The Well-Being Journal

Does your company have a Chief Well-Being Officer?

Jennifer Rudloff

When people ask me about my job, the description is often met with surprise. Chief Well-Being Officer is not a common position in today’s C-Suite – and I think that’s a mistake. I can think back to a time not that long ago when the concept of a Chief Technology Officer was foreign; thought to be a “creative” title commissioned only by the Googles and Sun Microsystems of the world. Yet today, the absence of a CTO is almost unthinkable.

I challenge companies to think differently about the health of their employees, their most valuable asset. Research shows that employee well-being can play a key role in establishing a competitive business advantage. For instance, while 30 percent of a company’s healthcare spend is linked to medical care and pharmaceutical costs, the remaining 70 percent is spent on health-related costs associated with worker productivity (Spector, Bruce. The Cost of Absenteeism in the Workplace. Nov. 1, 2010. www.employersweb.com.). The research also demonstrates that companies with effective health and productivity programs generate more revenue per employee, attain a higher market value and generate higher shareholder returns.

The impact doesn’t just positively hit a company’s bottom line ... you must take into consideration the top-line benefits that coincide with a focus on well-being. Employers that focus on prevention, provide value-added benefits and demonstrate that they care about their employees’ physical and emotional needs are more likely to attract and retain top talent. They are also more likely to earn and maintain employee trust and foster a productive environment through a high performing, engaged workforce. Bottom line: these companies are more likely to succeed.

The job of a Chief Well-Being Officer is to focus on how employees can be impacted at work, at home and in the community and how this impact can improve the overall business performance.

At Healthways, we understand the importance and value of maintaining happy and healthy employees.

Yes, happy employees are good for business ... just ask the Chief Well-Being Officer.

Topics: Strategies and Comparative Advantage Business Performance Competitive Advantage Prevention Motivation How to Improve Employee Performance Employee Performance Improvement