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Over Half of Employees Rate Their Companies' Wellbeing Support as Average or Poor

Report reveals employee sentiment and what employers must do to improve employee wellbeing in 2024

BOSTON, Jan. 23, 2024 – Reward Gateway, a global leader in employee engagement and HR technology, released its Workplace Wellbeing Report: Where to focus in 2024 on the wellbeing of American workers, along with strategies to improve wellbeing practices and build resilience across the workforce. The research found that almost a quarter of the workforce (23%) is actively seeking new employment due to employee wellbeing-related factors: 41% feel overworked and underpaid, 33% feel burnt out, 24% do not feel supported by their manager, and 23% don't think their employer cares about their wellbeing.

Wellbeing is a complex and interrelated combination of physical, mental, emotional, social and financial factors. According to a recent report by the U.S. Surgeon General, 84% of Americans said workplace conditions had contributed to at least one mental health challenge. Our research found that half of U.S. employees rate their companies' wellbeing support as average or poor (51% for mental wellbeing support, 56% for financial wellbeing, and 50% for physical wellbeing).

For HR leaders vying to attract talent, engage employees and boost performance, our research found the following critical insights into improving American workers’ wellbeing:

  • The importance of positive recognition: A full 2 in 5 people don't remember being recognized by a manager or senior leader in the last 12 months, and 60% said they'd like to be recognized more. 
  • Improvements in financial wellbeing: Last year, 65% of U.S. employees said that cost of living stress negatively impacted their work. This year, it's only 42%. Outside of a pay raise, employees want their employers to support them in managing the cost of living by giving them access to financial wellbeing support (43%) and offering an employee discounts program (42%). 
  • What Gen Z is feeling: Gen Z workers are the most likely of all age groups to say cost of living stress negatively impacts their work (59% versus 42% on average). They feel less connected to their workplace than other age groups (71% versus 80% on average) and rank connecting with colleagues on a personal level in second place for impacting their wellbeing (21% versus 12% on average). 
  • A workforce ready to embrace AI: In the quest to achieve work-life balance and address the concerns of being overworked and burnout that lead to attrition, AI is seen by employees as a helpful tool to balance their workload and improve productivity. When asked about the benefits of AI, employees expressed that AI's benefits that are of most interest are improved efficiency and automation of repetitive tasks.

“Employee wellbeing is critical for companies looking to achieve success in 2024, helping to increase engagement, retention and performance,” said Anthony Knierim, Managing Director, Americas of Reward Gateway. “Considering that work occupies a significant portion of individuals’ schedules and is intricately linked to their sense of identity and achievement, employers hold a distinctive opportunity: They can not only enhance employee retention and productivity, but also wield substantial influence over the personal happiness and engagement of their workforce.”

Promoting a culture of wellbeing across teams, departments and organizations as a whole can be elevated by investing in the right technology. These tools can empower HR leaders to create a more connected and engaged workforce by supporting mental, physical and financial wellbeing. Through strong leadership and intentional efforts, companies can strengthen individual wellbeing and boost engagement, productivity and retention.

Survey methodology 

Carried out in December 2023, this research involved 1,000 employees in companies with more than 100 employees in the U.S. 

About Reward Gateway
Reward Gateway helps companies engage, motivate and retain people – every day, all over the world. Partnering with over 4,000 companies in 23 countries, we empower more than 8 million users to connect, appreciate and support one another to make the world a better place to work. Our unified employee engagement hub provides the best of recognition, reward, wellbeing, surveys, benefits and discounts that support talent acquisition, retention and values-driven growth.