As larger companies expand their focus beyond physical health programs and benefits, holistic well-being strategies are on the rise. While physical health remains a priority, employee well-being (job satisfaction, social connectedness and other factors) is a stronger predictor of job performance. And it can directly impact business outcomes.

Measuring impact

First and foremost, employees with higher well-being perform better. They’re also less likely to miss work, and less likely to change employers. In addition, they’re healthier and have lower health care costs. All of these contribute to a better bottom line.

Companies can influence employee well-being by recognizing five evidence-based drivers:

  • Job satisfaction is central to individual well-being and to organizational success, given its impact on turnover, absenteeism and customer satisfaction.

  • Social connectedness is necessary for well-being. Those with a best friend at work are more engaged in their jobs, better at engaging customers and produce higher quality work.

  • Financial security, or lack of worry about money and the perception of enough money, decreases stress, anxiety, insomnia and depression.

  • Emotional health is more than the absence of depression or other disorders and can be defined by the presence of positive emotions as well as the absence of negative emotions.

  • Physical health matters too. Behaviors like exercise that contribute to well-being which helps recovery time, pain management, and life expectancy. Most large companies have programs to address these well-being drivers, but may not have a strategy in place to connect the dots and leverage synergies.

Most large companies have programs to address these well-being drivers, but may not have a strategy in place to connect the dots and leverage synergies.

Outside the office

Community involvement, through volunteering or participating in a school, church or neighborhood organization, plays a role in improving well-being. It deepens social connections, promotes emotional well-being and encourages a more active lifestyle.

People experience higher job satisfaction when they work for an organization they feel has a positive social impact. Employers are encouraging community involvement and charitable giving by offering regular, team-based service opportunities, rewarding employees for community service with health-savings account deposits, and offering company matches for charitable giving.