Measures That Matter for Employers Who Want to Promote Flourishing

A free members-only event

May 22, 2024

10:00 am CT/11:00 am ET - 4:00 pm CT/5:00 pm ET

A Virtual Event


Register for the Spring Think Tank

5 CHES/MCHES Credits Available

colorful abstract watercolor painting

Most business leaders believe that workforce health, safety, and well-being (HWB) significantly influence individual, team, and organizational performance.1 In 2023, leading employers continued to increase their support for core employee HWB needs,2 but it is difficult to know if those investments are making a meaningful positive impact if they are not evaluating their efforts. Measurement and evaluation practices tracked on the HERO Scorecard indicate that most employers fall short when it comes to tracking the performance of their HWB initiatives.3 Of those who report evaluating, the majority focus on participation, satisfaction, and physical health outcomes. As employers have expanded their HWB offerings to address other dimensions of well-being (mental, emotional, financial, social, and spiritual),4 the types of data collected do not support evaluation of the added dimensions.

When it comes to strategic planning, two-thirds of organizations completing the HERO Scorecard report using employee experience data to inform their HWB initiatives.3 But employers may not be doing enough to ensure they are meeting the full spectrum of employee needs. Recent research indicates there is a disconnect between how employers feel they are doing to support employee HWB and how employees say their employers are doing.5 Even though 85% of surveyed employers feel they actively listen to the needs of employees, only 51% of employees agree their employers are meeting their HWB needs.

When it comes to designing and evaluating workplace well-being efforts, how do we know what to measure? Is it possible we’re measuring what is convenient or traditional rather than what matters most? Gallup research finds many leaders (of companies, teams, communities, countries) rely on objective measures that miss what really matters to the constituencies they serve.6 Unhappiness has been steadily climbing for a decade and its rise has been in the blind spot of almost every world leader. Gallup has been tracking perceived quality of life ratings by fielding the Cantril Self-Anchoring Striving Scale since 2006. In 2006, 3.4% of people said they were living their best possible life and 1.6% said they were living their worst possible life. Fifteen years later, the number of people living their best possible life doubled (7.4%) while the number of people living their worst possible life more than quadrupled to 7.6%. According to Nobel prize winner Dr. Daniel Kahneman, “Increasing happiness and reducing misery are very different things… It is a responsibility of society to try to reduce misery.”

It’s easy to fall into the trap of making decisions for the workforce without adequately soliciting insights from them. There is a desire to make timely improvements to address emerging needs, and pausing to gather employee feedback might seem unnecessarily burdensome. According to HERO Scorecard data, 66% of organizations rely on employee opinion surveys to identify HWB needs and 58% use them to evaluate HWB program effectiveness.3 While a worthwhile source of information, the annual engagement survey alone is insufficient to understand the multi-dimensional well-being needs of employees, including physical mental, emotional, financial, social, and spiritual aspects. Organizations participating in the 2023 HERO Spring Think Tank agreed that the voice of the employee is vital to designing programs that will meet their needs.7 It’s also a central tenet of a Total Worker Health® approach to give employees an active voice in program planning.8

These are some of the themes we aim to discuss during the 2024 virtual Spring Think Tank:

  • What tools and resources exist to support a more holistic approach to workforce health, safety, and well-being?
  • What can we do to address misalignment between employer perceptions about their support for workforce HWB and perceptions from their workers? Are there measurement approaches that can help us deepen our understanding?
  • If we measure positive improvements, how do we know we’re not missing negative trends in areas that we’re not measuring? What “measures of misery” do we need to add to our dashboard of HWB measures?
  • How do we best measure employee perceptions and effectively communicate employee sentiment to decision makers?
  • As we expand our HWB efforts to address more dimensions of well-being, what emerging areas of measurement must be added to our evaluation toolkit?
  • How do we make meaningful sense of and integrate all of the data, informing effective decision making about translating the insights into action?
  • What can we learn from leading researchers about the ongoing development and testing of new measurement tools?


Learning Objectives

After attending this Think Tank, participants will be able to:

  • Identify dimensions of well-being that may be missing from traditional well-being measurement and evaluation practices.
  • Profile validated measurement tools and approaches to support well-being needs assessment and program evaluation for employee populations and their families.
  • Demonstrate how organizations present data in meaningful ways to gain business leader support for a more holistic approach to well-being.
  1. Schwartz J et al. Designing Work for Well-being. Deloitte Insights May 15, 2020.
  2. Krank J. Employers continue to increase employee wellbeing dimensions, study finds. Benefits Pro September 12, 2023.,or%20telephonic%20mental%20health%20counseling.
  3. HERO Health and Well-Being Best Practices Scorecard in Collaboration with Mercer. HERO Scorecard Quarterly Benchmark Report. December 31, 2023.
  4. Brassey J, et al. Reframing employee health: Moving beyond burnout to holistic health. McKinsey Health Institute. November 2, 2023.
  5. Forrester Consulting and Modern Health. The state of employee mental health in an uncertain world. September 2022.
  6. Clifton J. Blind Spot: The Global Rise of Unhappiness and How Leaders Missed It. Gallup Press: Washington DC; 2022.
  7. Biscarr Maggie. HERO Spring Think Tank Proceedings. HERO blog. August 2, 2023.
  8. Terry Paul. Excellence in Total Worker Health: An interview with Dr Laura Linnan. American Journal of Health Promotion. 2023.
Sponsored by Health Enhancement Research Organization (HERO), a designated provider of continuing education contact hours (CECH) in health education by the National Commission for Health Education Credentialing, Inc. This program is designated for Certified Health Education Specialists (CHES) and/or Master Certified Health Education Specialists (MCHES) to receive up to 5 total Category I contact education contact hours. Maximum advanced-level continuing education contact hours available are 5. Provider ID#101039

©2024 Health Enhancement Research Organization ‘HERO’


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