A supportive culture and help managing diabetes can ease the burden for employees with the condition and employers

Posted Oct 15, 2019

If one were to ask senior executives in the C-suite and HR about their company’s most important asset, one would likely hear some version of the expression that their greatest assets are their employees and how they contribute to the company’s success.  A supportive culture and commitment to employee health are integral to protecting their value.  For employees with diabetes, the importance of both cannot be overstated.

Diabetes rates in the US and around the world continue to rise, as are the related costs both for individuals with the condition and employers.  Unplanned missed workdays, reduced productivity, plus the stress and fatigue associated with uncontrolled diabetes not only add up to billions of dollars per year [1] but can also take a toll on morale.

Roche Diabetes Care recently commissioned a survey of 200+ benefits decision-makers to learn their perceptions of the individual and economic burden of diabetes and potential solutions. 

The survey revealed employer concern about the impact of diabetes on employees with the condition, their colleagues and the bottom line.  Among the findings: [2]

-- Four in five surveyed say their employees with diabetes find everyday management of their condition feels like a second full-time job and most believe employees with diabetes keep their condition a secret. 

-- 86% believe that difficulty managing diabetes is responsible for absenteeism and nearly one in three (29%) have experienced increased costs to replace workers due to diabetes-related absence.

-- One third (32%) of respondents cite indirect costs of diabetes resulting from fatigue, understaffing and reduced productivity

-- One in four (23%) say a fallout of diabetes at work is poor morale among employees who must perform work to cover absent co-workers

Employees with diabetes need control of their blood sugar to feel well and function to the best of their ability. This can be difficult, given they are left alone with many daily therapy decisions.    One part of the solution, 90% of benefits decision-makers surveyed say, is providing employees with diabetes designated areas and time to monitor blood sugar and/or take injections during the work day.  

Another part of the solution, survey respondents agree is to simplify daily management of diabetes for employees on and off the job.   To address this, Roche Diabetes Care created RocheDiabetes Health Connection, a customized, all-in-one diabetes-support employer program for their employees that includes remote monitoring and 24/7, on –demand digital support and coaching from mySugr.

“RocheDiabetes Health Connection makes it easier for employees with diabetes to be engaged in their blood sugar management,” said Adam Berman, Director Franchise Marketing, Roche Diabetes Care.  “And better engagement leads to better control of blood sugar levels, a better sense of well-being at work and improved quality of life.”

Simplified diabetes management offers benefits not only to employees with diabetes but also to employer costs,   according to survey findings:

-- Half (49%) of the benefits decision-makers surveyed say helping employees to keep their blood sugar within an appropriate range has a tangible value for both the individuals’ well-being and the company’s bottom line.

-- Nine in ten (90%) said they believed their employees with diabetes would feel more empowered at work if the company provided a program to help simplify everyday diabetes

-- 84% believe a company-sponsored program that simplified their diabetes management would contribute to increased productivity.

-- % agree a company-supported program that would support employees with diabetes could lead to higher quality of life and reduced sick time and related expense.

Ted Mau, Vice President, Administration and Chief Administration Officer of the Buchanan Group, said he and his team were enthusiastic adopters of the RocheDiabetes Health Connection program.  “Our employees live and work in an area where diabetes is a prominent disease.  RocheDiabetes Health Connection lets us help our employees with diabetes improve their control, change behaviors through the coaching, feel supported and reduce their costs and the company's." [3]

For Mr. Mau, an unanticipated benefit of the program was the halo effect it had on perceptions of the Buchanan Group as a caring employer.  “The addition of the RocheDiabetes Health Connection program has changed the way some of our employees view our overall health benefits program.   They feel more positive about the way our company is supporting their health and helping them reduce costs.” [3]

Everybody wins when employees with diabetes keep their blood glucose levels within the right range for them and do so with confidence and the feeling they are valued by their employers.

About RocheDiabetes Health Connection

The RocheDiabetes Health Connection program offers a personal diabetes coach available on-demand to offer personalized support and answer questions, unlimited Accu-Chek® testing supplies delivered to the home without ever having to place an order, premium access to the mySugr app--the world’s most popular digital diabetes platform with more than 1.8 million registered users worldwide--and instant, automatic digital entry of blood glucose tests in real-time.  Roche has been a leader in diabetes care for over 40 years.  To learn more about RocheDiabetes Health Connection, please visit

[1] American Diabetes Association. Economic costs of diabetes in the U.S. in 2017. Diabetes Care 2018;41:917–928  

[2] The Roche Diabetes Care Survey was conducted online by Opinion Research Corporation among 201 U.S. benefits decision-makers at self-funded companies, adults ages 21 -75, between July 11-17, 2019.  Data on file.

[3] Testimonial on file.