More than two-thirds (70 per cent) of global employers say they’re seeing a return on investment from their employee well-being programs, up significantly from 23 per cent in 2018, according to a new survey by research firm YouGov on behalf of Virgin Group Ltd.

The survey, which polled more than 600 employers, found two-thirds said they’ve seen an increase in employee participation in well-being programs, a percentage that increased among employers in the U.S. (80 per cent) and France (75 per cent).

In terms of their No. 1 well-being issues, employers ranked support for employees’ mental-health concerns (56 per cent), stress management (49 per cent) and providing health-risk assessments (41 per cent). Just 21 per cent cited smoking cessation as a well-being issue.

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When asked why they offer a well-being program, more than a quarter (28 per cent) of respondents cited employee engagement as the No. 1 reason, while a fifth (21 per cent) cited the positive impact on workplace culture. A quarter (26 per cent) of Swiss employers said offering a well-being program was the right thing to do for employees and 22 per cent of Dutch employers cited employee retention as their No. 1 reason for offering a well-being program.

While email remains the most common method of communicating well-being programs to employees, two-thirds (66 per cent) of employers said they use social media in their communications, up from 21 per cent in 2018.

And despite ongoing cost management challenges, more than half of respondents said they plan to introduce or enhance their health and well-being programs (59 per cent), mental-health programs (57 per cent) and health-care benefits navigation (53 per cent).

Read: 90% of employers maintaining investments in employee well-being: survey