A Data-Based Case for Holistic Employer Wellbeing Offerings


Posted by Peter DeBellis on October 1, 2018.

Deloitte’s 2018 Human Capital Trends report reveals compelling data regarding the importance of wellbeing offerings to employees—many organizations report a stark difference between what their employees want and what their employers actually deliver. The report identifies Well-being: A Strategy and a Responsibility as one of the top ten global human capital trends for 2018, and examines the ways in which companies can integrate their rewards offerings into a holistic wellbeing strategy to increase worker productivity and meet new social expectations.1

In addition to listening to organizational leaders through its Human Capital Trends study, Deloitte has been building a database of employee-level data gleaned from numerous rewards optimization surveys.2 As part of the rewards optimization process, survey respondents are asked to share information about stressors in their lives—both within and outside the workplace. The following chart presents data summarizing the relative importance of various stressors across this broad, multigenerational, and cross-industry data set to date:

The data has compelling implications for employer wellbeing programs—as four of the top six stressors (highlighted in red in the previous chart) can be directly addressed through a holistic approach to worker wellbeing. Specifically, debt and the ability to retire are topics that both fall under the financial wellness component of a holistic wellbeing approach. And the two attributes dealing with fitness and medical illness, which were at one time the sole focus of most employer wellness offerings, can certainly be covered under the physical wellness component of a broader wellbeing program. Furthermore, wellbeing is not a generational issue—the composition of the top six stressors, as well as their exact order of relative importance, is unchanged when viewed through the lens of workers under 35 years old.

In addition to Deloitte’s 2018 Human Capital Trends report and the rewards optimization stressor data cited above, recent research by Bersin confirms that worker wellbeing programs are becoming a competitive imperative. Specifically, in its 2018 High-Impact Total Rewards study of nearly 1,200 organizations globally, Bersin found that high-performing companies are 11 times more likely than their lower-performing counterparts to have a holistic wellbeing strategy that extends beyond traditional physical wellness.3

Workers are looking for wellbeing support from their employers. Rewards optimization data confirms the tremendous impact that wellbeing concerns can have on the lives of employees, and high-performing companies are taking an increasing holistic approach in the wellbeing of their workers. The data is clear: worker wellbeing matters. If you aren’t addressing it holistically in your organization yet, what are you waiting for?

Peter DeBellisPeter DeBellis, Vice President, Total Rewards Research Leader / Bersin, Deloitte Consulting LLP

Pete leads total rewards research for Bersin, Deloitte Consulting LLP. Pete has a deep understanding of the various tools organizations use to attract, motivate, develop, and retain talent—from compensation and benefits to worker wellbeing programs to experience and actualization opportunities, among others. His experience, gained as in-house rewards professional for public companies and as a consultant, helps him understand the critical linkages between total rewards, HR strategy, and overarching business objectives. Pete holds a bachelor of science degree in industrial and labor relations from Cornell University.


1 Wellbeing: A strategy and a responsibility, Deloitte Consulting LLP, 2018, https://hctrendsapp.deloitte.com/reports/2018/well-being.html.
2 Technology-enabled rewards optimization: Human resources analytics for enhanced total rewards programs, Deloitte Consulting LLP, 2018, https://www2.deloitte.com/us/en/pages/human-capital/solutions/human-resources-analytics-total-rewards-optimization.html.
3 Seven Top Findings for Redefining Total Rewards, in the High-Impact Total Rewards series, Bersin, Deloitte Consulting LLP / Pete DeBellis and Anna Steinhage, PhD, 2018.

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