NEW YORK -- Despite spending more on employee wellness programs in 2010, only
37 percent of U.S. employers actually measure their program’s effectiveness, a
global survey released today indicates.
“WORKING WELL: A Global Survey of Health Promotion and Workplace Wellness Strategies,”
released by Buck Consultants, A Xerox Companyfound that employers spent 35 percent
more – about $220 – on each employee who participated in a wellness program compared
These results were among the key findings of Buck’s fourth annual global wellness
survey which analyzed responses from more than 1,200 organizations in 47 countries
representing more than 13 million employees.
“Organizations that measure the impact of their wellness programs are more successful
at improving their employees’ health and overall wellness,” said Barry Hall, a
Buck principal who directed the survey. “However, many simply don’t know how to
measure their results, or they don’t have the resources to do so.”
Wellness programs continued to gain momentum this year among U.S.-based organizations
as a key strategy to reduce the cost of providing health care, improve worker
productivity, and reduce absenteeism. Globally, improving productivity is the
most important objective for wellness programs, with improving workforce morale
and engagement rising from the third to the second most important objective.
Among U.S. respondents, 40 percent have measured how wellness programs affect
the cost of providing health care benefits to their employees. Of those, 45 percent
report success in slowing health care cost increases, with a typical reduction
of two to five percentage points per year.
The U.S. results contrast with results in other regions on the health risks that
drive wellness programs. Globally, reducing workplace stress is the top driver
of wellness programs, particularly in Canada, Europe, Asia, Australia, the Middle
East, and Africa. In the United States, the lack of physical activity is the top
driver, and stress ranks much lower (sixth) as a health risk targeted by these
Other key findings of Buck’s wellness study include:
- Globally, 66 percent of respondents have a formal wellness strategy, a significant
increase from 49 percent in 2007.
- Wellness programs are most prevalent in North America, where 74 percent of responding
employers offer them.
- Eleven percent of U.S. respondents spend more than $500 per employee per year
on wellness rewards, with the largest rewards reported at $3,000 per employee.
- The fastest-growing components of wellness programs are technology-driven tools.
In three years, employers around the world expect a six-fold increase in their
use of mobile technology – such as smartphones – to support employee wellness
initiatives. Additional issues covered by Buck’s global survey include program
design, organizational ownership of wellness programs, and communication strategies.
Buck Consultants’ survey was conducted in association with Pfizer, CIGNA, Wolf
Kirsten International Health Consulting, and WorldatWork.
About the Survey Partners
Buck Consultants 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,
human capital management, compensation, and employee communication. News and other
information about Buck Consultants are available at http://www.buckconsultants.com.
Buck is a wholly owned subsidiary of ACS, A Xerox Company.
Xerox Corporation is a $22 billion leading global enterprise for business process
and document management. Through its broad portfolio of technology and services,
Xerox provides the essential back-office support that clears the way for clients
to focus on what they do best: their real business. Headquartered in Norwalk,
Conn., Xerox provides leading-edge document technology, services, software and
genuine Xerox supplies for graphic communication and office printing environments
of any size. Through ACS, A Xerox Company, which Xerox acquired in February 2010,
Xerox also offers extensive business process outsourcing and IT outsourcing services,
including data processing, HR benefits management, finance support, and customer
relationship management services for commercial and government organizations worldwide.
The 133,000 people of Xerox serve clients in more than 160 countries. For more
information, visit http://www.xerox.com, http://news.xerox.com or http://www.acs-inc.com.
For investor information, visit http://www.xerox.com/investor.
Pfizer is committed to being a global leader in health care and to helping change
millions of lives for the better through providing access to safe, effective and
affordable medicines and related health care services to the people who need them.
CIGNA is a global health service and financial company dedicated to helping people
improve their health, well-being and sense of security. CIGNA Corporation's operating
subsidiaries in the United States provide an integrated suite of health services,
such as medical, dental, behavioral health, pharmacy and vision care benefits,
as well as group life, accident and disability insurance. CIGNA offers products
and services in over 27 countries and jurisdictions and has approximately 60 million
customer relationships throughout the world.
Wolf Kirsten International Health Consulting is a Berlin-based global consultancy
that helps organizations with the development, implementation and evaluation of
workplace health promotion programs, specializing in global strategies and culturally-adapted
programming for multi-national companies.
WorldatWork is a not-for-profit organization providing education, conferences
and research focused on global human resources issues including compensation,
benefits, work-life and integrated total rewards to attract, motivate and retain
a talented workforce. Founded in 1955, WorldatWork has nearly 30,000 members in
more than 100 countries. WorldatWork has offices in Scottsdale, Arizona, and Washington,
Note: The full survey report is available at no cost to the media by contacting
Ed Gadowski at 201-902-2825. Available to the public: a complimentary executive
summary offered in eight languages (Chinese, English, French, German, Japanese,
Korean, Portuguese, and Spanish) as well as the full survey report for $325. Six
special country reports are also available for $175 each including: Brazil (available
in English and Portuguese), Canada, Singapore, South Africa, South Korea (available
in English and Korean), and United Kingdom. Contact Buck’s Global Survey Resources,
50 Fremont Street, 12th Floor, San Francisco, CA 94105. Telephone 1-800-887-0509.
Reports can be purchased online at http://www.bucksurveys.com.