The high cost of poor health: The latest from Willis Towers Watson

The high cost of poor health: The latest from Willis Towers Watson

“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



Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.