Well-Being at Work Is Not Going Away

Being in HR means that every few years a new buzzword or catchphrase that make the rounds. Lately it’s “well-being.” But I don’t think it should be dismissed or shutterstock_222531805looked upon with derision. I think well-being is very likely here to stay. It’s a necessary term. Wellness, which is still used and useful, refers to an employee’s health, in the medical sense. Benefits traditionally associated with wellness are health, dental, vision, etc. Well-being, on the other hand, refers to the sum whole of the employee – their mental, emotional, (and feel free to add spiritual) health.

Well-being benefits are usually things that have an effect on health, although it may be tangential. For instance, financial planning can have an effect on your stress level, which can in turn affect your sleep and thus your overall health. Well-being benefits include such areas as sleep training, personal finance planning, fitness programs, social interaction needs, stress relief training, and spiritual guidance (usually through a chaplain service).

This is a relatively new concept, and research in this area is just beginning. That was one of the reasons Brandon Hall Group included questions about well-being in our 2017 Benefits and Wellness Study. Some of the results indicate that not only is well-being being accepted by the corporate community, in some cases it seems positively entrenched.

Components of Corporate Well-Being Programs

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When you consider that overall 81% of organizations offer a traditional medical insurance plan – the levels of these offerings, particularly stress management – are pretty impressive.

Some aspects of employee well-being are not as widely used. For example, only 26% of organizations said they offered community service as a component of their benefits package. Time will tell if organizations see enough value in these newer programs to begin wholesale acceptance of them (the smart money is on “yes,” as these are usually very low-cost benefits compared to standard medical add-ons). The evidence coming from both the quantitative research and the proliferation of vendor offerings (Virgin Pulse™ and OC Tanner’s Welbe™, for example) also indicate that well-being should not be written off as just another HR fad.

Cliff Stevenson, Principal Analyst, Brandon Hall Group



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Mike Cooke

Chief Executive Officer of Brandon Hall Group Mike Cooke Prior to joining Brandon Hall Group, Mike Cooke was the Chief Executive Officer and co-founder of AC Growth. Mike held leadership and executive positions for the majority of his career, at which he was responsible for steering sales and marketing teams to drive results and profitability. His background includes more than 15 years of experience in sales, marketing, management, and operations in the research, consulting, software and technology industries. Mike has extensive experience in sales, marketing and management having worked for several early high-growth emerging businesses and has implemented technology systems to support various critical sales, finance, marketing and client service functions. He is especially skilled in organizing the sales and service strategy to fully support a company’s growth strategy. The concept of growth was an absolute to Mike and a motivator in starting AC Growth, in order to help organizations achieve research driven results. Most recently, Mike was the VP and General Manager of Field Operations at Bersin & Associates, a global analyst and consulting services firm focused on all areas of enterprise learning, talent management and talent acquisition. Tasked with leading the company’s global expansion, Mike led all sales operations worldwide. During Mike’s tenure, the company has grown into a multi-national firm, conducting business in over 45 countries with over 4,500 multi-national organizations. Mike started his career at MicroVideo Learning Systems in 1992, eventually holding a senior management position and leading all corporate sales before founding Dynamic Minds. Mike was CEO and Co-Founder of Dynamic Minds, a custom developer of software programs, working with clients like Goldman Sachs, Prentice Hall, McGraw Hill and Merrill Lynch. Also, Mike worked for Oddcast, a leading provider of customer experience and marketing solutions, where he held a senior management position leading the company into new markets across various industries. Mike also serves on the Advisory Board for Carbon Solutions America, an independent sustainability consulting and carbon management firm that specializes in the design and implementation of greenhouse reduction and sustainability plans as well as managing the generation of carbon and renewal energy and energy efficiency credits. Mike attended University of Phoenix, studying Business Administration and Finance. He has also completed executive training at the Chicago Graduate School of Business in Chicago, IL.