Time to Refresh Your Approach to Employee Well-being? We thought so

Our understanding of what constitutes employee well-being – and what employers can do to support it – continues to evolve. That’s why we’re now on Version 5 of the HERO Health and Well-being Best Practices Scorecard in Collaboration with Mercer. More than 1,300 employers completed Version 4, and earlier this year I shared some of what we’ve learned about their well-being programs by analyzing the wealth of information collected over the years. Our research, along with input from leading authorities on population health and well-being, helped guide the development of V5, and this thoroughly refreshed and updated tool is available for you to use now.

For those not familiar with the HERO Scorecard, it’s a free, online, industry-leading resource that provides employers with an instant assessment of how their program compares in its use of best practices to others in the HERO Scorecard database. It is designed to help those tasked with supporting their workforce to…

  • Learn. Review a comprehensive list of current and emerging health and well-being best practices 
  • Plan for the future. Identify opportunities for improvement
  • Benchmark against other programs. As the database grows, industry and other benchmark data will become available. Employers also retake the Scorecard to track progress over time.
  • Contribute to new research. All employers benefit from studies showing which well-being practices deliver the most value

What’s new in Version 5

Version 5 incorporates new practices related to mental and emotional well-being, social determinants of health, integration with DEI efforts, and involvement in the community. In general, it supports a broader value proposition for investing in employee health and well-being. Some of the many new questions include:

  • Have you taken any of the following actions to address the impact of social determinants of health on employees’ healthcare experience? 
  • Does your company intentionally promote and encourage a diverse and inclusive workforce through any of the following strategies? 
  • In what ways does your organization actively participate in community initiatives focused on health and well-being? 

The number of points assigned to various practices were reviewed and updated as well. For example, analyses of Scorecard data has shown that the active involvement of leaders in well-being initiatives strongly contributes to the success of the program; on the other hand, the use of financial incentives seems to have less impact than was formerly thought. These and other findings were used to update the scoring so that practices shown to be the most effective are given greater weight. 

If you’ve never used the Scorecard, you may find it’s an easy and effective way to take stock of your current well-being initiatives and find fresh ideas. If you have used it in the past, why not check it out and see if you agree that the differences between V4 and V5 point to a more modern approach to building workforce health.

Beth Umland
by Beth Umland

Director of Research, Health, Mercer

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