HERO Worker Well-Being Clearinghouse, Powered by the NIOSH WellBQ
The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Worker Well-Being Questionnaire (NIOSH WellBQ) is a survey about your well-being. It will ask you questions about your job, your workplace, your health, and your life outside of work. The information obtained from the NIOSH WellBQ is intended to help employers, employees, researchers, and policymakers understand the well-being of workers and identify opportunities to improve worker well-being.
You are being invited to take the NIOSH WellBQ. It will take about 15-20 minutes. Taking part in this survey is voluntary, and you may refuse to participate or stop at any time.
Several steps are taken to ensure the anonymity of persons who respond to the questionnaire. For example, the survey does not ask for your name. Also, the IP address (i.e., the location and number associated with your computer) will not be recorded. Further, the answers you give will be combined with the answers from many other people who are taking the survey.
If you decide to take part in this survey, you can choose how your data are used. You can choose to have your answers included and data shared with your employer to help understand the well-being of workers in your organization and enable steps to improve their well-being. If you choose to do that, your answers will not be linked to any information in the survey (e.g. age, race) that might make it possible to identify you.
You can also choose to have your answers combined in a national database (called the HERO Worker Well-Being Clearinghouse, Powered by the NIOSH WellBQ) that will be used to help researchers, policymakers, and health professionals understand and improve the well-being of employees in the U.S.
There is no cost to you to take the survey. There is no guarantee of direct benefits to you if you take the survey. Some people may find this survey interesting. You may find that some of the questions make you uneasy and that you don’t want to answer them. That’s OK. You can stop answering questions at any time. If you want to talk to someone about questions or concerns later, please email WellBQClearinghouse@hero-health.org
For more information, please see our HERO Worker Well-Being Clearinghouse background page and/or our frequently asked questions. You can also email your questions to WellBQClearinghouse@hero-health.org.
The Health Enhancement Research Organization (HERO) has partnered with National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) to create the HERO Worker Well-Being Clearinghouse – Powered by the NIOSH WellBQ (HERO Worker Well-Being Clearinghouse), an open-source database that houses de-identified data arising from use of the English and Spanish versions of the NIOSH Worker Well-Being Questionnaire (NIOSH WellBQ). HERO has made the NIOSH WellBQ available in an online survey platform to enable organizations to easily administer it to employees. The de-identified data collected from the participating organizations’ unique questionnaire link will be shared with the organization and imported into the HERO Worker Well-Being Clearinghouse for public use by individuals interested in conducting research on worker well-being.
What is the NIOSH WellBQ?
The NIOSH WellBQ provides an integrated assessment of worker well-being across multiple spheres, including individuals’ quality of working life, circumstances outside of work, and physical and mental health status.1
The questionnaire measures “worker” well-being as a holistic construct rather than simply “workplace” or “work-related” well-being. The NIOSH WellBQ is intended to help researchers, employers, workers, practitioners, and policymakers understand the well-being of workers and target interventions to improve worker well-being, among other applications.1
The NIOSH WellBQ was created by NIOSH and researchers at the RAND Corporation with funding from NIOSH. The design and content of the NIOSH WellBQ were guided by a new conceptual framework that identifies five domains of worker well-being,2 including:
- Work Evaluation and Experience
- Workplace Policies and Culture
- Workplace Physical Environment and Safety Climate
- Health Status
- Home, Community, and Society
The Development of the NIOSH WellBQ
This framework was derived from an in-depth, multi-disciplinary literature review of well-being theories, research, and measurement tools by NIOSH and the RAND Corporation. The items in the questionnaire were selected based on their relevance to the five domains of worker well-being. Most of the items are adopted from existing instruments. Psychometric analyses were performed on data from 975 respondents to finalize items and optimize the NIOSH WellBQ’s psychometric properties. The final questionnaire consists of 16 scales, 5 indices, and 31 single items across the 5 domains. It is followed by employment and demographic questions that are optional; however, they will be critical to helping your organization understand the well-being of different populations in the organization. The instrument demonstrated adequate reliability and validity.3
How can my organization participate?
Organizations that plan to use the NIOSH WellBQ with their employees will need to complete the registration form on the HERO Worker Well-Being Clearinghouse webpage or email WellBQClearinghouse@hero-health.org. This needs to be done to generate the unique organization link that can be sent out to the organization’s employees. The link provided will remain active, allowing access to the questionnaire for 30 days, unless a different timeline is requested by the organization. Organizations can choose to have either a summary report of the results, or de-identified data, including scale and index scores. For both options, the results of the injury questions and the optional demographic and employment items will be provided only in a summary report; the report will be provided in such a way that individuals cannot be identified.
How can an organization use the data collected from their workforce?
The information gained from the survey can help employers evaluate the status of their employees’ well-being. Those that choose to have de-identified data (excluding injury, demographic, and employment information)
can combine the data with organizational Scorecard data to inform an organization’s health and well-being strategic plan. Follow-up assessment can then help to evaluate the effectiveness of the interventions.
How can researchers use the data from the HERO Worker Well-Being Clearinghouse?
De-identified data imported into the HERO Worker Well-Being Clearinghouse can be used by practitioners, researchers, policymakers, etc. to analyze trends in worker well-being and target interventions and develop programs and services to improve worker well-being, identify ways to improve policies affecting well-being, among other applications. To gain access to the HERO Worker Well-Being Clearinghouse, one must complete the registration form.
- NIOSH . NIOSH worker well-being questionnaire (WellBQ). By Chari R, Chang CC, Sauter SL, Petrun Sayers EL, Huang W, Fisher GG. Cincinnati, OH: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, DHHS (NIOSH) Publication No. 2021-110 (revised 5/2021), https://doi.org/10.26616/NIOSHPUB2021110revised52021
- Chari, Ramya PhD; Chang, Chia-Chia MPH, MBA; Sauter, Steven L. PhD; Petrun Sayers, Elizabeth L. PhD; Cerully, Jennifer L. PhD; Schulte, Paul PhD; Schill, Anita L. PhD; Uscher-Pines, Lori PhD. Expanding the Paradigm of Occupational Safety and Health: A New Framework for Worker Well-Being. Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine 60(7):p 589-593, July 2018. | DOI: 10.1097/JOM.0000000000001330
- Chari R, Sauter SL, Petrun Sayers EL, Huang W, Fisher GG, Chang CC. Development of the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Worker Well-Being Questionnaire. J Occup Environ Med. 2022 Aug 1;64(8):707-717. doi: 10.1097/JOM.0000000000002585. Epub 2022 Jun 9. PMID: 35673249; PMCID: PMC9377498.
Frequently Asked Questions
Is there a preferred browser that I should use to fill out the questionnaire?
No. However, once you begin the questionnaire, it will only be saved in the browser you start it in.
Is the NIOSH WellBQ mandatory?
No. Your participation is fully voluntary. However, your input will be helpful to your organization in assessing how well their current policies, practices, and programs are doing to support your well-being, and it will help your organization identify opportunities for improvement.
Should I answer all the questions?
Yes, please complete the questionnaire in its entirety to provide a complete picture of your job, health, and other issues related to your well-being. There are no right or wrong answers. You should respond honestly based upon your beliefs and feelings. Some questions might not apply to your situation. In these cases, you can choose “Does not apply” if it is one of the answer choices.
We ask employment and demographic questions to provide valuable insights into the different working populations. However, these questions are optional and only a summary report will be provided back to an employer.
How long does this take to complete?
The questionnaire has 68 questions, and it will take most participants about 20 minutes to complete. It is followed by 6 employment and 10 demographic questions that are optional, however will be critical to helping your organization understand the well-being of different populations in the organization.
You can save the questionnaire and continue later if you are not able to complete it. However, we encourage you to complete it in one session.
How was the questionnaire developed?
The design and content were guided by a conceptual framework that identifies the five domains of worker well-being. This framework was derived from an in-depth, multi-disciplinary literature review of well-being theories, research, and measurement tools with assistance from a panel of experts in occupational safety, health, and well-being. The items were strategically selected on the basis of their relevance to the five domains of worker well-being. Most of the items are adopted from existing, well-established instruments. After development, the questionnaire underwent pilot testing using a sample of U.S. workers across a variety of industries and occupations.
What are you going to do with this information?
A summary of the overall results will be shared with your organization. This means no personal identifying information will be shared. The organization is recommended to use the results to develop or improve policies, programs, or practices that advance well-being. Your information is an important contribution to helping your organization better understand and improve the overall well-being of your workforce.
How will this benefit me? How will it benefit others?
Completing the questionnaire will help provide a clearer picture of important aspects of well-being of the workforce. Organizations completing the questionnaire are recommended to use the results to improve their well-being initiatives in an attempt to support all employees.
Will my responses be confidential?
Yes. There will be NO names, user IDs, or other personally identifiable information provided to your employer.