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March 19, 2014
Survey finds link between employee health and company culture

Employees who see their organizations as having a strong culture of health are happier, less stressed, and more likely to take control of their well-being than other employees. That’s the conclusion of a new survey by Aon Hewitt, the National Business Group on Health, and the Futures Company. Find out why this could be important for your bottom line.

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The survey findings are based on responses of more than 2,700 employees and dependents covered by large, employer-sponsored health plans. Here’s what they found:

  • Employees who work in strong cultures of health were more likely to say they have control over their health than employees at companies where health is less of a priority.
  • Employees at companies with strong cultures of health were less likely to report that stress has a negative impact on their work.
  • 66% of employees in strong health cultures said they were “happy” or “extremely happy” with their lives compared to just 32 percent of those who worked in weak health cultures.

So what is a culture of health, anyway?

Many factors contribute to a strong culture of health. According to the survey results, four of these appear most influential. The sponsors of the survey say these should be strongly considered by employers looking to improve their health culture.

  • Make health improvement a priority. Employers should demonstrate support of workplace initiatives that improve employee health, not only those that might save money.
  • Actively encourage healthy activities during the workday. For example, allow workers to attend wellness programs during work hours, incorporate walking and standing meetings, or provide access to healthy foods.
  • Lead by example. Identify senior executives who are willing to be open about their own health struggles or achievements and who would agree to share their stories.
  • Recognize progress and results. Organizations should celebrate employees who have made significant health strides. Consider creating competitions with meaningful rewards to generate excitement and participation.

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