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Employees say they expect employers to invest in their well-being

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In an ongoing tight labor market, employees now expect their employers to invest in their well-being, and most CHROs voice support of making those investments, according to The Conference Board’s Next Frontier of Well-Being report — but the C-suite may need convincing.

Employee-reported levels of well-being have stagnated, meaning HR leaders may need to adopt a different approach to advancing well-being altogether, the report noted. Based on surveys by The Conference Board, most U.S. and European employees reported similar or lower well-being levels than six months ago. Workers also noted stagnant or declining levels of engagement, mental health and other aspects of well-being.

To approach this problem, CHROs can link well-being initiatives to C-suite priorities such as leadership development, culture reinforcement and talent acquisition and retention, the report said.

“CHROs can overcome these obstacles by partnering with the C-suite to define the business case for well-being and embed it within business strategy and culture,” the report authors wrote.

Overall, the report found that the large majority of both U.S. and European employees believe their employers are at least partially responsible for their well-being. In turn, a large majority of CHROs said they intend to maintain or increase their spending on well-being in 2024. 

Workers have expressed increased interest in wellness benefits, especially millennials and Generation Z employees, according to an Opinium survey. The top benefits included sponsored gym memberships, a monthly wellness stipend, mindfulness sessions and a yoga membership.

Despite increased demand for workplace well-being, more than half of employees rate their company’s well-being support as average or poor, according to a Reward Gateway report. About a quarter of workers said they believe their employer doesn’t care about their well-being, and a quarter said they’re actively looking for a new job due to low well-being.

Less than a third of people are thriving at work, according to an Indeed survey, which found that worker well-being is driven by feelings of energy, belonging and trust. Workers who reported high well-being were twice as likely to prioritize work effectively, use creative problem solving and invest time and energy in tasks.

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