The Well-Being Journal

Employee Well-Being Predicts Productivity and Retention

Jennifer Rudloff

As employers today struggle with the rising costs of healthcare, we at Healthways are compelled to form a deeper understanding of the impact of well-being. Taking a comprehensive look at the well-being of employees at a Fortune 100 company in a first of its kind longitudinal study, scientists found that overall well-being is not only a predictor of healthcare costs but also other business outcomes related to productivity and retention.

A recent press release announced the publishing of this latest Healthways study in Population Health Management. The study results show that overall well-being is a predictor of outcomes related to:

  • Medical and Rx spending
  • ER visits and hospital admission
  • Absenteeism
  • Short-term disability
  • Presenteeism
  • Job performance
  • Intention to stay
  • Voluntary and involuntary turnover

It was also found that well-being improvement was significantly related to positive changes in most employer outcomes.

How can this shape your company’s future?

These study results build a strong business case for well-being as an organizational performance strategy. If your company does adopt an effective one, you could see substantial savings through the improved health, performance and retention of your workers.

Enlarge Infographic Infographic shows findings from the first part of the study

So what is well-being and how is it measured?

Overall well-being is multidimensional, considering a range of important life domains related to work, finances, emotional health, physical health and behavioral risks, as well as the quality of one’s connections and community.

For this study, baseline overall well-being was measured using individual results from the Healthways Well-Being Assessment®, healthcare claims and human resource administrative data.

The first part of the study examined the impact of well-being on the employer’s outcomes over one year. To see a summary of findings, expand the infographic shown here.

The second part of the study measured the impact over a longer period.

 

Want to learn more about our proven approach to improving well-being? Visit our website or contact us.

Topics: Healthy Living Well-Being Predictions Workplace Well-Being Healthcare Business Performance Productivity Healthways Wellness Program Success Stories

Nov. 15: Are you taking the day off? It’s the Great American Smokeout.

Jennifer Rudloff

On November 15, 2012, people across the nation will be taking the day off from smoking and other tobacco products by participating in the American Cancer Society’s 37th Annual Great American Smokeout. Healthways is here to help.

We’re here to educate and supply people with resources and support to quit successfully. Through our QuitNet® program, more than 1.4 million members worldwide have saved almost $5 billion by kicking the tobacco habit for good. And when people become healthier by quitting, they also become happier and more productive, which benefits not just the individual, but families, friends and employers, too.

Learn more amazing facts about the impact of tobacco use, and some of the resources we offer for quitting in the Healthways infographic below. And if you’re a tobacco user, remember to mark your calendar for Nov. 15—take the day off and then quit for good.

Topics: Healthy Living Financial Well-Being Well-Being Workplace Well-Being Engagement Physical Health Business Performance Health Competitive Advantage Productivity Social Well-Being Success Stories Smoking

6 Culprits Hurting Well-Being at Work

Jennifer Rudloff

Reposted from the Well-Being Wire by MeYou Health

For as much time as we spending working, it seems so easy to lose track of the impact our worklife can have on our overall well-being. So here are six of the common culprits that take a swipe at our well-being at work, along with a few simple ideas for the small actions we can take to tackle them—

Multitasking

Many people multitask in search of great productivity, but oftentimes this kind of distracted behavior actually makes us less productive. Multitaskers are typically less focused and experience higher levels of stress, and multitasking can even strain personal relationships and lead to accidents (think texting while driving). Instead, try tackling just one task at a time and giving it 100%. Start with a single activity and focus on it for ten minutes straight. Occasional interruptions are expected during the workday, but being fully present and avoiding the many temptations in our day can lead to much better results.

Active listening means making eye contact and repeating what someone has just said.

Poor Communication

When talking to co-workers, it’s all too easy to half-listen while you think about your own response or what’s for lunch. To avoid a potentially damaging discord, the next time you speak to a colleague, try practicing active listening techniques. While the other person is speaking, focus your full attention on what he or she is saying. Look at the person in the eyes, and when it’s your turn, repeat back what he or she has said. Tuning in fully promotes openness between people, helps avoid misunderstandings because you have to confirm what the other person actually said.

Avoidance

Building relationships at work is one of the keys to a successful career, but many people find themselves in routines that keep them away from people they don’t know. Choose someone at work who is new to you or whom you rarely interact with. When you see him or her today, make the effort to say hello, and follow it up with a friendly smile. Breaking out of this rut can help you learn more about your workplace and your colleagues, and will give you a reputation for being warm and engaging, not cool or unapproachable.

Procrastination

There’s nothing worse than having something you’re not looking forward to doing in the back of your mind all day. Maybe it’s making an unpleasant phone call or addressing an issue with a co-worker. Why not try to identify the toughest task you have on your plate, and take steps to address that task first rather than putting it off until later in the day? Get it done first, and then the rest of your day will feel like a breeze. It also gives you a lift because you’ll feel proud that you were able to get it done so early.

Cluttered workspaces can lead to stress and lost time when it comes to finding things.

Clutter


Whether it’s papers piled high on your desk, or digital files strewn everywhere on your hard drive, disorganization can lead to distress! Clutter makes it harder to find things and this can cost you time and cause unnecessary stress. Try recycling or throwing away things that you don’t need and make a small stack (or folder) of items that really do need your attention. Return other objects to their rightful places in your work area, and banish that frustrating feeling of not being able to find the things you’re looking for. Cleaned-up workspace, clear-thinking mind!

Overdoing It

Sometime it feels like the work will never stop coming, and more than ever, our many gadgets and gizmos keep us tethered to our workday tasks. Try making a conscious decision to create a boundary between work and home by turning off the technology that keeps you connected to the office. After you get home tonight, do not check your work email, voicemail, or texts, and turn off your smartphone. Take it a step further and limit yourself to 30 minutes of work talk once you’re off the clock today. This may help you unwind, but it also leaves more time for the many other important aspects of life, like family and friends.

Topics: Well-Being Workplace Well-Being Stress Productivity

Work Environment: It's More Than Just the Furniture

Jennifer Rudloff

With the average adult spending more half of their waking hours at work, it stands to reason that a person’s work environment and professional relationships play a key role in determining their overall well-being. What may be a little more fuzzy for some is the impact that that person’s overall well-being has on their organization.

Gallup research shows that American workers are disconnected from their work – they found 71% of people are “not engaged” or “actively disengaged” with their work. That’s a big chunk of us. Additionally, the Well-Being Index (WBI) shows that workplace well-being has been on the decline for the last few years. Whether you want to blame it on the economy or some other factor, it’s important to recognize the impact it’s having from your organization.

Findings from the WBI and Well-Being Assessment (WBA) reveal strong correlations between a person’s well-being and their engagement, productivity, performance, and healthcare spend. To put some numbers to it, we know that on average, for every 10 points you can move the needle in an individual’s overall well-being, you’ll realize a healthcare cost savings of $409, an 11% reduction in unscheduled absences, and 3 points higher engagement at work. Not bad, huh?

So how can you improve the engagement, motivation and well-being of your people? In this illustrated video, Daniel Pink talks about how workplace well-being can be improved through several key changes – the single greatest being motivation.

Topics: Well-Being Work Environment Workplace Well-Being Engagement Well-Being Index Motivation Productivity Daniel Pink Well-being Assessment