U.S. organizations have long looked to health and productivity programs as one way to keep workers healthier, stem the tide of higher health care costs and maintain productivity levels. Now, the adoption of health care reform and its fast-approaching excise tax have created a new urgency to control costs. In response, organizations are developing new strategies, considering many new options (e.g., provider incentives) and retaining a keen focus on improving workers’ health.

Companies understand the value of health, well-being and worker effectiveness programs to their overall organizational health strategy, and largely view them as critical to helping the organization address employee health issues. But despite the best efforts of employers, actual participation in these programs is low. The survey identifies the factors that contribute to the lack of employee engagement and point the way to a strategy for change.

The Staying@Work Survey was completed by 892 employers in North America, Latin America, Europe and Asia between May and July 2013. In the U.S., the survey was jointly sponsored by Towers Watson and the National Business Group on Health. There were 199 U.S participants: 59% are public; 22% are private, and 19% are nonprofit or government agencies.