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Half of employees rate companywide well-being support as average or poor

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More than half of U.S. employees rate their company’s well-being support as average or poor, including 51% for mental well-being, 56% for financial well-being and 50% for physical well-being, according to a Jan. 23 report from Reward Gateway, an employee engagement and HR technology platform.

In turn, 23% of workers are actively seeking new employment because of low well-being, with 41% feeling overworked and underpaid, 33% feeling burnt out, 24% not feeling supported by their manager and 23% believing their employer doesn’t care about their well-being.

“Employee well-being is critical for companies looking to achieve success in 2024, helping to increase engagement, retention and performance,” Anthony Knierim, managing director for the Americas region of Reward Gateway, said in a statement.

“Considering that work occupies a significant portion of individuals’ schedules and is intricately linked to their sense of identity and achievement, employers hold a distinctive opportunity,” he said. “They can not only enhance employee retention and productivity but also wield substantial influence over the personal happiness and engagement of their workforce.

In a survey of more than 1,000 U.S. employees in companies with more than 100 employees, 2 in 5 people said they don’t remember being recognized by a manager or senior leader in the last 12 months. In addition, 60% said they’d like to be recognized more.

In terms of financial well-being, 65% of employees said stress due to cost-of-living issues negatively affected their work in 2023, which has decreased to 42% in 2024. Other than pay raises, employees want to feel supported by their employers through financial well-being initiatives (43%) and an employee discounts program (42%).

To aid work-life balance and burnout, employees seem amenable to using artificial intelligence tools, according to the report. Workers expressed the most interest in AI’s benefits for improved efficiency, productivity and automation of repetitive tasks.

Overall, fewer than a third of workers say they’re thriving at work, according to an Indeed report. These happy employees are nearly twice as likely to prioritize work effectively, solve problems creatively and put more time and energy into their tasks.

In several recent surveys, employees expressed a desire for wellness benefits, which could help with retention. About 80% said they’d feel more supported if their employer sponsored wellness programs, according to research agency Opinium. These benefits drew the most interest from families and Gen Z, millennial, LGBTQ+, Hispanic and neurodivergent workers.

Focusing on well-being at the organizational level can also help break the burnout cycle, according to a McLean & Co. report. Individual employees will continue the loop of somewhat recovering and then re-experiencing burnout unless addressed at a higher level related to organizational norms, leadership, policies and processes, McLean researchers said.

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