Engagement in Well-being Programs Strongly Linked to Greater Employee Loyalty, According to Optum Study

EDEN PRAIRIE, Minn. – (Jan. 9, 2019) 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 to others as a great place to work, according to Optum research released today.

Based on a survey of more than 1,200 full-time employees at companies with at least 3,000 employees, providing a physical work environment that supports healthy decisions and participation in wellness programs are associated with reporting a positive work experience. Specifically:

  • Nearly half (48 percent) 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 percent of those who never participate in such programs and 18 percent 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 them assess their health, biometric screenings, access to wellness coaching, having onsite medical clinics, disease case management programs and fitness challenges, among others.

“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.”   

The analysis conducted by Optum was based on a metric known as the Employee Net Promoter Score* (eNPS), which helps businesses measure employees’ experience with their companies. The eNPS metric asks, “On a scale of 0-10, how likely are you to recommend this company as a place to work?” Employees were also asked about their access to, and participation in, a variety of well-being programs.

“Ultimately, simply offering multiple programs is not enough,” Serxner added. “Employers need to have the right mix of initiatives to optimize engagement. Based on our research, program participation has three-times the impact on eNPS than just access alone.”

“Engagement in health and wellness programs translates to greater employee loyalty, which can significantly contribute to productivity and a stronger bottom line for employers,” said John Holcomb, Optum president of Population Health Solutions.

Complete results are available in an Optum white paper and can be found online here.

* Net Promoter, Net Promoter System, Net Promoter Score, NPS and the NPS-related emoticons are registered trademarks of Bain & Company, Inc., Fred Reichheld and Satmetrix Systems, Inc.


About Optum

Optum is a leading information and technology-enabled health services business dedicated to helping make the health system work better for everyone. With more than 135,000 people worldwide, Optum delivers intelligent, integrated solutions that help to modernize the health system and improve overall population health. Optum is part of UnitedHealth Group (NYSE:UNH). For more information, visit www.optum.com.