In case you missed it, here is a recap of the recent Design Well pre-conference and conference in San Diego, California that took place January 21-23, 2019.
Here's a recap of some of the topics and recommended resources at this Friends of WE event:
- Check out ASID's WELL Platinum+LEED Platinum space (with metrics)
- Mindful materials offers a one-stop-shop for data on the health and environmental impact of products from leading manufacturers
- Kay Sargent stressed the need for attention to neuro-diversity in workplace design
There are many more in the full recap.
This Palm Beach hotel has some of the happiest employees and guests in America. That's because they've made wellness a business imperative.
Wellness programs get mixed reviews, but Breakers Palm Beach, an upscale Florida resort, shows they can work. The bragging rights they've earned with their programs includes:
- A 4:1 return on investment based on healthcare savings
- Turnover that's 55% lower than peers
- A 30:1 ratio of applications received to jobs posted
- 92% of employees calling it a great place to work
The difference, according to Leigh Stringer the author of this Slate article, lies in management's deep commitment to the belief that happy employees make for happy customers.
Support for its broad-based health and wellness programs comes from the very top of the organization, the family who owns the resort and its top executives. It takes more than just offering gym privileges, flexible hours, and remote work options, reports Stringer. It takes a culture that gives employees permission to take advantage of the offerings.
GSA's Sustainable Facilities Tool was designed to help federal agencies and the general public build and buy green.
GSA's SFTool (Sustainability Facilities) just got better with the addition of four new tools:
- The Buildings and Health Module highlights the financial benefits and shares best practices in making buildings healthier for their occupants
- A synopsis of how biophilia impacts health outcomes
- A primer on Circadian Light
- An interactive Health and Wellness Guidance Crosswalk which provides an easy-to-use way to compare sustainability and wellness rating systems across a broad range of criteria
The site also offer a wealth of research citations and additional resources all for free (well, sort of, if you don't count your tax dollars.)
Rigorous study measures dramatic improvement in employee performance factors following 2.5 day well-being course
"Programs focused on employee well-being have gained momentum in recent years, but few have been rigorously evaluated. This study evaluates the effectiveness of an intervention designed to enhance vitality and purpose in life by assessing changes in employee quality of life (QoL) and health-related behaviors."
Johnson & Johnson's Human Performance Institute teamed up with Tufts University to study the impact of an intensive 2.5 day well-being intervention that focused on energy management. Six months later, they measured marked improvements in participants' vitality, general health, mental health, social functioning, sense of purpose, and sleep quality.
It's a heavy read with 10 authors, 48 footnotes, and a heap of statistics, but it's an important one. It shows, among other things, that we need to measure what matters. Though wellness interventions have scored poorly in reducing medical expenses, their ability to improve employee performance could be far more impactful.
"The Willis Towers Watson Global Benefits Attitudes Survey (GBAS) survey takes an in-depth look at the role of benefits in defining and differentiating today’s employee value proposition.
The high cost of poor health is just one of the many startling findings in Willis Towers Watson's biennial survey of over 31,000 global employees. In particular, when compared to employees in good health, those in poor health:
- Take twice the number sick days
- Are twice as likely to be disengaged
- Three times more likely to report above-average or high stress
Employees with financial worries fare even worse than those with poor physical health. That's critical because financial well-being has taken a nose-dive in most developed countries.
- In the U.S, short-term financial security dropped 13 percentage points between 2015 and 2017 (from 48% to 38% reporting they feel secure).
- More than half of global employees live from paycheck to paycheck and report they'd be unable to come up with $2k if they suddenly needed it.
In spite of all the attention employers are paying to health and well-being programs, less than a third of U.S., Canada, and EMEA employees feel the initiatives have helped them live healthier lives.
The report suggests employers focus on:
- Financial counseling, tools, and training
- Flexibility and choice among well-being programs
- Increasing employee engagement with programs