50+ Employee Wellness Statistics, Facts and Trends [2024]

November 7, 2023 0 Comments

Employee wellness is more than just a trendy phrase.

What do the numbers say about it?

In a time where job stress is common, it’s important to look at how caring for employee health really helps.

Are businesses doing enough for their workers’ health? What good things happen when they do?

We looked at lots of studies and gathered facts about employee wellness programs. We’re talking about how these programs can save money on health care, make workers more productive, and keep them happy in their jobs.

Check out our report for the real numbers that show why taking care of employees’ health is so important at work.

Top Employee Wellness Statistics: Editor’s Pick

  • Harvard researchers have estimated that spending on employee wellness has an ROI of 6 to 1, on average. [1]
  • They report that every $1 spent on employee wellness saves $3.27 on medical costs.  [1]
  • Employers can save an estimated $55 billion annually if absenteeism from illness is resolved. [2]
  • WHO estimates that investing in employees’ mental health provides a return of $4 on every $1 spent. [3]
  • Employee wellness is reported to increase employee trust by 33%, according to a research by Kronos. [4]
  • Employees report that they are 94% more likely to stay in their jobs if they feel that their company invests in their professional development. [5]

How Employee Wellness Saves Costs

Employee Wellness does not only support the health of your workers, it also provides financial benefits to your company. 

employers can save $55 billion annually if absenteeism from illness is resolved

The following facts illustrate how employee wellness reduces extra costs related to medical claims, absenteeism, insurance premiums and productivity losses.

  • Under employee wellness programs, high-risk employees (according to body fat, blood pressure, anxiety, and other measures) reduced their annual healthcare claims by $1500. [1]
  • According to J&J, adopting employee wellness reduced their medical claims cost by $1,421 per participant. [1]
  • Moreover, they reported that within six years, they saw an 80% decline in lost work days and a 64% decline in modified-duty days
  • If these days are multiplied by average pay rates, the cost savings total up to $1.5 million
  • Research has shown that 61% of employees tend to make healthier lifestyle choices when their companies offer employee wellness initiatives. [6]
  • Employee wellness also reduced voluntary attrition by 6% according to a study by Towers Watson and the National Business Group on Health. [1]
  • A study by Dr. Ronald Loeppke showed that lost productivity is 2.3 times more expensive to companies than medical and pharmacy costs. [1]
  • In fact, studies estimate that companies spend 200 to 300 times more on indirect costs of poor health than they do on health benefits. [2]
  • Another study by Rand Wellness Programs stated that wellness programs save 86% healthcare costs and a 30% decline in hospital admissions. [7]
  • Improving employee satisfaction increases customer satisfaction by a scale of 1.3, according to a Glassdoor study. [8]
employees rank their most critical issues

Why do Companies need Employee Wellness Programs?

Our modern lifestyles are increasingly becoming less healthy and the need for ensuring employee wellness is higher than ever. 

Employees nowadays report higher levels of stress and lower levels of exercise and healthy food. 

Therefore, it is a pressing need of the hour to implement employee wellness programs for today’s lifestyles. 

employee wellness increases employee trust by 33%

Consider these facts below that highlight how serious this problem is:

  • Employers in the United States spend $226 billion a year on productivity losses due to employee and family related health issues. [2]
  • Today, only 3 in 10 adults fulfill the daily requirement of physical activity. [2]
  • 37% of adults in the US report that they do not engage in any significant physical activity. [2]
  • Research shows that being physically active reduces the risk of premature death by 50%. [2]
  • American businesses lose around $74 billion due to unscheduled absences. 
  • Companies report that costs arising from absent personnel are as much as 36% of payroll when the cost of absence related healthcare coverage is considered. [2]
  • Employee wellness programs can reduce this absenteeism by 14% to 19%. [8]
  • Stanford researchers report that employee burnout constitutes around 8% of national healthcare outlays, which is equal to a total of $190bn and nearly 120,000 deaths each year. [8]
  • A variety of studies confirm that productivity losses are primarily caused by health conditions like depression, anxiety, migraines, respiratory illnesses, arthritis, diabetes, and back and neck pain. [7]
  • According to recent studies, almost 80% of employees regularly suffer from work-related stress in the US. [3]
  • The global economy loses an estimated $1 trillion primarily due to productivity losses resulting from depression and anxiety. [3]
  • It is estimated that 15% of working-age adults tend to have a mental disorder. [10]
  • According to Harvard, medical costs are 274 times higher today than in 1950 and almost 66% of this increase is a likely result of unhealthy lifestyles. [2]
  • Employees that do not exercise see their productivity decrease by 50% during the last 2 hours of the workday. [2]
  • Over the last hundred years the rate of deaths from heart attacks and strokes in Americans has increased by 49% because of unhealthy lifestyle choices. [2]
  • Lifestyle modifications can help up to 50% of all cancers. [2]
  • A Harvard study tracked high-risk employees (with body fat, blood pressure, anxiety etc.) and discovered that employee wellness programs converted 57% of these employees to a low-risk status within 6 months. [1]

What Impact Does Employee Wellness Have on Employee Loyalty?

Increasing employee wellness is also an important factor behind employee loyalty. These facts explain that employee satisfaction results in better morale and lower attrition:

every $1 spent on employee mental health yields $4 in return
  • 74% of employees report that they would work longer hours for an empathetic employer. [5]
  • Employees are 3 times more likely to find other jobs if they do not feel supported at their workplace. [5]
  • 67% of Millennials claim that  they would quit their current job if their company does not ensure professional development opportunities. [5]
  • Among employees with a disability, 51% leave a job because of high levels of stress.
  • Similarly, 42% of LGBTQ people leave a job due to high stress level, and for people of color this figure is 45%. [9]
  • According to recent estimates, replacing an entry-level employee costs 30 to 50% of the annual salary of that employee. [2]
  • For middle-level employees, the cost of replacement is 150% of their annual salary, and for specialized high-level employees this cost is almost 400% of their annual salary. [2]

Statistics from Global Corporations

  • Management from J&J estimate that wellness programs have cumulatively saved their company $250 million on health care costs over the past decade. [1]
  • At SAS Institute, they have reduced their voluntary turnover rate to 4% by adopting effective employee wellness programs. [1
  • The Biltmore tourism enterprise saw their voluntary turnover rate reduce by 10% in the period from 2005 to 2009. [1]
  • Chevron reports that 60% to 70% of its jobs are considered safety sensitive, and yet Chevron employees reduced their healthcare claims by around $500 each due to their wellness program. [1]
  • General Electric reported that their employee wellness initiatives reduced absenteeism by 45%. [2]
  • For every $1 spent on employee wellness, General Electric saved $4 in healthcare costs. [2]

FAQs

What is the meaning of employee wellness?

The main idea behind employee wellness is to improve the health and wellbeing of employees. This increases the productivity and job satisfaction of employees and reduces the cost of healthcare. Companies can choose from a wide range of employee wellness programs depending on their employees’ needs.

What are the 6 pillars of employee wellness?

  • Physical Health
  • Mental Health
  • Professional Development
  • Financial Wellbeing
  • Social Wellbeing
  • Personal Growth

What do employees want in a wellness program?

The most important need of any employee is to feel that their employer genuinely cares about their wellbeing. This can manifest in many ways:

  • Employees want access to preventative care, health screenings, and onsite healthcare services.
  • Employees need their mental health concerns to be addressed appropriately
  • So programs that provide mental health resources, such as counseling services, stress reduction activities, and strategies for work-life balance are appreciated.
  • Employees value their privacy, so every wellness program should ensure strict confidentiality.
  • Employees appreciate flexibility and variety. 
  • So an effective wellness program offers a range of options like fitness programs, nutrition education, stress management, and mental health support.
  • Employees often value rewards for achieving health goals, such as gift cards, discounts on insurance premiums, or extra time off.
  • Regular feedback ensures consistent participation of the employees and reinforces the feeling that the employer is invested in their wellbeing.

What are examples of employee wellness measures?

  • Health Screenings including blood pressure checks, cholesterol tests, glucose monitoring, and body mass index (BMI) assessments.
  • Fitness Programs like gym memberships, or on-site fitness classes.
  • Nutrition Education: workshops, seminars, or access to nutritionists.
  • Mental Health Support: mental health counseling and access to employee assistance programs (EAPs). 
  • Smoking Cessation Programs that provide counseling and nicotine replacement therapy.
  • Work-Life Balance Initiatives: policies such as flexible work hours, remote work options, and paid time off for personal well-being.
  • Ergonomic Assessments: improving the ergonomics of workspaces can reduce the risk of injuries and musculoskeletal problems.
  • Financial Wellness Programs: counseling for financial planning, debt management, and savings.

What are 5 benefits of employee wellness?

  • Employee satisfaction
  • Increased productivity
  • Reduced healthcare costs
  • Lower attrition
  • Stress free work environment

What is a simple sentence for employee wellness?

Employee Wellness shows a company’s commitment to improve the overall wellbeing of its employees.

Conclusion

Employee Wellness is gaining traction and the best names in business are adopting the idea. 

Data has proven that investing in employee wellbeing ensures better productivity, reduces healthcare costs by up to 86% and increases employee loyalty by 33%. [4]

Research shows that every $1 spent on employee wellness measures yields a return of $6.

Analysts at Harvard and WHO encourage companies to adopt employee wellness programs.

Leaders at successful corporations like J&J, Chevron, General Electric and SAS Institute have reported remarkable benefits of their own employee wellness initiatives. [1]

Sources

  1. Harvard Business Review. What’s the Hard Return on Employee Wellness Programs?
  2. Corporate Wellness Program. Employee Wellness Programs for a More Productive Workforce.
  3. Kyan Health. The importance of mental well-being in the workplace.
  4. Employee Benefit Research Institute, Greenworld Research. 2020 Workplace Wellness Survey.
  5. Andrea M. Delligatti, PhD. THE GORDIAN KNOT FOR EMPLOYERS IN 2022 How To Untangle It Through Empathetic Leadership.
  6. Populo. 26 Employee Wellness Programs: Ideas & Examples in the Workplace.
  7. Bravo. Do Wellness Programs Save Companies Money?
  8. Test Gorilla. How to improve employee wellbeing: 9 strategies for employers.
  9. SHRM. Report: Employees Say Support for Their Well-Being Falls Short.
  10. LinkedIn. Employee Benefits: The Key to Winning the Talent War.

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