How Can Employer Investment Increase Employee Wellbeing?

Employers can play a vital role in ensuring workers reach their targets when it comes to both financial and physical health, according to a new survey.

Nearly one in three U.S. employees would like their employers to provide more assistance to improve their financial health, while more than a quarter would like additional support for mental health, including how to cope with burnout, according to a survey of more than 2,200 employees conducted by the National Business Group on Health.

The survey found nearly a third of employees (32%) cited financial health as the one dimension of wellbeing they would like their employers to address more than they do today. The top areas employees cited as wanting help to improve their financial health were with healthcare and prescription-drug costs (34%) and housing costs (26%) (among those with no support in the area).

When it comes to mental health, 27% of employees are looking for more support. The survey found that two in five employees want help with “burnout at work,” while roughly a quarter would like help so they can sleep better and become more resilient (among those with no support in the area).

Employer investment in multiple dimensions of wellbeing correlates with high levels of employee wellbeing, according to the survey. Among employers that support four or five wellbeing dimensions, nearly six in 10 employees (58%) claimed their overall wellbeing was excellent or very good, compared to 43% at employers that support only one to three dimensions. Additionally, nearly nine in 10 employees at employers that support four to five dimensions say their job performance is excellent, while more than three-quarters (77%) say they have an excellent or very good impression of their employer. More than half of these employees (57%) would recommend their employer to other job candidates.

Employees with access to health-enabling communities report higher levels of wellbeing compared with employees whose workplace communities lack in these supports. Six in 10 employees (59%) whose workplace community supports wellbeing reported higher wellbeing levels, more than double the 28% of respondents who said their workplace community doesn’t support wellbeing.

“The message from employees to their employers on wellbeing is loud and clear,” said Brian Marcotte, president and CEO of the National Business Group on Health. “Employees are looking to their employer to provide support on all areas of wellbeing—not just physical health programs focused on losing weight or understanding health risks—but those designed to help employees meet their financial, mental, community and social-health goals.”

Michael J. O'Brienhttp://
Michael J. O’Brien is former web editor with Human Resource Executive®.