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Engagement in Well-Being Programs Can Improve Retention


Employees who actively participate in employer-sponsored health and wellness programs are much more likely to be proud to work for their employer and promote their company as a great place to work.

An Optum study, based on a survey of more than 1,200 full-time employees at companies with at least 3,000 employees, concluded that a work environment that supports healthy decisions and participation in wellness programs can lead to a positive work experience. The survey found that: 

  • Nearly half (48%) of workers who frequently participate in health and wellness programs are extremely likely to recommend their employer as a place to work. This is compared with 29% of those who never participate in such programs and 18% of employees at companies not offering such programs.
  • Employees who had access to seven to eight health and wellness programs were one-and-a-half-times more likely to continue working for their current employer and were three-times more likely to recommend their employer as a place to work compared to workers with no access to such programs. Health and wellness program categories include tools that help workers assess their health, biometric screenings, access to wellness coaching, having onsite medical clinics, disease case management programs and fitness challenges.

“Disengaged employees can be costly both to an employer’s bottom line and to employee morale,” said Seth Serxner, chief health officer of Optum. “While there are many programs and initiatives employers can offer to help improve employees’ morale, our analysis shows that participation in relevant and easily accessible well-being programs may be overlooked by some employers.”

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