Let’s Talk Trickle-Down: It All Starts With Top Talent

All Executive Health April 5, 2016

We talk a lot about protecting top talent. But why is it so important to keep your top talent healthy and productive?

First, let’s answer the question: Who are top talent?

This truly depends on your company and who you define as the employees who drive the business. Here are a few examples:

  • Executives
  • Team Leaders
  • Sales Team
  • Customer Service

Whoever they are for your company, top talent are the inspirers who push, encourage, and drive action and productivity for the rest of the employees and company.

This is why protecting top talent is so important. Yes, everyone gets sick and deserves protection, but when leaders have health issues, the disruption is bigger than themselves and reaches farther than simply their personal day-to-day activities. It trickles down to the entire company.


Though you may have mainly heard the term trickle-down used in economics, it applies here too. Trickle-down can be defined as: “relating to or being an effect caused gradually by remote or indirect influences.”

So, while a team leader or executive’s health issue may seem unrelated to the rest of the company’s function, his or her absence can cause a decrease in productivity and a lack of direction that can ultimately result in a loss in revenue. If these concerns aren’t addressed and measures are not in place to remedy such situations, an executive’s health issue can become a larger problem that raises concerns regarding the future of the company.

Real Life Example

After United Airlines CEO Oscar Munoz suffered a heart attack in October 2015, the company’s shares dropped. Investors in the company, though concerned about Munoz’s health, were also highly concerned with how this event would affect the company.

“The CEO’s health is financially material information and has a huge impact on all key constituencies from investors, media, and employees to customers, suppliers, and regulators,” said Jeffrey Sonnenfeld, a corporate governance expert, regarding the issue.

How an event like this is handled can make or break a company.

Be Prepared

Top talent’s health is linked to company performance. So don’t wait for a health issue to upend your company through trickle-down. Be prepared by having the proper health plans in place to protect top talent with preventative measures, as well as methods to get them back to optimal health—and back to work—as quickly as possible.

Learn more about Ultimate Health.

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