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What Are Employee Well-Being Metrics & How to Measure Them

Discover the most important well-being metrics, why they’re important, and the best tactics to measure them.

Most employers are increasing their focus on employee well-being as a way to mitigate workplace stress. However, if an organization uses a patchwork of single point solutions, it can be difficult to know whether benefit programs are actually working. This is never ideal, but it is particularly important now when health care spend and cost reduction are top of mind.

This article will arm employers with the information they need to assess the effectiveness of their mental health benefits. We’ll discuss the different elements of employee well-being and the metrics they’ll need in place to report on performance. Let’s dive in.

What Are Employee Well-Being Metrics?

Employee well-being is the physical, emotional, social, and spiritual health and work-life balance experienced by an employee. These metrics are the data points you use to assess the state of employee well-being within your organization. 

Since employee well-being is mainly personal and varies from employee to employee, it's essential to collect data indicating it. This data gathers information about performance and direct feedback from employees. Employee well-being metrics can be applied to global workforces, although specific measurements and benchmarks may vary due to different cultures and how they emphasize wellness.

Elements of Employee Well-Being

In the past, employee wellness focused strictly on physical health and actions that could improve it and prevent diseases. However, physical health alone doesn't capture the full picture of well-being. 

These five elements contribute to the overall makeup of employee well-being:

  • Social 
  • Career 
  • Financial 
  • Physical 
  • Community 

Why Is It Important to Measure Well-Being?

Thriving employees fuel a successful workplace. However, monetary success isn't the only reason to measure employee well-being. 

Measuring employee well-being can grow your organization and maintain accountability in ways that will attract engaged employees and help develop an inclusive culture. Consider how these benefits of measuring well-being can help contribute to organizational success.

Track Company Progress Over Time

Employee well-being metrics are only productive if used to improve policies and benefits. By regularly monitoring and analyzing metrics, companies can track how progress over time matches with organizational goals. Measuring emotional, physical, and mental health can identify which groups need additional support.

Maintains Accountability for Company Policies and Actions 

Employee treatment is a reflection of a company's values and operations. As consumers become more conscious of interacting with brands whose values align with their own, establishing admirable actions is essential. Measuring employee well-being can help you identify areas where changes are needed to develop actionable steps for improvement.

Attract Top Talent 

Effective strategies to attract and recruit talent are essential in a competitive hiring market. Well-being programs targeting employees' relevant needs are top incentives for job seekers when choosing between companies. Examples of popular offerings include flexible hours, caregiver benefits, mental health benefits that go beyond employee assistance programs, remote work, and better pay.

Engage and Retain Employees 

Employee engagement closely mirrors employee wellness in every category. Low physical, financial, and emotional wellness results in low percentages of employee engagement. 

Furthermore, Modern Health research revealed that employee well-being connects to lowered healthcare costs, increased productivity, and intention to stay at the company. More importantly, 73% of employees and 81% of managers revealed they would be more likely to stay at a company that offered high-quality resources to care for their mental health.

Metrics to Help Measure Employee Performance 

While there are many concrete numbers used to measure physical health, defining ways to measure employee well-being can seem like a mystery. However, there are certain metrics surrounding employee performance and other workplace indicators that can accurately forecast wellness. These metrics help gauge employee well-being.

Sick Days

Absenteeism rises when wellness levels decline. Stress can impact the musculoskeletal system, the respiratory system, the cardiovascular system, the endocrine system, the nervous system, and the gastrointestinal system. 

Absences related to stress, anxiety, and depression are common. By keeping a consistent check on absences, you can gather insight into how your employees are feeling.

Productivity Levels

How an employee feels physically and mentally can directly impact productivity. Presenteeism (when employees show up to work despite illness) accounts for 32 lost work days each year for employees with depression. Low productivity levels indicate low levels of employee well-being while improving productivity suggests that wellness programs are effective.


It's easy to mistake a willingness to work overtime for engagement or job satisfaction. However, long work hours can lead to burnout. Overtime can indicate heavy workloads, misalignment in priorities, or unreasonable deadlines. 

Employee Feedback

Direct employee feedback provides crucial insight into how employees feel about workplace conditions. Employers should routinely solicit employee opinions about existing and desired benefits and policies likely to improve employee wellness. There are several ways to gather employee feedback, including surveys, 1:1 interviews, and group conversations.

Data From Benefits Providers

It's common for employers to partner with professional companies to provide employees with group benefits. Some provider offerings include access to key metrics on your organization's health and well-being. For example, Modern Health's insights hub provides data surrounding the utilization of benefits, information about resources, and reporting tools to track organizational progress. 

How to Measure Employee Well-Being

Real insight into employee well-being requires feedback. These are some of the most effective ways to measure employee well-being.


Customer satisfaction surveys, net promoter score (NPS) surveys, and pulse surveys provide real insight into how employees feel about company culture, benefits, etc. Employee feedback can help identify potential problems or areas of improvement. 

Project Groups

Project groups represent entire teams to provide a better understanding of how employees feel and what they want. These teams can provide qualitative data with in-depth insights.

Validated Wellbeing Initiatives

Many apps and benefits programs use validated measures to track how employees are doing over time. For example, the opportunity to track well-being and mental health symptoms may give employees insight into what impacts mental health and wehn they need to focus on taking care of themselves. 

Employee Performance 

Business performance can reflect the well-being of the organization's teams. Low productivity is often associated with low engagement, which indicates poor well-being. By tracking employee performance over time, employers can gauge the effectiveness of well-being programs. 


Wearable technology, applications, AI-based tools, and conversational chatbots are a few of the tools that can measure employee wellness. These tools can help employers design programs suited to individual needs.

Free Report on The ROI of Mental Health Benefits

Employee Well-Being Tactics

Employee well-being is essential to high performance, innovation, and collaboration within your organization. If your metrics fall short of your goals, taking action is important. Utilize these efforts to improve employee well-being.

Virtual Health Weeks

Employee well-being embraces the idea that everyone is different and solutions aren't one-size-fits-all. Virtual health weeks provide education and opportunities for employees to learn about practices and tactics to improve well-being. Available courses may cover stress management, better sleep quality, yoga, meditation, etc. 

Remote Work

Remote work has provided employees with improved work-life balance and lower stress levels. It's also one of the top reasons employees search for a new position. McKinsey's American Opportunity Survey revealed that 87% of people who have the chance to work flexibly take it, and flexible working arrangements are among the top three motivators for finding a new job.

Online Coaching

Nearly 80% of employees believe they can successfully avoid severe mental health conditions or clinical-level care if they routinely prioritize their mental health. Online coaching usually includes goal-oriented services to help employees prioritize their mental health and develop goals for improvement. It offers a way for employees to interact with mental health care professionals to prioritize their mental well-being. 

Online Therapy Sessions

A critical shortage of mental health care professionals contributes to limited access and significant delays in appointments with in-network providers. Virtual appointments provide a different modality of care that can improve accessibility for employees living in rural areas or those with limited transportation. They also reduce costs for practitioners.

Pulse Surveys

Pulse surveys are short surveys conducted frequently (quarterly or monthly) to gather specific information or track the same item over time. After completing such surveys, employers must be transparent with the results and follow through with actions to improve employee well-being. 

Best Practices for Employee Well-Being

Employees face increased stress, high burnout levels, and dissatisfaction in the workplace. Creating a culture that supports employee well-being can improve employees' overall health and performance in the workplace as a result. 

However, programs and benefits are only helpful if they meet employees' needs and they feel safe using them. As such, it's important to increase open communication and use feedback. 

These practices can help you better use employee metrics to develop a successful program:

  • Communicate the importance of employee well-being to the organization: By sharing information early and often about employee well-being, you can help eliminate stigma surrounding mental health care and increase employee knowledge about available benefits.
  • Ensure the confidentiality and anonymity of the data collected: Discuss the importance of privacy and ensure that employees know they can safely use available benefits without others (including management) learning their confidential information.
  • Regularly monitor and analyze relevant metrics: Workplaces are constantly changing and evolving. By monitoring employee wellness metrics, you can make changes as needed.
  • Use the data to make informed decisions and implement improvements: Gathering data is unhelpful if left unused. Use employee well-being metrics to improve workplace culture and benefits offerings.

Employee well-being is crucial for company success. Regularly monitoring and improving employee well-being can lead to increased productivity, reduced turnover, and a positive work environment.

If you’re ready to roll out mental health benefits that help employees and yield a positive return on investment, download our ebook today!

Gabriella Chavarin

Gabriella Chavarin is Head of Content Marketing at Modern Health, a global mental health platform that helps keep employees healthy & resilient. Previously, Gabriella worked as a Marketing Manager for a national health payer organization, and she brings a wealth of healthcare and marketing experience to the Modern Health team.