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The Business of Healthy Employees (Part 1): Top Five Survey Findings

June 3, 2013 / Corporate Wellness

This June marks the 5th annual National Employee Wellness Month (NEWM), a yearly initiative that helps business leaders learn how their companies can more successfully engage their employees in healthy lifestyles.

To mark the occasion and help shine a spotlight on the importance of a healthy workforce, we’re pleased to release findings from a recent survey (free download available here), providing insight into workplace health priorities. In today’s post, we introduce the top five findings from the survey as we kick off NEWM.

06.03.13_Survey imageThis year, in partnership with Workforce Management magazine, we surveyed 1,308 businesses and 9,918 employees to further understand the impact of health and wellness benefits, and to gain insight into how the landscape for health and wellness programs is changing year to year.

The main takeaway: a healthy workforce is critical for a healthy business. In fact, 80.4 percent of the organizations surveyed say the offer health and wellness benefits, with the priority placed on wellness.

Top 5 Survey Findings at a Glance:

  1. Health and wellness programs are important to employees, with 87.2 percent of those surveyed saying they look for these offerings when choosing an employer.
  2. Health and wellness programs have a positive impact on an organization’s culture. Seven out of 10 employees say wellness programs positively influence the culture at work, and 57.5 percent say their participation in wellness programs has had a positive influence on their colleagues, friends and family.
  3. Incentives matter: Though their main motive for participating in health and wellness programs is to improve their health (78.2 percent), employees say incentives such as monetary rewards or workplace perks are also important — 61.4 percent say the incentives they earn through participating in wellness programs are a key reason they participate.
  4. Communication is a concern: The dominant form of communicating to employees about wellness programs is email (81.8 percent); yet, more than half of employees feel they’re not aware of, or need to know more about, health and wellness programs offered by employers.
  5. Measuring impact continues to be a challenge: Measurement is now the biggest obstacle for organizations when it comes to health and wellness programs. With only 31 percent of organizations satisfied with their health and wellness metrics, more must be done to quantify the impact of health and wellness benefits.

Overall, organizations providing wellness programs are receiving a positive return on investment with a demonstrated impact on employee engagement, productivity, and general sense of well-being.

In the coming weeks, we’ll examine respondents’ insight into a number of areas including health, happiness and engagement, establishing a culture of wellness, motivation through incentives, measuring program impact, communicating wellness benefits to employees, the Affordable Care Act, and more. Be sure to subscribe so you don’t miss an installment in this series.

Does your company currently offer health and wellness programs? We’d love to hear your thoughts and opinions on how they’ve helped you achieve your wellness goals, particularly during National Employee Wellness Month. Please leave a comment in the section below. We look forward to hearing from you. 

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