Skip to main content

As the situation in Ukraine evolves, businesses should be mindful of potential risks to their people, assets, operations, or supply chains in the region and globally. Marsh, as part of the Marsh McLennan family of companies, has created a page with information, tools, and resources related to the Russia-Ukraine conflict. Please visit the page for the latest information.

Best Practices in Developing a Holistic Well-being Strategy for Your Organization

This playbook was designed to provide you with the foundational elements to consider as you build an effective well-being initiative. Utilize this playbook and resources as you identify what a successful initiative may look like for your organization.

How to use this playbook

Our supplemental well-being playbooks support program development and additional direction as you expand on each dimension of well-being.  We encourage you to use the information as inspiration and guidance in establishing a culture of health in your organization.

Developing the business case for a well-being initiative

Implementing an organization-wide well-being initiative is an exciting decision. You have the opportunity to shape an employee’s experience in a way that inspires them to adopt positive lifestyle habits. It is also a time to be thoughtful about foundational principles, key stakeholders, and elements of design that will make up your program. 

We designed this playbook with the tools and examples to shape an initiative that is built to last. While well-being programs will evolve over time, if you lay a firm foundation in the beginning (or even after years of providing well-being offerings), you will be well on your way to creating a culture of health. 

A whole person health well-being initiative is mission critical for business.  We believe if you support the whole person with a comprehensive, smart, and data-driven strategy, it gets results.  According to the Integrated Benefits Institute, “There has been a shift to a comprehensive approach to better raise the overall health and well-being of the employee so that they can do their best work. A comprehensive approach includes strategies and interventions that work together to provide the best possible framework to minimize risks and maximize health outcomes for all employees.”

A whole person approach, including managing chronic illness, remains one of the most viable strategies for reducing employers’ healthcare and disability costs and should be a part of any comprehensive well-being initiative.  

Why should well-being be part of your business strategy?

Costs of poor well-being:

  • 75% of medical costs accrued mostly due to preventable conditions

  • $20 million of additional lost opportunity for every 10,000 workers due to struggling or suffering employees

  • $322 billion of turnover and lost productivity cost globally due to employee burnout

  • 15% to 20% of total payroll in voluntary turnover costs, on average, due to burnout


Additional statistics to review as you consider your business strategy:

A recent Gallup study shows that when employees strongly agree that their company cares about their well-being, they are:


less likely than all other workers to search for a new job. 


less likely to report experiencing burnout.


more likely to serve as an advocate for their organization.

Establish a program centered around multiple dimensions of well-being.

Though there is no single determinant of well-being, we do know it’s highly dependent on good health, positive social relationships, and access to basic resources (commonly known as social determinants of health), such as income, access to healthcare, food, and shelter.  Based on this, MMA’s approach to enhanced well-being is comprised of four dimensions: physical, social, mental, and financial health to postively impact the following:

Identifying the modifiable risk factors among your employee population can allow you to develop population health strategies to reduce health risks and improve employee well-being.  

Modifiable health risks are behaviors and exposures that can raise or lower a person’s risk. They may be reduced or controlled with lifestyle modifications.

Well-established evidence from Oxford Academic  and Health Affairs shows shows that the incidence of cancer, cardiovascular disease, chronic respiratory disease, and diabetes share modifiable risk factors such as alcohol consumption, body mass index (BMI), cigarette smoking, unhealthy diet, and physical inactivity which account for more than two-thirds of these diseases.  

Examples of modifiable health risk factors include:

  • High blood pressure
  • High blood sugar
  • High cholesterol
  • Excess weight and obesity
  • Smoking
  • Unhealthy diet
  • Physical inactivity

  • Provide a grassroots well-being program. 
  • Use existing well-being resources from your insurance carrier(s) and employee assistance program (EAP).
  • Partner with your MMA consulting team to develop a strategy and gain assistance with implementation.
  • Engage a third-party vendor to provide a robust formal well-being program via an online platform.

Assess current programs.

  • Communication plan development
  • Multi-faceted approach
  • On-going project management support
  • Manage incentive program

Establish the foundation.

  • Develop a three-year strategic plan
  • Define priorities
  • Evaluate and leverage existing resources
  • Provide compliance recommendations

Gain leadership commitment.

  • Engagement management
  • Assess and remove barriers
  • Establish committee leaders (champions, ambassadors)

Ensure employee engagement.

  • Employee communication and education
  • Workplace wellness committee support
  • Customer employee wellness surveys

Develop annual operational plan/annual planner.

  • Key objectives and goal setting
  • Identify resources and vendors
  • Finalize customized total health solutions
  • Determine responsibilities and due dates

Measure effectiveness.

  • Define measurements
  • Evaluate and make recommendations

Foundational well-being playbook contributors

Please contact Becky Luttbeg or Georgette Kores with questions about the foundations of well-being playbook.