July 15, 2020

The Whole-Person Approach to Wellbeing Programs | CBIZ, Inc.

5 key drivers to the whole-person wellbeing approach.

For an organization’s wellbeing program to be effective, it must understand that wellbeing goes beyond physical health; wellbeing encompasses the whole person. These are the five key drivers that employers must address to ensure a whole-person program:

  1. PURPOSE – Liking what you do each day and being motivated to achieve your goals
  2. SOCIAL – Having a strong sense of community at work as well as supportive relationships and love in your life
  3. FINANCIAL – Effectively managing your economic life to reduce stress and increase security
  4. COMMUNITY – The sense of engagement and involvement you have with the area where you live
  5. PHYSICAL & EMOTIONAL – Having good health and enough mental energy to get things that are important to you done each day

To learn more watch our on-webinar: Evaluating the Effectiveness of Your Wellbeing Program - presented by Lacey McCourt and Bridgette O'Connor.


But just how do you know if your workforce is thriving or struggling in these areas, and how is your program affecting them? You should consult with your wellbeing experts to help you put together a dashboard of metrics. Are our efforts making a difference? Did we capture the right data? Is the data meaningful? Do we need to adjust our initiatives? Your dashboard will evolve over time and vary depending on your tactics. There is not one right answer. 

The following are some key, meaningful metrics to determine what your organization is already doing in the five domains of wellbeing and how you can maximize your efforts and then measure your impact. You might also start thinking about any gaps you identify and adjust your wellbeing tactics accordingly.  


  • Employee culture survey
    • Employee satisfaction rating
    • Employee recognition efforts
    • Percent reporting feeling valued
    • Percent reporting ability to use strengths
  • Percent taking advantage of training and development opportunities
  • Workplace wellbeing awards
  • Tuition reimbursement usage
  • Turnover rates
  • Employee referrals


  • Participation in work-related social events and activities
  • Forfeited or unused vacation days at year end
  • Surveying employees (e.g., “Do you have a best friend at work?”)
  • Use of breakrooms/common areas


  • Percentage of employees contributing to retirement
  • Average percent of pay employees contribute to retirement plans
  • Health Savings Account (HAS) balances
  • Financial wellbeing program participation and outcomes
  • Use of cost calculators


  • Percentage of employees taking advantage of paid volunteer time-off benefits
  • Percentage of employees participating in charitable giving campaigns
  • Percentage of offices doing charitable events in their local community
  • Community awards
  • Monies raised in support of a cause
  • Community blood drive participation

Physical & Emotional:

  • Preventive care visits
  • Condition management program engagement
  • Health coaching engagement
  • Musculoskeletal claims
  • Average sick days
  • Anti-depressant/anti-anxiety prescriptions
  • Disability claims
  • Employee Assistance Program (EAP) utilization and presenting issues
  • Emotional wellbeing questionnaires
  • Health Risk Assessment data

Framework for an Effective Wellbeing Strategy & Thriving Culture

For organizations interested in looking beyond the wellbeing program to enhance employee wellbeing and culture, we recommend a six-component framework that includes the following:

  1. Organizational Commitment – Wellbeing is integral to business strategy, and the commitment to a culture of wellbeing is evident and shared by leaders and managers across the organization.
  2. Actionable Data – Data is gathered and analyzed to identify wellbeing risks, needs and resources. That data is used to make environmental changes, introduce new benefits and increase engagement.
  3. Sustainable Culture – The environment, physical workspaces, procedures, policies and employee champions support a culture of wellbeing and encourage healthy choices.
  4. Wellbeing Programs, Benefits & Networks – Selection, design and delivery of programs and benefits address various aspects of wellbeing. Emphasis is on vendor partner and employer collaboration, quality assurance and shared results.
  5. Communication & Engagement Methods – Communications have a recognizable wellbeing brand. Marketing methods reach all segments of the population and engage employees and their families in relevant ways.
  6. Outcomes & Value of Investment – Analytical tools and benchmarks are used to evaluate the reach and impact of programs and practices and demonstrate the value of investing in wellbeing benefits.

With a belief that your employees have innate wisdom and fundamentally know what they need to take care of themselves and your leadership’s creation of an environment where employees feel supported, appreciated and empowered to do so, you will have put your organization in a solid position for a thriving wellbeing program and all of the beneficial outcomes most employers look to achieve. 

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