September 2019

Life Connected: Addressing the dimensions of well-being in the workplace

Workplace wellness is evolving. In recent years, the concept has outgrown even the designation of “wellness” – a term that typically refers to employees’ physical health, and has found a broader identity as employee “well-being.” The term "well-being" encompasses not only physical wellness but now extends to environmental, emotional, financial and social aspects of health.

How are organizations addressing this change? Cigna recently partnered with and conducted a comprehensive study to provide insight about the future of employee well-being. When asked how their organizations promote well-being, the following responses were reported:

  • 77% promote physical well-being with biometric screenings, exercise programs, facilities and lifestyle coaching.
  • 67% promote workplace environment well-being with ergonomics, arranging work space, tools and addressing occupational fatigue.
  • 63% promote emotional well-being with employee assistance services, support for anxiety and depression and flexible work arrangements.
  • 62% promote financial well-being with resources and services for financial planning.
  • 52% promote social well-being as a newer concern with team building exercises and a focus on employee engagement and retention.

The trends are clear. For employers looking to promote employee well-being, weight loss challenges are no longer enough. Organizations should strive to approach well-being from a holistic perspective. This means focusing on multiple dimensions of well-being and assessing the needs of their unique employee population. That way employers can make informed decisions about incentive-driven wellness programs that encourage employees to participate and take control of their own well-being.

Statistics noted are from the Cigna “The Future of Employee Well-Being Programs” 2018-2019 survey.