Employer Survey Shows Worksite Wellness is Alive and Well

The Willis Health and Productivity Survey 2011: Types of Wellness (chart)
Every year, the Willis Human Capital Practice surveys U.S. employers about their organizations’ use of wellness programs, and we report our findings in The Willis Health and Productivity Survey report. This year, approximately 1,600 respondents took part—44% of them in companies with 1,000 employees or more—and told us wellness is alive and well in the workplace.

What Employers Told Us

The Willis Health and Productivity Survey, 2011

Read the full report: The Willis Health and Productivity Survey, 2011

The survey results have shown us that engagement is still where it’s at: employers continue to work toward achieving high levels of sustained engagement in their worksite wellness programs. They’re using a variety of approaches, including a general focus on building a culture of health, as well as continuing to experiment with various incentive designs.

Employers have yet to “crack the code” to effectively discern between mere participation (going through the motions to earn a reward) and true engagement. Many struggle to successfully shift the mindset of employees from “pay to play” to intrinsic (self) motivation.

Key Findings

We’ve made the complete Willis Health and Productivity Survey available for download, but here are some of its key findings:

  • More employers are offering wellness programs: 60% vs. 53% last year
  • The most common types of wellness programs being offered by respondents include:
    • Physical activity programs (53%)
    • Tobacco cessation programs (49%)
    • Weight management programs (45%)
  • The debate about the best incentive approach continues, with increased discussion about outcomes-based incentives, such as reduced premiums for employees who meet a specific health outcome such as being tobacco free or having a certain cholesterol or blood pressure level.
  • Changing views on how success is measured. Sophistication in measurement approach is expanding.
  • Global adoption of wellness lags US adoption, but follows similar patterns. The top three locales with reported program activity are:
    1. Europe (54%)
    2. United Kingdom (50%)
    3. Canada (46%)

Helping employees find the right balance between work and life is more important than ever. As more organizations invest appropriate time and resources into their health management initiatives we expect to see a corresponding increase in positive health outcomes for employers and employees alike.

What’s Your Experience?

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About Jennifer Price

Jennifer is a Health Outcomes Consultant in Willis’ Human Capital practice, where she provides consultative servi…
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One Response to Employer Survey Shows Worksite Wellness is Alive and Well

  1. Dan Lottsfeldt, M.S. says:

    Enhance Employee Preventive Health Programs by Knowing the Difference Between “Wellness” and “Wellbeing”.

    Although these two terms are often interchangeable, I feel the words wellness and wellbeing hold differences. Wellbeing conveys an encompassing life experience. Conversely, the term wellness often conveys status of physical health as determined by clinical measures, i.e., biometrics.

    This is important any organization to understand when incorporating a wellness program for its employees. In my opinion, wellbeing is both a substructure and catalyst to wellness. I contend this because a state of wellbeing resides on multiple levels. For instance, in addition to the physical aspect, other facets such as social life, finances, career, and even community involvement each have their own contribution to personal wellbeing. That is to say, achieving a visceral feeling of wellbeing on various levels enhances the quality of life. Subsequently, this can lead to an awareness of life balance or internal equilibrium. When this occurs, a path is drawn to self-advocacy for his/her health resulting in pursuing wellness.

    Accepting the tenant that increased wellbeing leads to increased wellness is a valuable precept to integrate into any workplace preventive health initiative.

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