7th Annual Employee Wellbeing Month Kicks Off with New Data Exploring the Impact of Employee Well-being Programs on Workplace Culture
FRAMINGHAM, MA – Kicking off the 7th annual Employee Wellbeing Month (Twitter hashtag #EWM15), a month-long initiative designed to help business leaders learn how to engage employees in healthy habits and lifestyles, Virgin Pulse today released the results of “The Business of Healthy Employees: A Survey of Workplace Health Priorities,”revealing how employees are engaging with well-being programs and the impact these programs have on workplace culture.
To gain a better understanding of the challenges and benefits of workplace well-being programs, Virgin Pulse in partnership with Workforce magazine surveyed more than 15,000 employees and more than 1,100 HR leaders. This is the fourth year Virgin Pulse and Workforce have conducted “The Business of Healthy Employees”survey, allowing for year-over-year data comparison to identify trends.
This year’s survey found that, more than ever, employers are taking a more holistic approach with their workplace well-being programs. Seventy-eight percent of employers are expanding beyond physical wellness to include broader well-being areas like financial wellness, mental health, and more (up 6 percent from last year). Additionally, workplace well-being programs have a significant impact on company culture – more than 80 percent of employees report feeling positive about work culture because of well-being programs.
“There’s a much needed shift taking place in the industry,” said Chris Boyce, CEO of Virgin Pulse. “Gone are the days of focusing on physical health alone. Today, workplace wellness programs are broadening their scope and focusing on the whole person, which helps to replenish what modern life depletes. By taking care of employees’ overall well-being, employers are creating great places to work filled with healthier, more productive employees. As a result, people have more physical energy, mental focus, and emotional drive to do what matters most and they love coming to work because they feel like their employers really care about them. Employee Wellbeing Month is the perfect opportunity to highlight how important it is to take care of employees’ overall well-being and the top-line and bottom-line outcomes employers can realize as a result.”
Key Survey Findings
- Wellness programs are shifting to focus on a more holistic definition of well-being. More than 78 percent of employers say they’re expanding their well-being programs into areas like financial wellness and mental health.
- Stress is a top participation driver. More than 80 percent of employees say they participate in workplace well-being programs to reduce their stress levels.
- Workplace well-being programs positively impact company culture. More than 80 percent of employees feel positive about their work culture thanks to well-being programs.
- Employers are shifting how they position wellness incentives to be more positive than negative. More employers (72 percent) are positioning their well-being programs as rewards instead of punishments.
- Employers are looking to broaden communications channels, types, and frequency. Many organizations will increase the frequency of their communications (41.7 percent), new communications channels (35.3 percent) and test out new communications types and styles (32.5 percent) in an effort to increase employee participation in employee well-being programs.
Employee Wellbeing Month
Launched as National Employee Wellness Month in 2009 by Virgin Pulse, in partnership with the Strategies to Overcome and Prevent (STOP) Obesity Alliance, Employee Wellbeing Month is sponsored by these organizations along with the Partnership to Fight Chronic Disease and WorldatWork. The month-long initiative is designed to showcase how workplace culture plays a critical role in helping to create healthy employees, driving employee productivity and engagement, and ultimately leading to stronger businesses.
“Successful organizations are discovering that an innovative approach to well-being goes beyond the employee’s physical health,” said Anne Ruddy, WorldatWork president and chief executive officer. Ruddy added, “Today, we’re seeing more companies create flexible work schedules, introduce financial literacy tools, offer unique child-care and elder-care assistance programs and promote stress and time management skills. As a proud sponsor of Employee Wellbeing Month, we know all of these integrated approaches encourage a more successful and productive workforce.”
“Healthcare costs for people with a chronic condition are at least five times higher than those without one. With one in two Americans struggling daily with one or more costly chronic diseases, clearly the time is now for employers and policy makers to address wellness issues in the workplace, minimize obstacles and most importantly, commit their support to promote prevention,” said Dr. Ken Thorpe, Partnership to Fight Chronic Obesity Chairman. “The total cost of obesity alone to U.S. companies is estimated at $13 billion annually so in our fight against the crippling impact of chronic disease, empowering employees and better educating employers and policy makers on implications and best practices will most certainly serve to improve health outcomes, save health care dollars, and positively impact our economy.”
“With the number of Americans affected by obesity, type 2 diabetes, heart disease and other health conditions, it is crucial to foster and maintain a culture of wellness in the workplace,” said William H. Dietz, MD, PhD, Director of the Strategies to Overcome and Prevent (STOP) Obesity Alliance. “Creating a physical activity-friendly work culture can go a long way toward improving employee productivity, reducing costs and increasing the quality of life of employees. Employee Wellbeing Month is an important effort to assist people in working toward addressing the nation’s obesity epidemic.”
So far this year, more than 200 organizations have pledged their support for Employee Wellbeing Month. Supporting organizations include:
2020, 3Rivers Federal Credit Union, A. O. Smith Corporation, Accountable Health, LLC, ACI Boland Architects, Acxiom Corporation, ADURO, Inc., Advanced Energy, Aera Energy, AGCO, Alliant, Alliant Energy, Alpine Bank, Alvarez & Marsal, American Diabetes Association, American Society for Nutrition, Anaheim Union High School District, Arrow Electronics, Avon, Balance Concierge, BayCare, BBVA Compass, BECU, Belly Bandit, Benz Communications, BMC Software, Inc., Bon Secours Health System, Bowlmor AMF, Brinker International, Broad Institute, Brocade, Broward College, California ISO, Capital Metro, Capitol Advocacy Group, Caregiver Action Network, CCC Information Services, Inc., Cedar Community, Cedar Rapids School District, Center for Health (United Methodist Church), Centerra LLC, Central Michigan University, Centrastate Healthcare System, Child & Family, City of San Antonio, City of Thornton, Community Health Accreditation Partner (CHAP), Connections Education, context communication consulting, Continental Automotive, Inc., County of Marin, CPSI, Cummins Inc., CuraHR, Cyan Inc., Cybex International, Inc., Debswana OLDM Mine, Deltek, Denver Public Schools, Domino’s Pizza LLC, Dorchester County, Epicor Software Corp., Erb Transport Limited, ERICSSON, Erie Insurance, Exar.com, Excellence Canada, Explorer Pipeline, Fairchild, Fender Musical Instruments Corporation, Festival Foods, First Advantage Corporation, First Horizon National Corporation, Flight Centre – Healthwise Global, Fyda Freightliner, Garmin, GC Incentives, a division of GiftCertificates.com, George Mason University, GM Nameplate, Gracepoint Wellness, Grameenphone Ltd, Greystar, Grokker, GSI Group, Harvey Building Products, Haskell, Hawaii National Bank, Health Care and Rehabilitation Services of SE VT, Healthcare Leadership Council, Hills and Dales General Hospital, Horizon Blue Cross Blue Shield of New Jersey, Howard County Public School System, Hunter Douglas, Impact health, Imprint Projects, Indiana State University, Indoff Office Furniture, Ingersoll Rand, Intent Media, International Health, Racquet & Sportsclub Association , International Securities Exchange, Intuit, ITA Group, Ithaca College, J.J. Taylor Distributing Florida, Inc., Jack in the Box Inc., Jarden, Kapnick Insurance Group, Katahdin Trust Company, KeHE Distributors, Kintsugi Alliance, Knoll, Inc., Lane County, Lethbridge College, Lithographics Inc., Loews Hotels & Resorts, Louisville Water Company, Maine General Health, Mecklenburg EMS Agency, Mediaplanet, Melvel Training, MetroWest Medical Center, Midwestern University, MobileIron, Inc., Modern Marketing Concepts, Monarch Beverage, Multi-Color Corporation, MultiPlan, Inc., Mutual Benefit Group, MVP Health Care, Nasdaq – Australia, National Futures Association, NatureSweet, NavCom Defense Electronics, New York City Health and Hospitals Corporation, NHS, NMDP/Be The Match, Norfolk Southern, Northeast Ohio Regional Sewer District, Nottinghamshire Health Informatics Service, Novacoast Inc., Novo Nordisk, Nsight, NW Natural, Nypro Packaging, Ochsner Health System, Oregon Medical Group, OSG USA, Inc., Otter Products, LLC, Outerwall, Inc., Papa Johns, Parents for Community Living, Patoka Capital, Perfetti Van Melle USA, PHH, Plymouth Rock, Polar Electronics, Inc., Portneuf Medical Center, PQP, PrimeSource Building Products, PROHMs, Putnam, PVH Corp., ReadyTouch, Redline Trading Solutions, Regal Beloit Corporation, Regions Bank, Reliv International Inc., Relph Benefit Advisors, Resolute Forest Products, Rouge Valley Health System, Ryan LLC, SAIF Corporation, Sapers & Wallack, SelfHelpWorks, Sheryl O’Toole & Associates, Smith and Nephew, South Shore Medical Center, Southcoast Health, Southern Utah University, State of Vermont, Steiner Leisure Management, Suburban Propane, Summit Consulting LLC, SWBC, Technicolor Grayscale, The A.I. Group, The Boston Beer Company, The Endocrine Society, The George Washington University, The Hartford, The Ohio State University, The Research Foundation for the State University of New York, The Tower Companies, TotalWellness, Town of Hilton Head Island, TRA, Inc., Tray-Pak Corporation, UC San Diego, UHPMC, University Hospitals, University of Maryland Faculty Physicians, Inc., Vicarious, Virgin America, Virgin Limited Edition, Virgin Management, Virgin Mobile Australia, Visant, WCIRB, West County Radiology, Whataburger, Willamette Dental Group, Willamette View, Inc., Windsor Strategy Partners, Yavapai Combined Trust, YP, YUM!, Zennut Inc., and Zions Bancorporation.
ABOUT VIRGIN PULSE
Virgin Pulse, part of Sir Richard Branson’s famed Virgin Group, replenishes employees with tools that help them build better habits. With its award-winning, online platform, the company cultivates daily habits and sustainable behavior change that help people thrive at work and across all aspects of life. Unlike narrowly-focused employee health and engagement solutions, Virgin Pulse creates more meaningful habits and drives greater utilization across HR investments, delivering a better quality of life for employees and better health, increased productivity, and improved culture for employers. More than 250 industry leaders representing more than 2 million employees have selected Virgin Pulse’s programs to replenish their people and ignite their business. Learn more at www.virginpulse.com.