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14 Mar, 2015

Survey: 96% of Organizations Back Employee Well-being Initiatives to Curb Rising Health-Care Costs

WASHINGTON–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Workplace wellness programs and well-being initiatives are key components to improving employee health and containing rising health-care costs, according to a new survey, “Total Rewards and Well-Being” conducted by WorldatWork with underwriting support from HealthMine.

WorldatWork, a nonprofit HR association released the survey findings today, which show 96% of organizations support employee well-being programs and nearly three-quarters (74%) report they plan to increase their well-being offerings or activities in the next two years. WorldatWork conducted a similar “Total Rewards and Well-Being” practice survey in 2011.

Click here to download the report FREE

“Successful organizations are discovering that an innovative approach to well-being goes beyond the employee’s physical health,” said Rose Stanley, WorldatWork senior practice leader. Stanley 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. All of these integrated approaches encourage a more successful and productive workforce.”

According to the 2014 report, when asked if their organizations no longer offered employee-sponsored health care, the majority, as shown in Figure 18 of the full report, of employers said they would still continue to offer well-being programs. If employer-sponsored health care was eliminated, 95% of responding organizations say they would keep workplace safety programs, 92% would continue to encourage time away from work and flexible schedules, and 90% would preserve their Employee Assistance Programs. The programs with higher drop rates include: resiliency training (29%), disease management (29%), mental/behavioral health coverage (27%), and wellness coaching (26%).

A few additional highlights from the 2014 survey:

  • 82% of responding organizations said employee health is a top motivator for offering well-being activities; while 78% of organizations noted curbing employee medical costs was their goal for offering the programs.
  • When comparing traditional wellness and integrated well-being approaches, those using an integrated approach showed a correlation to lower rates of employee turnover. Higher turnover rates are more common at organizations utilizing a traditional wellness approach (52%) than organizations using an integrated approach to overall well-being (39%).
  • 49% of organizations stated they have an employee well-being strategy in place, as shown in Figure 7, and 54% of those organizations have had their strategy in place for three or more years.


This is the second fielding of this survey. On Dec. 10, 2014, survey invitations were sent electronically to 6,484 WorldatWork members. Randomly selected members had designated compensation and benefits or work-life as their primary job function in their WorldatWork member profile. The survey closed on Jan. 16, 2015 with 446 responses, which is a 7% response rate. The closing data set was cleaned, resulting in a final data set of 443 responses.