89% say wellness programmes boost happiness and wellbeing

Wellbeing Almost nine in 10 (89%) employee respondents believe that taking part in workplace wellness programmes improves their overall wellbeing and happiness, according to research by US health insurance provider Humana and the Economist Intelligence Unit.

Their research, The wellness effect: the impact of workplace programmes, which surveyed 209 US employers and 500 employees, also found that 44% of employer respondents view workplace stress management programmes as the most effective way of establishing a culture of wellness in an organisation.

The research also found:

  • 67% of employee respondents say participation in wellness programmes increases their engagement with their employer’s mission and goals.
  • 91% of employee respondents say that taking part in a wellbeing programme improves their fitness.
  • 69% of employee respondents agree that health and wellness are an important part of their organisation’s culture.
  • Just 14% of employee respondents regularly participate in stress management programmes, and 71% believe that wellness programmes have had at least a moderate impact in lowering their stress levels.
  • Around half (46%) of employer respondents cite lack of time as the biggest obstacle to increased participation in wellness programmes, compared to 51% of employee respondents.

Beth Bierbower, president of Humana’s group segment, said: “About seven in 10 organisations in the US have been broadly successful in establishing a culture of wellness, and employee recognition of that effort is rewarding employers with increased productivity, retention and workplace engagement and improved morale.

“The survey findings suggest that employers who tailor well-designed wellness programmes to specific employee needs, and then make them easily accessible in terms of time and location, achieve the highest positive impact.

“Another pervasive threat to wellness, and one that has not yet been adequately addressed, is work-related stress. Over half of employees believe work-related stress has taken a toll on their health. More formalised stress management programmes must be a top priority for employers and employees in the future.”