is incalculable.

What Can Employers Do?

Multinational corporations are implementing specific health and productivity programs globally to control costs and facilitate better health outcomes. Leading employers have a global health strategy that links with the corporate philosophy, establishes a clear framework for decision-making and accountability globally, and has a mechanism for review and revision based on competitiveness with local practices, compliance with changing legislation, compatibility with country culture, effectiveness in motivating performance and alignment with company objectives and cost-effectiveness.

For Global Business Group on Health (GBGH) members, please click here for GBGH-specific materials. The Global Business Group on Health provides practical tools, guidance on best practices, and a networking forum for peer global companies to address the health care challenges encountered by member corporations and their employees outside of the United States. Please click here for more information.

References (show references)

1 World Economic Forum, The Worldwide Wellness Alliance: Investing in a Sustainable Workforce. 2012 Available at: Accessed January 7, 2013.

Page last updated: January 7, 2013

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