Well-Being Improvement in a Mid-Size Employer: Changes in Well-Being, Productivity, Health Risk and Perceived Employer Support after Implementation of a Well-Being Improvement Strategy

Published in Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine

Author(s): G. Brent Hamar, DDS, MPH; Carter R. Coberley, PhD; James E. Pope, MD; and Elizabeth Rula, PhD

Objective: To evaluate employee well-being change and associated change in productivity, health risk including biometrics, and workplace support over two years after implementation of a well-being improvement strategy.

Methods: Case study evaluation of well-being, productivity (presenteeism, absenteeism and job performance), health risk, and employer support across three measurements spanning two years. Employer well-being was compared to an independent sample of workers in the community.

Results: Well-being and job performance increased and presenteeism and health risk decreased significantly over the two years. Employee well-being started lower and increased to exceed community worker averages, approaching significance. Well-being improvement was associated with higher productivity across all measures. Increases in employer support for well-being were associated with improved well-being and productivity.

Conclusions: This employer’s well-being strategy, including a culture supporting well-being, was associated with improved health and productivity.

Key Takeaways:

  • Participating employees showed significant improvements in well-being that were associated with productivity improvement. For every 1-point increase in well-being score, employee’s presenteeism and absenteeism decreased by approximately 3.5% and self- reported job performance improved by 5%, on average.
  • Participating employees’ overall well-being scores improved more than 7 points on average to surpass employees in the surrounding community, whose scores improved less than 0.5 points.
  • Participating employees also displayed significant absolute improvements in:
    • All six domains making up the WB score. Healthy behaviors improved dramatically
      (+17.9 pts). Basic access improved the least (+2.5pts)
    • Presenteeism. On-the-job productivity loss decreased by 3.8pts (a 21% decrease from
      baseline average)
    • Job Performance. Increased by 2% relative to starting score.
    • Health Risks (including biometrics). The low risk group (0-2 risks) increased from 54% to 67%.
    • Employer Support for Well-Being.
  • This is the first study to show that workplace support/culture can positively contribute to program outcomes. Employees reported a stronger sense of employer support over time that was significantly linked to improved well-being and productivity.
  • This case study provides evidence that participants in Sharecare programs experience improved well-being, health, and work productivity over 2 program years.
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