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Employee Health Trumps ROI According to New Workplace Wellness Study

86% of executives say improving employee health is their top reason for implementing workplace wellness programs

Wednesday, September 17, 2014 1:30 pm EDT



Public Company Information:

"Our results show that under the right circumstances, employees are in fact willing to share their personal health data, which is a critical insight for employers looking to optimize their wellness program"

LOUISVILLE, Ky.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Employers are looking beyond ROI when they implement workplace wellness programs according to a study released today by Humana Inc. (NYSE:HUM) and the Economist Intelligence Unit.

The study, entitled “Measuring wellness: From data to insights,” explored why companies implement workplace wellness, how data influences these programs and identifies obstacles that inhibit program participation. Conducted by the Economist Intelligence Unit and sponsored by Humana, the study surveyed 225 U.S.-based executives and 630 full-time employees from organizations with workplace wellness programs. Study details are available at http://whenwellnessworks.humana.com/.

“It’s interesting to validate that employers now view ROI as an important, but not exclusive or even primary measure of a wellness program’s success,” said Beth Bierbower, President of Humana’s Employer Group Segment. “Employers are now seeing that employee health is important beyond health care costs, it has profound impacts on productivity, retention, workplace engagement and morale.”

Yet, despite employers’ positive sentiments about workplace wellness programs, many companies struggle with how to successfully execute them and measure their value. The study found that two-thirds of executives feel data collection and interpretation is the biggest challenge confronting effective workplace wellness. Executives feel this challenge is further hampered by reluctance from employees to share personal information or authorize data collection from third parties.

“Our results show that under the right circumstances, employees are in fact willing to share their personal health data, which is a critical insight for employers looking to optimize their wellness program,” noted Bierbower. “With the right tools and framework, wellness programs can provide a valuable opportunity for both employers and employees to measure wellness and track health progress.”

Other key findings from the study include:

  • Nearly 70 percent of executives consider their organization’s wellness program to be cost effective, even though not all of the outcomes are measurable.
  • While 86 percent of executives say improving employee health as an indirect driver of productivity, morale and engagement is their top reason for implementing a wellness program, cost factors are still important, including reducing employee health care costs (66 percent) and controlling medical claims (48 percent).
  • About 30 percent of employees rate subsidized gym memberships, onsite health and wellness facilities, and budgeted wellness activity time during business hours, as the three most important services that would motivate participation.
  • 64 percent of employees have used fitness devices to monitor health and capture data, but only 19 percent use them regularly.

About Humana

Humana Inc., headquartered in Louisville, Ky., is a leading health and well-being company focused on making it easy for people to achieve their best health with clinical excellence through coordinated care. The company’s strategy integrates care delivery, the member experience, and clinical and consumer insights to encourage engagement, behavior change, proactive clinical outreach and wellness for the millions of people we serve across the country.

More information regarding Humana is available to investors via the Investor Relations page of the company’s web site at www.humana.com, including copies of:

  • Annual reports to stockholders;
  • Securities and Exchange Commission filings;
  • Most recent investor conference presentations;
  • Quarterly earnings news releases;
  • Replays of most recent earnings release conference calls;
  • Calendar of events (including upcoming earnings conference call dates and times, as well as planned interaction with research analysts and institutional investors);
  • Corporate Governance information.

About The Economist Intelligence Unit

The Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU) is the world’s leading resource for economic and business research, forecasting and analysis. It provides accurate and impartial intelligence for companies, government agencies, financial institutions and academic organizations around the globe, inspiring business leaders to act with confidence since 1946. EIU products include its flagship Country Reports service, providing political and economic analysis for 195 countries, and a portfolio of subscription-based data and forecasting services. The company also undertakes bespoke research and analysis projects on individual markets and business sectors. More information is available at www.eiu.com or follow us on www.twitter.com/theeiu.

The EIU is headquartered in London, UK, with offices in more than 40 cities and a network of some 650 country experts and analysts worldwide. It operates independently as the business-to-business arm of The Economist Group, the leading source of analysis on international business and world affairs.

Multimedia Files:

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Humana Wellness Report Snapshot
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Humana Corporate Communications
Jeff Blunt, 513-826-7094
The Economist Group
Mathew Hanratty, 011 +44 (0)20 7576 8546