Ageonomics – Enhancing the Workplace for the Aging Worker

“Ageonomics” is a term coined by Aon casualty and safety consultants to describe a scientific discipline concerned with the interaction of the aging worker in relation to the workplace and work environment within which they operate. Ageonomics incorporates core disciplines of human factors, ergonomics, wellness, benefit program design, health and safety to assess, understand and ultimately optimize the systems for greater individual and organizational impact.

Aging workers are a vital part of the workforce and reducing injury risk factors, both on an individual and organizational level, will create improved human and company performance. Today, emerging evidence recognizes that both work-related factors and health factors beyond the workplace jointly contribute to many health and safety problems that confront today’s aging workers (NIOSH). Ageonomics is the solution for total worker health associated with an aging employee.

Aon’s Ageonomics approach is geared specifically to the workplace needs of aging workers. It leverages the consulting expertise and know-how of ergonomists, wellness professionals, benefits experts and safety consultants to deliver holistic and powerful solutions to create a more sensible, efficient and ergonomically sound workplace while at the same time working to improve the individual health outcomes of the aging employee. The Ageonomic approach not only creates a safer workplace for aging workers, but helps employers reduce workplace injuries, decrease employee leave time, and offers risk and financial leaders a means of identifying loss cost metrics to better manage absenteeism and ultimately drive down the total cost of casualty risk and overall medical expenses.

Aon’s Ageonomics program combines three powering business units within Aon that individually offer unparalleled marketplace expertise and combined are capable of bringing innovative solutions to an organization navigating the complexities associated with aging employees

Ageonomics: the Next Generation of Risk Consulting

Aon’s Ageonomics practice views aging as an opportunity; an opportunity for organizational risk, HR and safety professionals to reassess and envision innovative policies, procedures and programs to improve the performance and well-being of an aging worker. We help clients create new and exciting best practices that directly address the challenges facing the aging worker while invigorating the individual and organizational system as a symbiotic whole. Aon’s Ageonomics service accomplishes this in three ways.

First, we partner with organizations to help them understand the benefits of creating a well-structured and optimized workplace. Then, we help build an infrastructure that incorporates best practices and ergonomic design to help drive employee performance, well-being and peace of mind. This process includes refinement of existing programs like wellness, safety, health, ergonomics and benefit structure to align with the data. By getting the critical programs working together to improve outcomes for the aging worker, the organization can achieve impressive outcomes. The infrastructure addresses all aspects of the aging worker and establishes clear polices and organizational objectives for implementing an Ageonomics program.

Second, Ageonomics uses evidence-based research from leading North American and European universities to provide workable solutions that have been proven to improve workplace performance and reduce absenteeism. When incorporated into a proactive strategy, these solutions provide a foundation for organizational innovation on how the physical workplace is managed and how the individual health and well-being can be affected. Using the research and evidence has enabled Aon to see aging workforce issues as complex, but manageable, if the right tools, methods, and solutions are applied.

Third, Aon develops solutions that align with the initiative of the company while producing the desired return on investment. This alignment, both financial and strategic, will establish the organization as a best in class for how it is managing aging workers.

How Ageonomics Works

Ageonomics utilizes a precise methodology for calibrating the absenteeism trends for the aging workforce, regardless of the bucket within which they fall. Aon uses robust analytic tools to understand all the trends relating to the aging workforce. This includes short-term disability (STD), long-term disability (LTD), workers compensation (WC), casual absences (CA), and Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA) absences to understand claim volume, average claim duration, average cost per lost day, average cost per claim, estimated total costs and the ultimate cost projections. This establishes the framework to understand the factors driving organizational spend. These analytics enable Aon to not only target leading cost drivers, but develop Ageonomic program metrics for return on investment modeling.

In addition to the financial output, Aon calibrates the leading absence causes by “program type” to understand what is driving the aging employee absences. This provides clear diagnosis on which programs (STD, LTD, WC, etc.) have the greatest impact on the organization and which absenteeism causes are being reported. When uncovered, these findings help establish an integrated strategy for solution development and allow the organization to apply specific tactics to the respective programs depending not only on cost drivers buy absenteeism trends. By focusing all the programs with a cohesive and targeted approach around aging workers, Aon delivers impactful results across the entire absenteeism platform. Deploying a holistic approach, with leading Ageonomic experts, organization can develop a very targeted, age-specific strategy to help not only prevent or reduce the duration days associated with the respective absences, but implement pre-emptive programs to help keep aging workers healthy and optimize their individual workability.