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Wellness to well-being

Until recently, a key focus of workplace benefit strategies has been solely on physical wellness. These strategies discouraged behaviors and lifestyles that prematurely led to poor health and death. Now, all that is changing.

Research tells us that employees are looking for a simple, yet important change — a shift to broader programs and services that support multiple dimensions of well-being. Access our white paper for the full report.

The findings come from an Optum® and National Business Group on Health® survey of more than 2,000 employees on the impact of individual dimensions of well-being. These dimensions include physical, social, financial, community and mental health.

The employee insights revealed are both fascinating and sobering. They show the profound interplay among the dimensions of financial, physical and mental health as well as community and social health. Read the white paper for the full report.



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Research findings

The research findings provide a roadmap for employers, suggesting new, practical opportunities to improve the employee experience.

  • Investment in multiple dimensions of well-being correlates with high levels of employee productivity, loyalty (eNPS®) and employee well-being.
  • There is a relationship between high levels of employee well-being and access to quality mental health services and health care in a convenient location.
  • Employees want their employer to better support their financial health and mental health.
  • There is an opportunity for employers to consider investing in the health of the community surrounding their key workplace locations given the influence it has on employee well-being.


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The employee experience


Well-being grows when employees feel engaged and connected and employers invest in multiple dimensions of well-being programs and services.

Employees who report their employer addresses 4–5 dimensions of well-being are significantly more likely to:

  • Have an excellent or very good impression of their employer (77 percent vs. 50 percent)
  • Report that their usual job performance is “excellent” over the past year or two (88 percent vs. 81 percent)
  • Be eNPS “promoters” — have high recommendation intent (57 percent vs. 33 percent)
  • Report excellent or very good overall well-being (58 percent vs. 42 percent)
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Financial health

Employees want more help with their financial health. In fact, over one in three employees puts financial health at the top of their wish list for more employer support.

Question: What one dimension of well-being would you like your company to address more than it does today?


Employers have an opportunity to better address financial health.


Here are the top financial health areas employees would like employers to help with:

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34% -- Health care and prescription costs


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26% -- Housing costs


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Behavioral health


The demand for behavioral health services continues to grow. Though 71 percent of employees say their employer provides mental health programs, more than a quarter of employees say they want their employer to expand such services.

Two out of five employers offer programs to treat substance use disorder and manage stress. But, many employees without access to stress reduction programs wish their employer would provide them.*

Employees also say they would like more help in other behavioral health areas. Two out of five employees want help for “burn-out at work,” and more than a quarter say they want support to get better sleep.*

Here are the top mental health areas employees would like employers to help with:*

  • Two out of five employees want help for “burn-out at work.”
  • More than a quarter of employees want support to get better sleep.
  • Employees also want assistance to become more resilient.

*Of those not supported in this manner by their employer today.




The insights from this survey suggest clear and practical opportunities for employers to:

  • Increase employee well-being and the employee experience at work
  • Address multiple dimensions of employee well-being, especially mental and financial health
  • Consider demographics and employee preferences in addressing dimensions of health



Tag: Employers, White papers, briefs, e-books, Research Analysis, Population health management, Health plans, Articles

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