Article: Are organizations doing enough to build healthy workplaces?

Corporate Wellness Programs

Are organizations doing enough to build healthy workplaces?

As per a recent report The Definitive Guide for Wellbeing: The Healthy Organization by The Josh Bersin Company, healthy organizations are 2.2 times more likely to exceed financial targets and 3.2 times more likely to retain employees.
Are organizations doing enough to build healthy workplaces?

Healthy organizations are good for business, good for people, and good for society. So what specific elements of healthy organizations should you consider for your company? Why should healthy organizations be a business priority? 

As per a recent report The Definitive Guide for Wellbeing: The Healthy Organization by The Josh Bersin Company, companies that take such a holistic approach see significant business benefits.  According to the research, healthy organizations are 2.2 times more likely to exceed financial targets, 2.8 times more likely to adapt well to change, and 3.2 times more likely to retain employees, as well as seeing dramatic drops in absenteeism and health insurance claims. 

CEO Josh Bersin stated, “Our research clearly shows that merely investing more dollars into wellbeing-related benefits isn’t enough. In order to attract and retain talent and sustain financial success, the time is now for companies to embrace a corporate-wide focus on organizational health at all levels.” 

The research also emphasizes the importance of transitioning from the traditional focus on employee benefits to one that encompasses job and work design, management, rewards practices, a demonstrated commitment to psychological safety and fairness, and a culture of employee listening. The research shows that a people-centric approach to all work is the foundation of every healthy organization. 

Business Impact of Healthy Organizations 

The study, based on survey responses and interviews, examines 91 practices and programs in five different categories:  physical health, mental wellbeing, financial fitness, social and community connections, safe workplaces, and healthy business practices.  

joshbersinAs per the report, healthy organizations are 5.4 times more likely to have low annual healthcare claim costs, 10.8 times lower rates of absenteeism and 5.4 times more likely to be able to recruit new talent.

Are organizations doing enough to build healthy workplace?

Now that the business impact of building healthy organizations is clear, are organizations doing enough to in this direction? The report shows that while nearly eight in ten companies continue to prioritize workplace safety, most organizations aren’t consistently listening to employees, making wellbeing local, or keeping workloads manageable. While 75% of the companies surveyed are thinking purposefully about the experience in which health, benefits, and wellbeing offerings are delivered to employees, yet most companies do not yet employ the supporting tactics required to truly make wellbeing a part of their organization. A strategic focus seems to be missing. 

Based on the findings, the report puts forth the Healthy Organization Maturity Model to identify a company’s level of organizational health. Organizations fall into one of four levels, depending on the effects of their wellbeing practices, with companies that operate at Level 1 seeing the least positive impact and Level 4, the most impact. 


Only 15% of companies are at the highest level of maturity where the biggest gains are seen. Strikingly, 57% are at the lowest two levels; these companies focus primarily on basic employee safety and more traditional wellbeing benefits. 

The Healthy Organization Framework 

The report advocates seven specific elements in its Healthy Organization Framework to build healthy organizations. These are-

Physical Health: personal fitness and readiness to work

Mental Wellbeing: a sense of positive outlook and support for psychological health

Financial Fitness: financial security and equitable opportunities for growth

Social Health and Community Service: a sense of purpose and opportunities to give back

Safe Workplace: a safe place to work coupled with safe and protected work practices

Healthy Culture: human-centered leadership and healthy ways of working

Technology and HR Capabilities: easy-to-use wellbeing tools and services


Ways to build a healthy organization

So what are those specific factors focusing on whom can help to build healthy organizations? 

• It pays off when the business works with HR to build a healthy organization.

• Leadership really matters in a healthy organization, but most companies aren’t walking the walk.

• Healthy organizations are committed to healthy practices that go beyond company walls.

• Simple, transparent wellbeing technology fosters innovation.

Ultimately, healthy organizations are winning the war for talent. And while the corporate wellbeing technology market set to reach $70 billion in 2021, and there’s almost no limit to the variety of tools, offerings, and services employers can present to employees and candidates; however two things matter most when it comes to making wellbeing technology stick to have an impact: simplicity and transparency.

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Topics: Corporate Wellness Programs, #WellbeingByDesign

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