When workers are both financially and physically fit, human resource (HR) executives believe this can boost workplace productivity, job satisfaction and employee retention, benefits consulting firm Buck learned in a survey.
The survey also found that 84% of HR executives believe that when employees are not financially fit, this could deteriorate into financial instability, and 83% think it could lead to financial distress. Fifty-two percent think it could lead to lower productivity. Forty-seven percent think it could result in higher health care costs, and 30% think it could result in higher turnover.
The HR executives said that the most mature offering their companies have been presenting to workers is help with physical wellness. However, in the last five years, many have added financial education, specifically on money management and budgeting (66%), financial health assessments (66%), retirement calculators (63%) and financial literacy education (59%).
Nearly 75% view holistic financial and physical health support as important employee value propositions, up dramatically from 38% in 2016. Nearly half say they offer these services tailored to different generations. Seventy-three percent are focused on reducing health care or insurance costs, up from 63% in 2016.
“Our survey results confirm that supporting employee wellness holistically is much more than a ‘nice to do’—it’s a core, competitive business need,” says Ruth Hunt, a principal in Buck’s engagement practice. “Our findings demonstrate that a failure to creatively invest in employee wellness can result in many adverse consequences for the success and sustainability of a business.”
Companies are also turning to technology to drive efficiencies in benefits. This includes predictive analysis (84%), incentive tools and tracking (80%), portable hubs (69%) and decision-support tools (63%).
“A combination of stresses such as health challenges, relatively stagnant wages, heightened financial pressures, and always-on technology are taking a personal toll on employees,” Hunt says. “Employers are now focusing on well-being programming accordingly. Well-being has become a popular catchphrase, but the stressors are real and employers can actually see how employees’ well-being is impacting the bottom line.”
Buck’s findings are based on responses from 252 employers in 56 countries covering 5.22 million employees.