87 percent of global employers believe it’s their role to manage worker
NEW YORK -- (Business Wire)
Wellness programs are no longer a “soft” issue for organizations around
the globe as employers increasingly recognize the value of employees’
health and overall well-being to their organizations’ bottom line.
According to the latest report from Buck
Consultants, A Xerox
Company (NYSE: XRX), employers cite their commitment to promoting health
and wellness as a business strategy and show continued desire to expand
health promotion initiatives.
Well: A Global Survey of Health Promotion and Workplace Wellness
Strategies” found that employers, regardless of location, identified
improving worker productivity and reducing presenteeism as one of their
top wellness program objectives.
“With productivity having a direct tie to bottom-line revenue,
organizations now consider health promotion as a core business value
that positively impacts their ability to compete,” said Dave Ratcliffe,
principal, Buck Consultants. “With signs of job market improvement
emerging in the U.S., employers will be challenged to maintain
productivity gains earned during the recession as employees have
increased job mobility.”
As health promotion takes its place as a top consideration among drivers
of profitability and performance, an increasing number of organizations
recognize their role in managing employee health – 87 percent in 2012
vs. 75 percent in 2010.
Overall, still only 36 percent of respondents currently measure specific
outcomes of their health promotion programs, citing lack of resources
(68 percent) and not knowing how to measure (34 percent) as the top
reasons for not measuring. The likelihood of measurement increases with
employer size, although even among the largest employers (20,000+
employees), only 47 percent report having measured specific outcomes.
Buck’s fifth annual global wellness survey analyzed responses from more
than 1,300 organizations in 45 countries representing more than 17
Another key finding to emerge in this year’s survey is employers’
reaction to the recent economic downturn between employers who measure
program results and those who do not. Thirty percent of employers who
measured health promotion program outcomes indicated that they increased
their emphasis on wellness programs during tough economic outlook vs. 21
percent of employers who do not measure outcomes.
“Employers who measure program outcomes do so with a greater focus on
driving business results,” said Ratcliffe. “A healthier workforce is a
more productive workforce, which produces greater revenue that is
sustainable over the long term. So these employers understand the value
of continuing their wellness initiatives even during hard economic
Further emphasizing the impact on the bottom line, the survey found that
23 percent of U.S. employers indicated their wellness program helped
reduce the cost of providing health care benefits to their employees. Of
62 percent reported health care cost trend rate reductions of 2
percentage points or more.
13 percent reported trend rate reductions of 6 percentage points or
Other key findings of Buck’s global wellness study include:
- Increase in globalization – Among participating multinational
organizations, 49 percent have a global health promotion strategy, up
from 34 percent in 2008.
- Program focus: move more, relax and eat better –Though
different by specific geographic region, the majority of employers
cite physical activity, stress, and workplace safety as the top three
issues driving wellness program design.
- Incentives impact on program participation depends on type of
activity – The survey shows that incentives have a direct
correlation to program participation levels, but initiatives that
require long-term lifestyle changes (such as physical exercise and
nutrition) are not as greatly influenced by incentives as are more
immediate programs (such as health assessment and biometric
- Wellness initiatives continue to add value over time - While
significant results from a wellness program can take years to realize,
the survey shows how the impact of wellness programs differs by
short-term and long-term payoff.
Additional issues covered by Buck’s global survey include program
design, incentives, organizational ownership of wellness programs and
An archived webinar on the survey results and implications is available
The global survey results will be further examined at the first Global
Healthy Workplace Awards & Summit in London on April 10-12. The
summit will bring together leaders in global health and well-being from
diverse fields, and finalists for the prestigious Global Healthy
Workplace Award will present their solutions.
Buck Consultants’ survey was conducted in association with Integrated
Health, a Pfizer Solution, Cigna®, vielife and
Wolf Kirsten International Health Consulting.
About the Research Partners
Buck Consultants, A Xerox Company, is a leader in human resource and
benefits consulting with more than 1,500 professionals worldwide.
Founded in 1916 to advise clients in establishing and funding some of
the nation’s first public and private retirement programs, Buck is an
innovator in the areas of retirement benefits, health and welfare
programs, talent and human resources solutions, compensation, and
employee communication. News and other information about Buck
Consultants are available at http://www.buckconsultants.com.
With sales approaching $23 billion, Xerox
(NYSE: XRX) is the world’s leading enterprise for business
process and document
management. Its technology, expertise and services
enable workplaces – from small businesses to large global enterprises –
to simplify the way work gets done so they operate more effectively and
focus more on what matters most: their real
business. Headquartered in Norwalk, Conn., Xerox offers business
process outsourcing and IT
outsourcing services, including data processing, healthcare
benefits management, finance
solutions, and customer
relationship management services for commercial and government
organizations worldwide. The company also provides extensive
technology, services, software
Xerox supplies for graphic
communication and office
printing environments of any size. The 140,000 people of Xerox serve
clients in more than 160 countries. For more information, visit http://www.xerox.com,
For investor information, visit http://www.xerox.com/investor.
Health, a Pfizer Solution, lives where insights and outcomes
meet. Built on Pfizer's heritage of data-driven health innovations, we
are creating value-based services and technology solutions that aim to
improve health outcomes and reduce wasted costs.
is a global health service company dedicated to helping people improve
their health, well-being, and sense of security. The operating
subsidiaries of Cigna Corporation provide an integrated suite of health
services, such as medical, dental, behavioral health, pharmacy, vision,
and supplemental benefits to people around the world. These services
include health coaching and wellness programs.
provides global health and wellbeing solutions that are available in
over 26 languages. An online suite of products empowers organizations to
track and improve the health and productivity of their employees,
through assessments, personalized reports, lifestyle management
programs, employee engagement and challenges.
Kirsten International Health Consulting helps international
corporations, organizations, and governments improve the quality of life
of their respective populations through innovative, culturally
appropriate, and cost-effective health promotion programs.
Note: The full report is available to the media at no cost by
contacting Ed Gadowski at Edward.Gadowski@buckconsultants.com
or +1-910-253-9816. Available to the public: a complimentary executive
summary as well as the full survey report for $395. Contact Buck
Consultants Surveys by calling 1-800-887-0509 or purchase the report
online at http://www.bucksurveys.com.
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