In a first of its kind longitudinal study, scientists have taken a comprehensive look at the well-being of employees at a Fortune 100 company and found that their overall well-being predicts future retention, productivity and healthcare costs, and that improvements to employee well-being are linked to improvements in these outcomes. Findings from the two-year study, which focused on 11,700 individuals, were published online today in the peer-reviewed journal, Population Health Management. They will also be presented today at the Jefferson School of Population Health’s 13 th Population Health and Care Coordination Colloquium in Philadelphia.
This study demonstrates that a scientifically validated measure of a workforce’s well-being is a strong indicator of future retention, productivity and health outcomes and can serve as a meaningful business performance metric. The findings also reveal there is a significant connection between improvements in a workforce’s well-being over time and in better employee health and performance outcomes, which should accrue to a company’s bottom line.
Key insights from the study:
- Higher well-being during the baseline year was associated with lower healthcare costs, better productivity and higher likelihood of retention (staying with the employer) one year later.
- Well-being improved significantly in this sample over one year, with healthy behaviors of employees increasing the most dramatically.
- Those employees whose well-being increased tended to experience a decline in healthcare costs, improvement in productivity and an increased likelihood of staying with their employer over the course of one year.
“This study underscores that when employees’ well-being increases, outcomes also improve for individuals and organizations,” said Lindsay Sears, PhD, lead author of the study and executive director and principle investigator, the Center for Health Research at Healthways. “When well-being decreases, outcomes also tend to get worse. We are seeing that positive changes to the well-being of employees lead to improvements in their quality of life as well as bottom line outcomes for their employers.”