Proof Points: The Business Case Behind Well-Being Programs for the C-Suite

Motivators of the Modern Workforce

The Millennial generation, which will make up three-quarters of the nation’s work force in a decade, is creating new rules of engagement for employers.  In Daniel H. Pink’s Drive, the 2009 book suggests that Millennials want autonomy, the chance to get better at what they do, and a purpose that connects them to something larger. Gone are the days when a competitive salary, an office in the suburbs, casual Fridays, and a chance to work your way up the corporate ladder reduced turnover and attracted the best talent.

Modern Workforce Infographic

To remain competitive today, casual dress codes, telecommuting, and metropolitan headquarters get you on par with your competitors. But to differentiate, companies who can clearly articulate a core purpose and goals will attract Millennials with a rallying cry. But it’s not enough to make the investment to change without a clear understanding of what will provide the pay off.

Proof Point No. 1: Stock Performance

The best employers are better today because their business leaders are focused on workplace culture as a competitive tool. A recent Deloitte study found that since 1998, the 100 Best Companies to Work For have outperformed the S&P 500 index by a ratio of nearly 2 to 1. Fortune’s Best Companies to Work for has ranked Google first six times and their leaders explicitly attribute the company’s financial performance to its benevolent people practices. It’s for real. Just look at stock performance of these same companies.

The 100 Best Companies have outperformed the S&P 500 index by a ratio of nearly 2 to 1, according to a study by the Russell Investment Group. Companies on this list are shining examples of a different way of doing business that puts to rest the old notion that treating employees well might hurt the bottom line. Indeed, most would agree with the Marriott philosophy: “Take care of associates, and they will take care of the customers.”

Proof Point No. 2: Culture Drives Talent Acquisition & Retention

Leaders who genuinely listen to their employees and craft policies in well-being, sustainability and social responsibility programs lays the foundation for rich company culture where every employee is considered important. Millennials are uncomfortable with rigid, top-down corporate structures and turned off by information silos. They expect a rapid progression aligned to a specific and clearly articulated vision and strategy and constant feedback. In other words, millennials want a management style and corporate culture that is markedly different from anything that has gone before–one that meets their needs. These are all characteristics that employers can actively address.

Proof Point No. 3: Well-Being Programs Increase Employee Engagement

When surveying employees on what motivates them at work, Quantum Workplace, a leading workplace survey and employee feedback technology company found that engagement is higher when employers care about their well-being. More than three-fourths of engaged employees said they were satisfied with the well-being program benefits their organization provides. What is critical for success of your engagement programming in well-being is employee awareness and ability to participate in the benefits (they are twice as likely to be disengaged compared to those who understand the benefits offered to them).