puzzleA first ever study by Healthways, published in online journal Population Health Management, has uncovered scientific evidence supporting the relationship between the wellbeing of employees and performance outcomes. The new data shows that employee wellbeing is a strong indicator of the future health, cost, and performance outcomes for a long list of factors such as short-term disability leave, absenteeism, job performance, and employment intentions. Results clearly showed that employees with poor senses of wellbeing are much more likely to exhibit negative behaviors that can impact business outcomes.

The report showed that workers with low wellbeing are twice as likely to have high health claims cost, four times as likely to suffer performance wise, 47 times as likely to exhibit high presenteeism (coming to work while sick), seven times more likely to be absent, and two times as likely to have little intention to remain with their employer.

“Today’s findings show that people can be classified based on their different levels of well-being and productivity risks, which can help employers create programs to both reduce healthcare cost and improve productivity,” said lead author Dr. Yuyan Shi of the Center for Health Research at Healthways. “The study is relevant to any entity concerned about business outcomes, especially employers, health plans and health systems. Also, it is directly relevant to Human Resources and benefits managers who are focused on improving employees’ health and productivity.

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