Enhanced Employee Well-being: A New Frontier in HR Analytics

published on 18 January 2024

A recent Fast Company article titled "There's a better way to measure employee well-being" underscores the growing need for effective strategies in addressing employee well-being in the workplace. The article highlights a study by Oxford University's Wellbeing Research Centre, which analyzed millions of employee reviews. It found that a focus on employee well-being could transform companies, as those with higher well-being scores generate significantly better profits, command higher valuations, and outperform the stock market. The study suggests measuring well-being based on overall happiness, satisfaction at work, purpose, and stress levels.

The author discusses the widespread issue of employee burnout, with 77% of employees feeling burned out and up to 50% of turnover attributed to it. This problem has been exacerbated by rapidly changing workplace norms in recent years, negatively impacting both employers and employees. While organizations recognize the importance of supporting employee well-being and mental health, and investments in these areas have shown returns, it's challenging and costly to effectively measure and improve well-being. The article questions whether organizations truly understand how to measure well-being, especially during times of disruption, and emphasizes the need to use comprehensive information in decision-making, just as they do in other business areas.

The article highlights that while many organizations use surveys to monitor well-being, these are limited in frequency and don't reveal short-term trends. It suggests leveraging billions of available data points from company systems, termed "passive data," for continuous well-being assessment. This data includes various aspects such as travel, working hours, performance metrics, and employee demographics. Combining passive data with active surveys can provide timely, actionable insights into workforce well-being, allowing for early detection of trends and segmented insights. This approach enables businesses to respond to emerging problems effectively and tailor solutions to specific employee groups.

Employee well-being is not just an aspect of corporate benevolence but a strategic element crucial for business success. The modern workplace demands a more nuanced understanding of employee needs across various dimensions – mental, emotional, physical, and financial.

Financial Wellness: A Core Component

Financial stress, as highlighted by EY, is a significant workplace concern. It's the leading source of stress for Americans, overshadowing even health and family issues. This stress affects employees at all income levels, diminishing their performance and costing employers half a trillion dollars annually in the United States. Addressing financial wellness in employee programs is not only beneficial for the employees but also improves the organization's bottom line.

Mental and Emotional Well-being

Deloitte's study on the ROI of supporting mental health in the workplace shows that investments in mental health programs can mitigate costs associated with neglecting this aspect of employee wellness. Organizations that prioritize mental and emotional well-being can see a decrease in turnover and an increase in overall productivity.

Physical Well-being and Workplace Environment

Physical well-being and the workplace environment play a critical role in overall employee health. Employees in good physical health are more likely to perform at higher levels and exhibit greater engagement. Companies can leverage data analytics to tailor workplace environments and wellness programs to promote physical health.

The Cost of Neglecting Employee Well-being

Neglecting employee well-being can have substantial costs. According to AllBusiness.com, employee turnover can cost up to 33% of an employee’s annual salary, not including the cost of a poor reputation. Poor employee health, including mental health, cost employers $530 billion each year in the United States. This situation is exacerbated by the pandemic, with 76% of workers reporting high stress levels, impacting their focus and productivity.


As we navigate the complexities of the modern workplace, it is evident that the well-being of employees is not just a peripheral concern but a core element of organizational strategy. The integration of data analytics into well-being initiatives represents a transformative approach, empowering organizations to make informed decisions that resonate deeply with their workforce. By prioritizing and actively promoting employee well-being, companies not only foster a healthier, more engaged workforce but also position themselves for sustained success and resilience in an ever-changing business landscape. The questions now facing leaders are not just about the efficacy of these strategies, but about their willingness to embrace a holistic approach to employee well-being that acknowledges its critical role in driving business success and shaping a positive organizational culture.

Questions for Leaders:

1. Considering the diverse well-being needs of your workforce, how can your organization use data analytics to identify and address potential gaps in your current well-being strategies?

2. What measures can your organization take to foster a culture where employee well-being is not just supported but actively promoted as a key driver of business success?

3. Does your organization truly understand its employees' needs and the potential costs of inaction in addressing these needs?


- "There's a better way to measure employee well-being." Fast Company.

- "Realizing the positive ROI of supporting employees’ mental health." Deloitte Canada.

- "Well-being in the Workplace." McKinsey & Company.

- "Help employees improve well-being and performance." Gallup.

- "Why wellness in the workplace matters." EY - US.

- Business Benefits of Putting Employee Well-Being First. AllBusiness.com.

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