If you're having trouble making your workplace wellness program stick, you're not alone. Recent studies show there are areas for improvement with just about every corporate health program.
Though each program's problem areas may differ, a key way to start making changes is by seeing things from an employee perspective.
Workers & Employers Disagree on
Workplace Wellness Concerns
According to the latest research, worker health concerns are as high as ever, though employees aren't accessing the resources as much as they could. As much as 84% of employers named wellness and productivity as a critical factor in improving workplace wellness, while only half of employees participated in wellness events or programs in the last year.
The main concern here is why is there such a big difference between what employers provide and what employees utilize?
To figure it out, let's dig a little deeper in the data and come up with some clear objectives.
What the numbers say
The Towers Watson Staying@Work Survey shows that the top three employer health concerns are:
- Employee stress (75%)
- Obesity (70%)
- Sedentary lifestyles (61%)
What it really means when "stress" is the #1 health concern...
Stress is a complicated issue. There are so many contributing factors and they're not always the same for everyone. In a previous survey, Towers Watson found some similar discrepancies between employers and employees.
In that report, there were some pretty big differences reported about the causes of work-related stress. We'll look at some of those below.
Employees vs. employers on what is stressful
Employers reported that they thought the main concern for employees was keeping long hours or having a poor work/life balance; but workers reported that wasn't where their work stress is actually coming from.
Instead, workers named low pay or low increases in pay as the second leading cause of work-related stress, while employers didn't consider that area to be a significant contributor to worker stress. There were a few areas where employees and employers reported close numbers, but not many.
Most alarming of all is the difference in how employers and worker responded to concerns about company culture. Employers ranked company culture issues almost at the end of the list, while employees gave culture a much more high-priority spot.
See how the numbers break down below:
So where do we go from here?
The first step for any employer looking to improve the outcomes of their wellness initiatives, is to take a long hard look at what's important to you versus what your employees find important.
Just because the results of a national survey say one thing, doesn't mean it will apply to your company.
You've got to ask your employees what's important to them. The national survey numbers reported above are a good indication that there may be some discrepancy in any organization. But to know what to fix, you first have to know what's broken in your business.