Companies based in the U.S. continue to view health and productivity (H&P) programs as a core component of their organizational health strategy, with 49% saying they are essential to their strategy and 42% saying they play a moderate role. A total of 84% plan to increase H&P program support over the next two years — 17% plan to increase it significantly.

Currently, 50% of U.S. employers don’t have a clear, articulated H&P strategy, but nearly six in 10 (59%) plan to design a strategy that is differentiated from competitors in the next three years.

As employers increase their H&P investment, they expect better outcomes — both improved employee health and reduced costs. Nearly eight in 10 (77%) say lack of employee engagement is the biggest obstacle to changing behavior. Despite offering a variety of H&P programs, few employees participate.

What can you do to boost program success and achieve a workplace health culture? Here are three ideas:

#1: Address employee lifestyle risks.

Most employers rank stress as the top workforce health risk issue — ahead of both obesity and inactivity.

#2: Develop employee H&P strategy focused on real sources of stress.

Employers and employees have nearly polar opposite views of top causes of stress, increasing the risk of diverting time and resources from real causes, alienating employees and incurring high costs of absenteeism, presenteeism and turnover.

#3: Hold employees accountable for improving their health.

As companies strive to maximize employee participation in H&P programs, they will increasingly use financial incentives and penalties to encourage employees to take positive action.