Employee Well-Being Stagnates…But Companies Aren’t Giving Up
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Well-Being at Work

Workforce & Societal Well-Being

Employee Well-Being Stagnates…But Companies Aren’t Giving Up

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Updated : 2024-04-10

The pandemic prompted an unprecedented focus on employee well-being. Four years after the onset of the global health crisis, a new report finds that employee well-being is not improving—but rather, stagnating.

It turns out that 62% of US workers say their well-being is the same or worse than six months ago. That is despite the considerable resources that companies have dedicated to improving the health of their workforce.

But HR leaders aren’t giving up: 95% of Chief Human Resource Officers (CHROs) intend to maintain or increase their spending on well-being in 2024. CHROs are committed to making such investments, recognizing their linkage to retention in a tight labor market.

“The commitment to well-being must extend beyond the walls of HR,” said Rita Meyerson, EdD, Principal Researcher, Human Capital, The Conference Board. “Embedding it into the business strategy and culture is all the more important at a time when employee well-being is languishing.”
Employee well-being is defined as a measure of employee health across mental, physical, professional, financial, and social dimensions.

Additional key findings and recommendations include:

Workers believe their employer has some responsibility for their well-being.

  • 84% of US employees see their employer as at least partially responsible for well-being.
  • 82% of US employees report that their organization is committed to their well-being.

HR leadership is committed to investing in employee well-being.

  • 95% of US CHROs intend to maintain or increase their spending on well-being in 2024.
  • 61% of US CHROs are considering or implementing new well-being programs.

“Among a host of competing priorities, the onus will be on CHROs to demonstrate to their C-Suite colleagues how investments made in employee well-being are not just good for employees, but good for business,” said Diana Scott, US Human Capital Center Leader, The Conference Board.

“Employers that fail to demonstrate a commitment to employee well-being will be at a competitive disadvantage in the talent marketplace. By working together, CHROs and the C-Suite can embed it into the culture and strategy, intertwining well-being with the brand and identity of the company.”

Amid limited resources and competing company priorities, CHROs must convince the C-Suite to focus on well-being.

  • There is a strong positive relationship between employees’ well-being and their productivity and retention.
  • CHROs can make the business case for well-being by strategically linking it to developing leadership and workforce capabilities, strengthening culture, and attracting and retaining workers—top priorities among C-Suite leaders.

CHROs should embed well-being into strategy and culture, rather than focusing primarily on programs.

  • Extend leadership and accountability for well-being beyond HR to the whole organization. Recruit executive sponsors from across the business to collectively define well-being goals aligned with business strategy, execute the plan, and measure results.
  • Embed well-being into enterprise-wide communications and branding.
  • Modify performance management systems to create incentives for managers to invest time and attention to their team members’ well-being. Promote individuals who excel at people management, reinforcing and signaling the value of people to the business.
  • Reshape leadership development programs to teach leaders to model behaviors supporting well-being. Arm leaders with new behaviors that support well-being such as active listening skills, leading with empathy, and recognizing changes in employees that could signal distress or burnout.
  • Encourage and recognize employees who treat others with respect and care. Leaders can create a virtuous cycle that accelerates movement toward a culture of well-being by reinforcing desired behaviors.
  • Publicly share information about employee well-being. Demonstrate organizational commitment to well-being by illustrating alignment with the business, reporting on progress, and sharing effective best practices for others to employ.

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For further information contact:

Joseph DiBlasi


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