Gallup Study: Holistic Approach to Well-being is Critical to Business Success

Over 50% of U.S. organizations now offer wellness programs, demonstrating a laudable interest in the well-being of their employees. Too often, however, these programs focus on physical health to the exclusion of other factors that also contribute to employees’ overall well-being. In so doing, these programs leave a significant gap between their full potential value and the value that they deliver in practice.

2014 Gallup study confirms the competitive advantage that organizations can acquire by taking a more holistic approach to promoting employee wellness. The research finds that when organizations promote only their employees’ physical health, they reap just a fraction of the benefits that they would by promoting a state of well-being that also includes employees’

• Sense of purpose
• Sense of social well-being
• Financial security
• Pride in their community

The advantages of a multi-faceted approach to promoting employee wellness can be not only verified, but also measured. For example, when compared to employees who are thriving in a holistic fashion, those who are only thriving physically:

• Take 68% more sick leave
• Are three times more likely to file workers’ compensation claims
• Are five times more likely to look for work with another organization, and twice as likely to actually change employers

With productivity and retention jeopardized by risks such as these, organizations are well-served to adopt holistic approaches to assessing and addressing the well-being of their workforce. As a first step, HR professionals can consult CCA’s recent paper, What’s Health Got to Do with It?