Research Agenda

The HERO Research Agenda

The HERO Research Agenda reflects the research issues most important to HERO members and most likely to foster improvement in the field of workplace health and well-being (HWB). This Agenda is reviewed and updated annually by the Research Advisory Group (RAG).

The HERO Research Agenda focuses on the following three strategic priorities:

  • Culture: HERO members are interested in research focused on the role of employee HWB in influencing a workplace culture that drives business success. Such research aims to assess the associations between organizational culture, employee HWB, employee engagement, and key business performance measures.
  • Performance: HERO members are interested in research demonstrating how a comprehensive approach to workforce HWB – including physical, mental, social and financial well-being – advances strategic business performance objectives as well as individual employee performance. HERO research also focuses on understanding the factors and practices that characterize high-performing HWB initiatives.
  • Sustainability: HERO members are interested in understanding how organizations collaborate with community partners to advance workforce HWB alongside broader organizational sustainability efforts that positively influence the enterprise, its people, and the surrounding environment. This priority also addresses the factors associated with the long-term sustainability of workforce HWB initiatives and aims to understand how addressing social determinants of health may influence HWB outcomes.

In support of the strategic focus areas above, HERO pursues collaborative partnerships and facilitates committees in the following areas:

  • Culture of HealthUnderstanding how organizations develop a workplace culture that supports employee HWB, improves employee engagement, and influences associated business outcomes.
  • EngagementUnderstanding definitions, measurement, drivers, and outcomes associated with three types of engagement: (1) employee engagement in their own HWB; (2) employee engagement in the organization’s success; and (3) organizational engagement in employee HWB.
  • Employee Experience: This is a newly formed committee launched in 2020. It will focus on the role of leadership in developing healthy workplace cultures and driving employee engagement.
  • Healthy Workplaces, Healthy CommunitiesUnderstanding and articulating the value of employer involvement in community HWB initiatives and vice versa, including identification of activities that are the highest priorities for employer involvement, and how best to facilitate private and public sector collaborations. This includes identifying action steps for employers and collaboration strategies for addressing social determinants of health.
  • HERO ScorecardResearch focused on validating and mining the data collected in the HERO Health and Well-being Best Practices Scorecard in Collaboration with Mercer© for the purposes of identifying best practices, benchmarking their prevalence, and understanding their influence on health, well-being, and business outcomes.
  • Measurement StandardsDevelopment of consensus recommendations on how to measure the implementation, value and impact of workplace HWB initiatives. This includes providing guidance on how to communicate initiative performance via stakeholder dashboards.
  • Policy: Build on previously conducted consensus work of HERO, American College of Occupational
    and Environmental Medicine, American Heart Association, Population Health Alliance, and other organizations concerned about equity and effectiveness in employee HWB.
  • Workplace Performance: Research on the relationship between workforce health strategies, employee mental well-being, and organizational well-being, performance and productivity.

Accomplishing the Research Agenda

The HERO Research Agenda is accomplished through the efforts of the Research Committee, several Study Committees, focused workgroups, and collaboration with other organizations.

The HERO Research Committee is comprised of the Research Advisory Group (RAG), and the Research Study Subcommittee (RSS). The RAG establishes HERO’s research agenda and priorities, while the RSS provides guidance and oversight of HERO research activities.

Topic-specific study committees and workgroups outside of the Research Committee often influence the scope or direction for HERO research activities by helping members understand what is already known about a given topic and by identifying knowledge and research gaps by conducting surveys, informational interviews or literature reviews; developing definitions and frameworks; and writing reports and case studies.

The visual diagram below describes how these committees work together to advance the HERO Research Agenda. A complete list of research-related publications and reports is available on the HERO website.

Research Development and Implementation Process

Research Development and Implementation Process graphic

Join the HERO Research Partners

HERO’s success in accomplishing its research agenda depends on funding support from various sources including HERO member organizations, other employers interested in workplace health and well-being research, and grants or other forms of funding from foundations and government agencies.

HERO has also created a collaboration called “HERO Research Partners” (HRP) to help move its research agenda forward. Recently conducted studies supported by HRP funds focused on the influence of incentive designs on population health and leveraging HERO Scorecard Benchmark Data to identify relationships between best practices and outcomes. A full list of published research studies is available at the HERO website.


Interested in becoming a research partner?
Contact Karen Moseley

©2021 Health Enhancement Research Organization 'HERO Health'


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