Employee well-being is dependent on several factors, it seems, including workplace productivity, job satisfaction and employee retention. These factors are tied to employee physical health and financial well-being, according to a new survey, entitled "Working Well: A Global Survey of Workforce Wellbeing Strategies."

According to the survey, 40 percent of the organizational leaders interviewed said they believe they have created a culture of well-being in 2018 compared to only 33 percent in 2016. Of those who have not achieved such a result, 81 percent said they "aspire to achieve a culture of wellbeing."

Alternatively, almost 75 percent of employers view support for total well-being as an important element in their employee value proposition. In addition, the survey showed a rise in employers’ focus on reducing healthcare or insurance costs to enhance their well-being.

The main factors influencing employee well-being are stress (95 percent), work/life issues (94 percent), depression, anxiety and weight management issues (93 percent), and access to healthcare services (92 percent).

(Source: Working Well: A Global Survey of Workforce Wellbeing Strategies)

Companies also are increasingly relying on technology to drive efficiencies in benefits delivery, including greater personalization and relevance. Per the study, the most effective approaches include predictive analytics (84 percent), incentive tools and tracking (80 percent), portal hubs (69 percent) and decision-support tools (63 percent).

Financial instability and/or inadequate financial protection, and financial distress, were rated as detriments of poor financial well-being by 84 percent and 83 percent respectively.

Of course, financial instability that leads to an inability to retire is a major factor of concern for more than 70 percent of employers. Negative impacts of poor financial well-being for employee can lead to lower productivity (52 percent), absence from work (47 percent), higher healthcare costs (38 percent), and unwanted turnover (30 percent).

The best well-being elements being added to a program for employee financial well-being included money management and budgeting tools, financial health assessments, retirement estimating calculators, and even financial literacy and skills education. The survey scope expanded to include financial well-being in 2016.

"A combination of stressors such as health challenges, relatively stagnant wages, heightened financial pressures, and always-on technology are taking a personal toll on employees. Employers are now focusing their well-being programming accordingly,” Ruth Hunt, a principal in Buck’s engagement practice — issuer of the survey — and the Global Workforce Wellbeing Survey leader. "Wellbeing has become a popular catch-phrase, but the stressors are real and employers can actually see how employees’ wellbeing is impacting the bottom line."

"Our survey results confirm that supporting employee wellbeing holistically is much more than a ‘nice to do’ — it’s a core, competitive business need,” said Hunt. “Our findings demonstrate that a failure to creatively invest in employee wellbeing can result in many adverse consequences for the success and sustainability of a business."