Employee Well-being Impacts the Bottom Line

The average U.S. worker eats more than half his meals on the job and spends several hours a week at work managing his finances or other personal responsibilities.

During a recent webinar presented by Preventure, a national provider of corporate wellness solutions, executives from the firm urged benefit plan sponsors to “push their conversations from employee wellness to employee well-being.”

It may seem like merely an exercise in semantics, but, according to Preventure, employers that have truly embraced programming to help their employees make better decisions with their health and finances—i.e., those that have moved from promoting ad hoc wellness to holistic well-being—perform better economically over time.

Preventure executives pointed to one study of the stock performance of 45 publicly traded Fortune 500 companies with “robust employee well-being programs.” The analysis showed that these companies outperformed their peers in the Standard & Poor’s (S&P) 500 index during 16 out of 24 quarters during the study period.

In terms of actually establishing well-being programming, Preventure urges employers to stop viewing employee happiness as a human resources (HR) function. Instead, employee well-being is an “end-to-end concern for the whole company.”

“When employees feel their employers care about them, they are so much more likely to stay around and  be an advocate for the employer outside the workplace,” said Laura Walmsley, chief client officer. “It has a profound impact on their engagement during the workday and their willingness to go above and beyond.”  

Walmsley urged employers to “clearly demonstrate to workers that executives and managers care about their workers. We love the use of direct messaging from leadership, to show [its] support,” she noted. “For example, with new well-being programming, you could make it a point to always include a recorded video message from the CEO on the portal—or executives could distribute letters to the home, encouraging participating in well-being programs.”

Another powerful way to boost the performance of well-being programming, according to Preventure, is to hold executives accountable for their participation. Further, policies and procedures should be put in place to ensure equitable programming outcomes. “In other words, don’t just have a fancy new fitness center at corporate headquarters … make it open for everyone and accessible for everyone,” Walmsley concluded. “Finally, measurement is very important—choose metrics that relate to and drive business success. If billable hours run your business, fewer sick days or PTO [paid time off] might be your metric. Other employers may measure for other goals.”

More research and information is available at www.preventure.com