A man meditates at his work desk. A man meditates at his work desk.

Employee wellness

Employee wellness programs that focus on whole-person well-being are having a positive impact on employers, employees and their communities. Forward-thinking companies are increasingly embracing well-being not as a vague concept, but as an index of learnable actions and daily behavior.

McKinsey & Company says businesses should “treat well-being as a tangible skill, a critical business input and a measurable outcome.”1

Programs that promote employee wellness can be considered as an investment in a company’s most important asset—the employees themselves. As such, employee wellness programs are neither a perk nor a benefit, but a mandatory area of focus.

According to Forbes, “as more employees job shop based on human-centered benefits beyond salaries, well-being as a corporate pillar has become mission critical to retaining employees and attracting top talent.”2

The importance of an employee wellness program

Much has been said about the cost of employee wellness programs, which range from $100 annually per employee to $1,000 or more.3 But what about the costs associated with forgoing such programs?

Most industry literature and research agree that the typical return on an employee wellness program is $3–$6 for every $1 invested, with savings realized 2–3 years after implementation.4

Between 70% to 90% of healthcare spending is caused by preventable, modifiable health risks.

According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services: 5

  • 59% of employees do not get adequate exercise
  • 50% or more have high cholesterol
  • 27% have cardiovascular disease
  • 26% are overweight by 20% or more
  • 24% have high blood pressure

The costs associated with not addressing employees’ mental well-being accumulate to a material impact of hundreds of billions of dollars from lower motivation and work productivity.6

A focus on employee wellness is also critical for businesses to attract and retain the top talent in their fields. The media regularly reports on workers seeking employers who not only support well-being, but offer visible and accessible means of doing so.

Recent surveys show that over-stressed employees are 300% more likely to leave their jobs,7 and 82% of employees report they would consider leaving their current job for a more empathetic organization.8

Employees spend an average of 50 hours per week on the job—half of their waking hours.9 For work to be sustainable in the long-term, employee wellness requires the same priority as the work itself. Employers have a tremendous opportunity—and a responsibility—to help their employees see the value of adopting healthier behaviors and learning important life skills that support wholeness, balance and health across all aspects of their lives.

Prioritizing employee health and well-being

Put simply, boosting employee satisfaction—the primary, measurable metric for a successful employee wellness program—raises every other important metric as well.10

  • Improved quality of job applicants and new hires
  • Improved on-the-job time utilization, decision-making and productivity
  • Reduced employee burnout and stress, and reduced turnover
  • Better communication and improved workplace morale
  • Reduced absenteeism and lost time11
  • Improved disease management and prevention

Executives report that improved employee experience, as a result of employee wellness programs, leads to improved customer experience.12

Employers who want to build a workplace that prioritizes employee wellness will treat it like a growth priority, rolling out self-assessment exercises and measuring improvement against the skills needed to achieve well-being.

An indicator of success is a decrease in observable signs of employee burnout. Fewer missed deadlines, less turnover, higher energy, stronger engagement and good body language are all positive signs.

Business analyst and Forbes contributor Brian Solis goes so far as to call for a “wellness disruption that places employee well-being, at the office and at home, as a strategic initiative at the most senior levels of business.”13

Solis continues, “We now need to (and honestly should have always) frequently ask how our employees are really doing, and what they need from us to do better.”14

Today’s employees are in pursuit of a better experience. Will it be with you or with another employer?

The Go365® well-being and rewards program uses proven techniques to impact health outcomes, increase productivity and lower healthcare costs. We provide simple, friendly tools—backed by science—that your employees can use to live happier, healthier lives.

To find out more about Go365, contact your licensed Humana sales agent or request more information about Go365’s wellness program by filling out this formOpens in new window.

Go365 is not an insurance product and is not available with all Humana health plans. This is a general description of services which are subject to change. Product features may vary by client. Please refer to Customer Support for more information.

In Kansas, Humana agents and sales representatives are prohibited from conducting pre-sale conversations with clients regarding Go365, EAP, or other value-added services.


1Liz Hilton Segel, “The priority for workplaces in the new normal? Wellbeing,” McKinsey & Company, last accessed January 6, 2022, https://www.mckinsey.com/featured-insights/world-economic-forum/davos-agenda/perspectives/the-priority-for-workplaces-in-the-new-normalOpens in new window.

2Brian Solis, “Every Company Must Now Become A Wellness Company,” Forbes, last accessed January 6, 2022, https://www.forbes.com/sites/briansolis/2021/06/17/every-company-must-now-also-become-a-wellness-company/?sh=494f7d8c1d56Opens in new window.

3Connor Garrett, “Workplace Wellness: Is It Worth The Investment For Your Company & Your Employees In 2022?” Snack Nation, last accessed January 6, 2022, https://snacknation.com/blog/workplace-wellness/Opens in new window.

4Karen Smith, “Why Workplace Wellness is Important,” Capital Region Chamber, last accessed January 6, 2022, https://capitalregionchamber.com/business-resources/business-u/business-library/workplace-wellness-important/Opens in new window.

5Smith, “Why Workplace Wellness is Important.”

6Segel, “The priority for workplaces in the new normal? Wellbeing.”

7Garrett, “Workplace Wellness: Is It Worth The Investment For Your Company & Your Employees In 2022?”

8Solis, “Every Company Must Now Become A Wellness Company.”

9Garrett, “Workplace Wellness: Is It Worth The Investment For Your Company & Your Employees In 2022?”

10Garrett, “Workplace Wellness: Is It Worth The Investment For Your Company & Your Employees In 2022?”

11Garrett, “Workplace Wellness: Is It Worth The Investment For Your Company & Your Employees In 2022?”

12Solis, “Every Company Must Now Become A Wellness Company.”

13Solis, “Every Company Must Now Become A Wellness Company.”

14Solis, “Every Company Must Now Become A Wellness Company.”

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