About our research study
We set out to explore the state of employee well-being and gain insights across genders and generations. We asked 2,000 surveyed participants questions about topics like:
- Sources of stress
- How employees view and prioritize their well-being
- What employees want in a well-being program offered by their employer
What the results told us
The survey revealed a lot more than we expected, but to us, many of the results weren’t necessarily surprising.
Women are more stressed than men
The results showed that 68% of women reported being stressed, versus 57% of men. Their stress levels also contribute to physical symptoms that can impact overall well-being. For example, women reported significantly more headaches, anxiety, insomnia, irritability, illness, and other symptoms as a result of their workplace stress.
Millennials are the most stressed-out generation
Millennials reported the highest levels of stress over any other generation. Nearly half of all millennials reported feeling anxiety, fatigue and irritability. A sizable percentage also reported frequent headaches, depression and forgetfulness. Millennials who reported being caregivers—either to children, their parents or a loved one—experienced even more stress than their non-caregiver counterparts.
Women and millennials want wellness challenges
Eighty-seven percent of those surveyed said they were interested in workplace wellness challenges. That said, our study showed that both women and millennials are more likely than men and older generations to participate in almost every type of challenge—including walking, drinking more water, team wellness, weight loss, nutrition, sleep, daily meditation, and 5K runs.
Women and millennials value emotional wellness the most
We asked which areas of well-being hold the most value. Millennials and women both ranked emotional wellness above any other area of wellness. Overall, these groups both indicated that they would appreciate well-being programs that address their emotional health needs, such as mindfulness and meditation, as well as stress reduction needs.
Everyone wants financial wellness support
Across the board, people indicated that financial wellness was the second most important area of well-being for them. That made sense, as it’s something people need at all stages of life. Paying off student loans, saving for a house or college funds or another big purchase, and even saving for retirement—financial planning is something that everyone deals with throughout their lifetime.
What to do with these findings
These statistics reinforce the need and benefit of having a workplace wellness program that focuses on multiple dimensions of well-being. That way, you can support employees’ individual needs, interests and values.
Some other recommendations include:
Target your communications
If your organization already offers a program, we recommend targeting your communications toward millennials and female populations so they’re aware they exist. Since these participants noted that they’re more likely to use well-being programs—especially ones that help them de-stress—it’s vital that they know where they are, how to access them, and how to participate in meaningful ways.
Create a work culture that normalizes the value of caregiving
Recognize as a company that caregiving is a necessary part of life. People have appointments, kids get sick, pets get sick, parents need help—these things happen! We also recommend looking at your well-being programs to ensure that they include ways for caregivers to engage in certain aspects—specifically concerning self-care programs like mindfulness and meditation—and that they have easy access to them.
Offer financial wellness support
Financial planning and wellness are always going to be a need for employees. Keep in mind that if employees are stressed out about their finances, it’s going to impact their presenteeism at work, and it’s going to affect their overall well-being. We recommend offering some version of a financial wellness solution, not just for big-ticket items like saving for retirement, but also for day-to-day needs and education around planning a budget.
For a more in-depth look into our findings, watch the webinar recording or check out our whitepaper, How Well-Being Programs Are Failing Millennials and Women.
If you need help building the right well-being strategy for your populations, we’d love to help. Reach out to firstname.lastname@example.org.
VP, Marketing and Strategy
WebMD Health Services
VP, Product and Solutions
WebMD Health Services