First-Ever Data Shows That Well-Being is a Strong Predictor of Employee Performance Outcomes

Study Measures Substantial Differences in Healthcare Cost and Productivity for 11,700 Employees along a Continuum from Low to High Well-Being

NASHVILLE, Tenn.--(BUSINESS WIRE)-- Results from the first study to reveal empirical evidence for the relationship between a worker’s well-being and a broad list of employee outcomes were published online in Population Health Management. New data shows that employee well-being is a strong predictor of future health status and cost and performance outcomes, such as short-term disability days, absenteeism, presenteeism, job performance and intentions to stay with an employer. Previous studies have focused on a relationship between well-being and health claims, but this is the first study to reveal well-being and its link to a myriad of attributes that drive organizational performance. Additionally, this is the first study to classify populations into categories of well-being for the purpose of designing optimal worksite intervention programs.

Results show employees with low well-being have a substantially higher probability of exhibiting behaviors that will negatively impact business outcomes, both in terms of direct health related cost, as well as business performance measures, than do employees with high well-being. People who have low well-being are twice as likely to have high healthcare claims cost, four times more likely to have emergency room visits and short-term disability days, seven times more likely to have low job performance, forty-seven times more likely to have high presenteeism, seven times more likely to have absence and twice as likely to have low intention to stay with the same employer.

“Today’s findings show that people can be classified based on their different levels of well-being and productivity risks, which can help employers create programs to both reduce healthcare cost and improve productivity,” said lead author Dr. Yuyan Shi of the Center for Health Research at Healthways. “The study is relevant to any entity concerned about business outcomes, especially employers, health plans and health systems. Also, it is directly relevant to Human Resources and benefits managers who are focused on improving employees’ health and productivity.”

The cross-sectional study provides important empirical evidence for the relationship between a worker’s well-being and a broad list of employee outcomes. Research illustrating a longitudinal relationship between the change in well-being and improved employee outcomes is forthcoming.

The published research was conducted by grouping employees into five categories of well-being. Such categorization facilitates well-being comparisons across employers over time and helps practitioners design tailored worksite interventions with different levels of intensity.

About Healthways

Healthways (NASDAQ: HWAY) is the largest independent global provider of well-being improvement solutions. Dedicated to creating a healthier world one person at a time, the Company uses the science of behavior change to produce and measure positive change in well-being for our customers, which include employers, integrated health systems, hospitals, physicians, health plans, communities and government entities. We provide highly specific and personalized support for each individual and their team of experts to optimize each participant’s health and productivity and to reduce health-related costs. Results are achieved by addressing longitudinal health risks and care needs of everyone in a given population. The Company has scaled its proprietary technology infrastructure and delivery capabilities developed over 30 years and now serves approximately 40 million people on four continents. Learn more at

Kelly Motley, 615-614-4984
Media Relations

Source: Healthways