61% of employees say well-being programs don't fit their needs
- Most employees (61%) in a Willis Towers Watson (WTW) survey said their employers' well-being initiatives don't meet their needs. The "2017 Global Benefits Attitudes Survey" also found that 81% of employers believe they do, while only 66% of employees agree.
- To increase their support for employee well-being, employers told WTW that during the next three years, they plan to focus on the four components of well-being: physical, social, emotional and financial. Following physical well-being, WTW says emotional well-being is evolving as the number-one priority.
- The study also shows that 84% of employers plan to improve employees’ physical well-being over the next three years, up from the current level of 27%; 66% plan to increase their support for financial well-being, compared to the current level of 16%; and 49% hope to improve social well-being, up from the current level of 12%.
The results point to a recurrent disconnect between what employers think they're offering in benefits and what employees say they need. But instead of employers and workers talking to each other through surveys, employers need to solicit feedback — and workers need to tell employers what they need, even when not prompted to do so.
Another WTW statistic suggests an unsettled debate about how involved employers should be in encouraging workers to make healthier lifestyle changes. Most employers (87%) say they should be involved, but only slightly more than half of workers (54%) agree. There seems to be little doubt, however, about whether similar wellness programs require behavioral change.
A growing number of employers seem to recognize the positive impact of well-being programs, namely on attracting and recruiting talent. A best practice for employers might be to conduct formal internal surveys to find out first-hand what their workers want and need. With that data in hand, employers and workers should be able to agree on what well-being programs should be offered.