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Report: Over 60 percent of Employees Surveyed Indicate Well-being Support as Top Priority when Seeking Employment

December 15, 2021

Woman working on laptop at home
New research from Paychex reveals ways employers can improve support for employee well-being

New research from Paychex, Inc., a leading provider of integrated human capital management software solutions for human resources, payroll, benefits, and insurance services, reveals that workers place a high value on employers supporting their well-being. During a time with an increased demand for employees and fierce competition for talent, there is a driving desire for a holistic benefits package, specifically benefits focused on well-being. According to the survey, 62% of respondents strongly agree or agree that employee well-being support and benefits are a top priority when applying for or considering their next job. The survey was conducted in partnership with Future Workplace, an Executive Networks member company.

This sentiment reflects changing employee perspectives on their overall well-being over the course of the COVID-19 pandemic. More than two-thirds (69%) of employees stated that prior to the pandemic their overall well-being was good or very good, while during the height of the pandemic, fewer than half of employees felt that way (44%). And, while that number indicates it is starting to recover (59%), well-being has yet to return to pre-pandemic levels.

“As workers continue to leave their jobs in record numbers, organizations need to constantly take the pulse of what employees expect from their employer and adjust their offerings accordingly,” said Jeanne Meister, the founder of Future Workplace and executive vice president at Executive Networks. “A focus on supporting their well-being will be a standard expectation that most employees will have of their employer, now and in the future.”

Employee Sentiment and Well-being Challenges
The report shows that employers have several opportunities to improve their support of employee well-being, with less than half of respondents (48%) reporting that their employer prioritizes their well-being.

When asked to consider the five core components of well-being and identify which component they’re struggling with most, here is how employees responded:

  • Financial well-being (29%)
  • Mental/emotional well-being (24%)
  • Physical well-being (17%)
  • Social well-being (17%)
  • Career well-being (13%)

How Employees Believe Employers Can Help Support Well-being When asked to identify the actions employers can take to improve employee well-being, worker opinions varied. Providing additional paid time off was the frontrunner at 35%, followed by:

  • Offering better mental health benefits (29%)
  • Offering better health insurance (28%)
  • More adequate staffing (28%)
  • Offering better financial wellness training and benefits (27%)

Gen Z has the biggest desire for better mental health benefits out of any other generation surveyed. In general, the two youngest generations place more emphasis on companies that take several actions to improve overall well-being. Additionally, Gen Z (30%) are more likely to want their employers to provide better childcare benefits than Boomers (9%), Gen X (12%), and Millennials (18%).

Note: Gen Z is defined as those born between 1997 and 2015, Millennials are defined as those born between 1981 and 1996, Gen X is defined as those born between 1965 and 1980, and Boomers are defined as those born between 1946 and 1964.

Current Well-being Differences by Generation According to the research, members of older generations (Gen X and Boomer) are significantly more likely to rate their current well-being as good or very good compared to their younger counterparts (Millennial and Gen Z). Here is how each of the generations surveyed rated their current well-being:

  • Boomer: 63% rate well-being as good or very good; 8% rate well-being as poor or very poor
  • Gen X: 63% rate well-being as good or very good; 12% rate well-being as poor or very poor
  • Millennial: 56% rate well-being as good or very good; 18% rate well-being as poor or very poor
  • Gen Z: 55% rate well-being as good or very good; 19% rate well-being as poor or very poor

“This research reinforces the importance of employee wellness when recruiting and retaining top talent. HR leaders will need to actively consider the role well-being benefits play in creating a culture where employees feel supported and empowered to do their best,” said Alison Stevens, director of HR Services at Paychex.

For more insights on employee well-being, please view the full research report.

About the Research
This data is the result of an online survey of 603 full-time employees at small to mid-size businesses in the U.S fielded from November 11-12, 2021. This is a survey in a series of research reports administered by Future Workplace that will focus on the employee point of view and pinpoint top concerns, priorities, and trends facing the modern workforce.

About Paychex
Paychex, Inc. (Nasdaq: PAYX) is a leading provider of integrated human capital management solutions for human resources, payroll, benefits, and insurance services. By combining its innovative software-as-a-service technology and mobility platform with dedicated, personal service, Paychex empowers small- and medium-sized business owners to focus on the growth and management of their business. Backed by 50 years of industry expertise, Paychex serves more than 710,000 payroll clients as of May 31, 2021 across more than 100 locations in the U.S. and Europe, and pays one out of every 12 American private sector employees. Learn more about Paychex by visiting and stay connected on Twitter and LinkedIn.

Samantha Jean

Samantha Jean

Samantha Jean joined Paychex in October 2021 and serves as public relations program manager. In this role, she is responsible for advancing the company’s reputation as an HR outsourcing leader, overseeing HR research initiatives, and supporting the overall goals of the public relations department. Samantha is a graduate of the State University of New York at Oswego where she studied Public Relations and Graphic Design. Prior to joining Paychex, Samantha spent several years working in agency PR and marketing in both New York, NY and Rochester, NY.

Public Relations Program Manager