Is Diabetes A Secret In Your Company?

New Survey Reveals Personalized Support Can Help Employees With Diabetes Go From Hiding To Health

Two in five (40%) employees with diabetes keep their disease hidden from their bosses and co-workers, according to a new survey of workers in the US with the disease.1 Half (48%) say they are concerned they will be judged differently from their peers and a third (32%) say they worry it may hinder their chances of being promoted. 

“Secrecy has many downsides, including that employers may not know how best to support employees with diabetes and control the escalating costs,” said Adam Berman, Director Franchise Marketing at Roche Diabetes Care, sponsor of the survey.

An estimated 8.3 million full-time workers in the United States have diabetes.2,3 With diabetes rates on the rise, it is among the most expensive diseases for employers.4,5 

According to employees with diabetes polled, 38% say they don’t participate in company wellness programs because they find them generic and not motivational. A further 22% say wellness programs, and even some diabetes-specific programs, are not tailored to their needs.  

Diabetes is personal, and the majority (81%) surveyed say their own diabetes management needs are extremely or somewhat unique. A further nine in ten (89%) believe one type of diabetes management support program does not fit all.

What should employers do to improve health outcomes for this large and growing population of companies, address related productivity and absenteeism, and boost retention?  

Employees say company help that recognizes the individual nature of the disease and provides support, including personalized digital coaching and blood sugar tracking to simplify disease management at work and home, would be a significant step. 93% say that approach would make them feel their employer understood diabetes and wanted to support them and their health. A similar majority (92%) said they would be very likely to utilize this program and would be more engaged in their own diabetes management with this type of personalized help.

Further, about four in five (84%) say they would be more confident at work, less stressed at work (78%), more productive (81%) and less likely to leave the company (79%).

And what about the “secret club” of employees with diabetes in the workplace? 81% say with a personalized, company-sponsored program, they would be less likely to hide their disease.

More details about diabetes in the workplace are available in a white paper, Changing the course and costs of diabetes at work, at, and for more information on RocheDiabetes Health Connection, visit


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