- Microsoft topped a list of 100 U.S. companies recognized for their contributions to building healthy families and communities. Cigna, Intel, Humana and Medtronic rounded out the top five of the JUST Capital and Robert Wood Johnson Foundation list.
- JUST Capital, which ranks U.S. corporations on various issues, said research shows healthier communities have better educational outcomes, attract better talent and are more productive and competitive. The organization used 16 components for the healthy communities and families rankings, including whether the employer: provides workers with good benefits, a living wage and a safe work environment; offers equal opportunities regardless of race, gender, religion, age, etc.; and treats customers fairly.
- On average, companies on the list paid 87% of workers a living wage, JUST Capital said. The employers also boasted low worker safety fines and U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission payments.
Despite a clear investment from employers, research on employee well-being continues to produce mixed results. One of the key takeaways from two surveys presented at a recent National Business Group on Health conference was that employees aren't feeling great about their health outcomes even though they appreciate wellness programs and initiatives at work.
Building a culture of health and well-being requires several elements. According to a 2017 survey from the Health Enhancement Research Organization (HERO), some of these elements include dedicated HR and financial resources for well-being initiatives as well as peer support that includes employees sharing stories about adopting healthier lifestyles. HERO also found that employees rate workplace values and culture above pay. Given these survey results, employers that create a culture of health and well-being may have a better chance of attracting quality talent and engaging and retaining workers than employers that don't.
Other surveys have found that workers, especially millennials, value employers that take part in causes to improve society and provide volunteer opportunities for employees that give meaning to their work. According to MetLife's annual 2018 Role of the Company Survey, 70% of employees said they expect employers to address societal problems. Fixing society's ills is a monumental task, but companies that show compassion and empathy for causes like eliminating hunger, saving the environment or contributing to cures for life-threatening diseases earn high ratings from workers.