Global well-being improvement leader Healthways and world-leading management consulting firm Gallup have achieved the next milestone in their joint venture to advance the science of well-being measurement and improvement. The new Gallup-Healthways Well-Being 5 is a comprehensive and scientifically validated survey instrument that measures, reports and tracks well-being at individual, local, national and global levels. The Well-Being 5 measures the five interrelated elements of well-being: purpose, social, financial, community and physical.
Healthcare organizations, employers, communities and governments are increasingly turning to well-being improvement as a means to positively impact quality of life, longevity and productivity while more effectively managing population health and reducing health-related costs. Research has shown overall well-being to be a stronger predictor of health and performance outcomes over time than demographic characteristics, prior health utilization and costs, and behavioral and physical health risks alone.
“The most important dial on any leader’s dashboard for the next 20 years will be well-being,” said Jim Clifton, Gallup chairman and chief executive officer. “The money that well-being improvement means for companies—both for performance and productivity gains as well as healthcare cost reduction—is substantial.”
“Moving beyond physical health and having an informed strategy to improve well-being is the single most important thing that organizations can do to improve performance and lower health-related costs,” said Ben R. Leedle, Jr., Healthways president and chief executive officer. “Whether you’re an individual who wants to live better and longer, an employer who understands the relationship of higher well-being to improved performance and lower costs, a health plan or health system looking for a more effective way to manage risk and deliver value, or a community building its economic vitality, a critical first step is creating a baseline for well-being and then systematically measuring change. Because Gallup and Healthways have worked together to create the world’s largest, most diverse dataset on well-being, the insights that can be gleaned from the Well-Being 5 are truly unparalleled in their depth, accuracy and value.”
The Well-Being 5 is based on decades of scientific research by Gallup and Healthways. Foundational research used rigorous processes in which experts evaluated hundreds of well-being questions and millions of responses to determine specific question and response wording and question order. The final set of questions in the Well-Being 5 was chosen based on its power to identify risk, comprehensively capture well-being and predict outcomes with optimal validity, accuracy and precision. The survey experience is designed to maximize both engagement and action, applying principles that include making the best choice the easy choice, suggesting direct action, moving the individual through the experience in increments that allow for learning and providing feedback on what is most valuable to that individual.
Findings from a new study published in Population Health Management confirm that this next evolution in well-being measurement “comprehensively captures the known constructs within well-being, is reliable and valid, significantly relates to health and performance outcomes, can be diagnostic and informative for intervention, and can be used to track and compare well-being over time and across groups. Using the Well-Being 5 instrument, well-being issues within a population can be effectively identified, prioritized and addressed, yielding substantial improvements to the health status, performance, functioning, and quality of life for individuals.”
“As well‐being improvement is increasingly adopted as a strategy to reduce healthcare costs and improve workforce performance, a reliable and validated measure is essential to quantify well‐being changes and their practical meaning in relation to interventions,” said James E. Pope, MD, chief science officer at Healthways and coauthor of the article. “We are able to capture the root causes underlying and preceding some of the traditional lifestyle risk factors and chronic illnesses, then intervene before they become detrimental to individuals and costly to organizations.”
“Employers that only emphasize workplace wellness programs and physical health promotion rather than take a more holistic approach to well-being are missing a significant opportunity to maximize productivity and performance, health outcomes and healthcare cost savings,” said Patrick D. Bogart, director of client service for Gallup. “Intervention strategies need to be based on the unique well-being needs of each organization’s employee profile in order to improve total population well-being, not just mitigate physical health risk. There are no other tools that comprehensively measure well-being in a way that immediately informs and assists the user in improving well-being while measuring the most powerful factors impacting a population’s productivity and healthcare costs.”
“Promoting well-being with our employees makes good economic sense,” said Marsha Brock, benefits administrator at Averitt Express, Inc., a leading provider of freight transportation and supply chain management with international reach to more than 100 countries. “The Well-Being 5 provides an important opportunity for us to continue to make purposeful and steadfast investments in the well-being of our workforce, knowing we will be better positioned to drive performance and employee engagement. In partnering with Healthways over the past seven years, we continue to see significant improvements in the engagement and well-being of our employees and a reduction in risk factors, leading to lower overall healthcare costs. Averitt is proud of our partnership with Healthways in helping our employees live healthier and more productive lives.”