Well-being signpostLooking for better ways to reduce employee health risks and lessen medical costs? Support from leadership and the organization is the key factor, according to a new study from the Health Enhancement Research Organization (HERO).

The study, “Workplace Well-being Factors that Predict Employee Participation, Health and Medical Cost Impact, and Perceived Support” and published in the American Journal of Health Promotion, found that “organizational and leadership support practices are among the strongest and most consistent predictors of an organization’s ability to: drive participation in employee well-being initiatives; influence employee perceptions about their employers; positively influence employee health outcomes; and drive down health care costs,” according to the news release.

Related: What does it take to create targeted well-being programs?

“While other factors such as incentives can effectively predict completion of health assessment questionnaires and biometric screenings, organizational and leadership support was the only factor that significantly influenced employee health risks and positively impacted medical costs,” said Jessica Grossmeier, the author of the HERO study. Based on responses from 812 organizations that collectively employ more than 4.7 million people, the researchers aimed to pinpoint how specific best well-being practices lead to desired outcomes. 

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