Wellness Extends to Finances, Too

In yesterday’s Advisor, we took a look at survey results that suggest employers should take more steps to personalize their wellness programs. Today we reveal more results, including how wellness also extends into the realm of personal finance.

  • Younger and lower income employees say employers should help them to become more financially secure. More than half (63%) of the households making less than $50,000 wanted employers to play a role in their financial wellness, while that figure dropped to less than half (44%) for those making $200,000 or more.
    • Looking at age, 60% of participants between the ages of 18 and 34 thought employers should be involved in financial health, whereas less than half of those aged 45 and older agreed.
    • Gender impacted these perceptions as well—58% of females felt employers should play a role in employees’ financial health versus 48% of males
  • There is a role for employers in improving health and well-being, but participation still lags. When asked about the role employers should play in employee health, getting cost-effective care and providing emotional/personal support resources ranked highest among respondents (77% and 74% agreed or strongly agreed, respectively).
    • The majority of employees also see a role for their employer in helping them to stop unhealthy behaviors or managing financial issues (53% agreed or strongly agreed).
    • Yet participation in employer-sponsored programs remains low. For example, emotional health and financial security programs had the lowest levels of participation—24% and 37%, respectively.
    • Even physical health programs have room for improvement—only 48% of employees had participated in a program to help them improve their physical health.


“It is clear that employees can benefit from employer-sponsored programs aimed at improving physical, financial, and emotional health, along with decision support resources to maximize their health care experience,” said Brian Marcotte, CEO and president of the National Business Group on Health® (NBGH). “The ‘one size fits all’ approach to communications, however, has proven ineffective in engaging employees and engagement is now the number one challenge facing employers. Personalization is the key and there are emerging engagement platforms and point solutions that show great promise in driving and sustaining engagement by leveraging data, predictive analytics, and technology to reach people with personalized, timely, relevant, and actionable information.”


This survey was conducted online within the United States by the NBGH in partnership with Welltok from April 29, 2016, to May 11, 2016. A total of 1,003 online interviews were conducted based on the following criteria: companies employed more than 1,000 people at all locations, respondents received health insurance provided by their current employer, and were working full-time (more than 30 hours per week). This online survey is not based on a probability sample, and therefore, no estimate of theoretical sampling error can be calculated.