As 2024 approaches, organizations are taking a hard look at their workplace wellness programs and what they will prioritize in the new year. The value of employee well-being is more and more reinforced in today’s employer landscape, as mental and physical health and wellness are proving to be key drivers of employee productivity, engagement, and overall success.
Navigate the ever-evolving landscape of workplace wellness—and make the case for continued budgets into 2024— with this curated roundup of corporate health and wellness statistics and actionable insights.
Corporate health and wellness programming: No longer a “nice-to-have"
Having a workplace wellness program is no longer a ‘nice-to-have'. It is an expected part of corporate culture and a critical element in reducing healthcare costs and improving health outcomes in employee populations.
1. More than 9 in 10 organizations offer at least one wellness incentive. (HBR 2019)
2. 85% of large and 54% of small companies offer one or more wellness programs. (KFF 2022)
3. 69% of employers prioritize well-being support to improve their benefits. (WTW 2022)
4. Expectations of employee culture when it comes to corporate wellness programs, remote work support, and work/life balance are only going to grow, as younger generations enter the workforce. Workers born after 1995 want their employer to provide more support in managing their emotional health. (WTW, 2022)
Remote work & workplace wellness
The rise of remote work has transformed the traditional workplace —and brought forth new challenges and opportunities for workplace wellness. As employees embrace the flexibility and autonomy that remote work offers, organizations must adapt their wellness programs to support remote employees' well-being.
5. 66% of organizations plan to prioritize health and wellbeing programs supporting remote workers in the next two years. (WTW, 2022)
6. Nearly three in 10 hybrid workers and six in 10 fully remote workers say they would be “extremely likely” to look for opportunities with other organizations if their employer decides not to offer remote work flexibility in the future. (Gallup 2023)
7. People who work in person were 22% likely to report a toxic workplace and only 13% of those who work fully remote. (APA 2023)
8. Nearly two-thirds of people working from home feel isolated or lonely at least sometimes and 17% do all the time. (APA 2021)
9. Feelings of loneliness and isolation were not confined to remote workers—25% of fully in-person workers reported feelings of loneliness and isolation (APA 2023)
10. More than half of U.S. managers say they had received zero formal or informal training on managing remote or hybrid teams. (Gallup 2023)
Workplace wellness and costly chronic conditions
Chronic conditions, such as diabetes, heart disease, and stroke, not only impact individuals' health but also pose significant challenges to productivity and overall well-being. By implementing evidence-based wellness programs tailored to address these specific conditions, organizations can empower employees with the resources, knowledge, and support needed to effectively manage their health. By actively engaging and supporting individuals in their journey to better manage chronic conditions, workplace wellness initiatives can yield improved health outcomes, reduced healthcare costs, and a more resilient, productive workforce.
11. 20% of those with employer-sponsored health benefits account for 80% of employers' spending on health care. (Employee Benefit Research Institute 2019)
12. The 2020 employer heart disease and stroke program from the CDC revealed that 28% of employers have a comprehensive workplace blood pressure control program, which includes education, environmental support, and benefit strategies. (CDC)
13. Indirect costs of cardiovascular disease—including missed workdays— cost about $130 billion each year, including $53 billion for high blood pressure alone. (American Heart Association 2018)
14. Four of the 10 most costly health conditions for US employers—angina pectoris (chest pain), high blood pressure, diabetes, and heart attack—are related to heart disease and stroke. (CDC)
15. Five chronic diseases or risk factors—high blood pressure, diabetes, smoking, physical inactivity, and obesity—cost US employers $36.4 billion a year because of employees missing days of work.(CDC)
16. Care for people with diabetes was responsible for 1 in every 4 U.S. health care dollars spent, and annual medical expenditures were $16,750 per person with diagnosed diabetes—2.3 times as much as for those without diabetes. (American Diabetes Association 2018)
17. People diagnosed with diabetes incur on average about $19,700 annually in medical expenses. That’s about 2.6 times the medical expenses of a person without diabetes. (CDC)
18. Year-long, structured lifestyle change interventions have been shown to reduce the incidence of diabetes by 58% among adults with prediabetes (CDC)
Job Satisfaction and ROI of Workplace Wellness Programs
Employees who are engaged in their health and well-being are more likely to be productive, satisfied, and loyal to their organization. When employees are supported in their physical and mental well-being, they are more likely to experience fewer sick days, decreased healthcare utilization, and increased productivity, ultimately resulting in a positive impact on the bottom line. By investing in employee well-being, organizations not only foster a healthier workforce but also create a positive work environment that attracts and retains top talent.
19. Over 80% of employees whose employers are engaged in their wellness say they enjoy work. (Zippia, 2022)
20. Conversely, when employers aren’t engaged in employee wellness, only about 40% say they enjoy work, and 58% say they intend to stay at their current company. (Zippia, 2022)
21. On average, companies that provide wellness programs see a six-to-one return on investment, mainly in reduced healthcare costs and lower absenteeism rates. (Zippia, 2022)
22. 56% of employees who participate in company wellness programs say they have fewer sick days due to these programs. (Zippia)
23. 32% of large companies said their wellness programs were very or moderately effective at reducing their healthcare costs. (KFF, 2022)
24. Mental health programs to become an employer of choice: 81% of workers reported that they will be looking for workplaces that support mental health in the future. (Mind Share Partners 2021)
Where to Begin? Data-Backed Insights for Proactive Planning
At Wellsource, we understand that successful health and wellness initiatives are rooted in establishing population health baselines, and then using that data to build evidence-based strategies and personalized interventions. The statistics outlined above are proof points for some program implementation, but you can’t beat a holistic and operationalized approach to building wellness programs, and that starts with collecting the right data so you can measure the results of your efforts.
Deploy a comprehensive Health Risk Assessment (HRA): The power of data cannot be underestimated when it comes to effectively managing the health of your workforce. By implementing comprehensive HRAs, organizations gain deep insights into the unique risk profiles of their employees. This data serves as a solid foundation for designing tailored wellness programs that address specific health concerns, mitigate risks, and promote overall well-being.
Empower employee engagement: Participation is key to the success of any wellness program. Engaged employees are more likely to adopt healthier behaviors and actively participate in wellness initiatives. Focusing on programs and solutions that make for an enjoyable participant experience encourages employees to take an active role in managing their health. This not only boosts engagement but also leads to better health outcomes.
Tailor wellness programs to address individual needs: One size does not fit all when it comes to employee wellness. Every individual has unique health needs and goals. Therefore, personalization is the key to ensuring the effectiveness of wellness programs. Align wellness initiatives with organizational objectives, while also tailoring program components to meet the diverse needs and preferences of their workforce. This level of customization fosters a sense of ownership and motivation among employees, leading to higher program success rates.