Home > Insights and Perspectives > Emerging Trends
Emerging Trends

Web Content Viewer


View Research Findings: Mind, Body, and Wallet

Mind, Body, and Wallet – The Impact to Employee Well-Being

This research brief from Guardian's 4th Annual Workplace Benefit Study reveals that working Americans' sense of their overall health and well-being is declining. This finding is based on Guardian's new Workforce Well-Being IndexTM (WWBI), which measures consumer attitudes in three core areas: financial wellness, physical wellness, and emotional wellness. 

Cover of Guardian's study on how financial, physical, and emotional wellness affect overall workforce well-being.

Americans are not feeling so well

The average WWBI is only 3.26 out of 5 — barely a passing grade. What brings the number down is the financial wellness index, which accounts for 40% of the total WWBI score. And scored on its own, financial wellness was the weakest of the three indices, getting only 3.19 out of 5. Working Americans are worried about money — and their concern is growing.

A climate of financial anxiety prevails  

American workers feel less confident about achieving their financial goals than they did two years ago. In fact, success self-ratings have worsened by nearly 15%-30% on key measures such as: 

  • Saving for college education (-27%) 
  • Replacing income if seriously ill or injured (-24%) 
  • Saving for retirement (-20%)
  • Protecting family with adequate life insurance (-17%)  

Financial and health concerns are leading causes of emotional stress  

Working Americans cite money as their #1 worry, followed by family health (#3) and personal health (#5). Yet few indicate healthy habits: only 26% eat well; just 26% exercise; and only 10% participate in employee assistance programs (EAPs) designed to help with emotional wellness and work-life balance. 

Nevertheless, a higher overall employee well-being index is attainable

Employers are finding that they can achieve better results by taking a more holistic approach to managing workforce well-being, one that includes a strong financial foundation. Opportunities include:

  • Supporting financial wellness with a variety of efforts including broad insurance benefit options for more adequate protection, college tuition savings plans, financial education, and benefits enrollment support
  • Supporting emotional wellness with EAPs and work-life balance initiatives like tele-commuting, flexible work schedules, and paid family leave
  • Supporting physical wellness with incentive programs, on-site medical centers, and return-to-work accommodations

To be effective, these efforts must be supported by clear, consistent communications that raise awareness and encourage employee participation.

Read the research brief to learn more. 

Related Articles

A Crack in the Foundation
A Crack in the Foundation

Working Americans rely on their benefits for financial security. But, out-of-pocket medical expenses are taking a toll.

Read the Research Brief
Closing the Gap
Closing the Gap

Addressing the employee benefits IQ of working Americans as a path to improving financial well-being.

Read the Research Brief
Decline in Perceived Value of Benefits
Decline in Perceived Value of Benefits

Working Americans value their employee benefits less than in prior years.

Watch the Video
Benefits Balancing Act

Learn how short-term approaches to employee benefits are falling short, and what employers are doing to see long-term success.

Read the Study
2017 Guardian Absence Management Study

Research insights on how employers are raising the bar on employee leave practices and outcomes.

Read the Study
Workplace Benefits Study: Third Annual
Third Annual Workplace Benefits Study

Trends and insights to help you understand how employers and employees value workplace benefits.

Read the Study
The Guardian Absence Management Scorecard

A tool to help you assess and improve the way you manage employee absence.

Try the Tool
2015 Guardian Absence Management Study

Learn trends, activities and outcomes of absence management, including how to start and improve programs.

Read the Study
On-Demand Webinar: Jump Start Your Absence Management Program
DMEC On-Demand Webinar

Get the best practices and tips for successfully launching or strengthening an absence management program.

Watch the Webinar
The Case For A New Enrollment Strategy
enrollment insights video

Hear what the experts have to say about the future of enrollment.

Watch the Video
Contact Us

Learn more about Guardian's employee benefits products:

Call or Email Us
Request a Quote
Find a Sales Office
Find a Dentist or Vision Provider