“Can employers afford not to care?”

MetLife’s 21st annual U.S. Employee Benefit Trends Study asks and answers that question, with a resounding and evidence-based “NO.”









I’m in Salt Lake City today discussing the drivers of health, “yesterday, today, and tomorrow” at the Virgin Pulse Thrive Summit, celebrating the ten-year anniversary of the company.

As you would expect from an organization that is part of Richard Branson’s business ecosystem, the meeting will be energetically produced, delivering insights wrapped in info-taining ways. One of those features will be my being invited to create a soundtrack for my talk. Without giving away the entire playlist, I’ll share with you the segue tune for the “tomorrow” driver of health: All You Need is Love from The Beatles recorded in 1967 at Abbey Road Studios. Interestingly, the “B” side to the tune was Baby, You’re a Rich Man, which also plays into my discussion of health-drivers.








Among the most striking findings in this 21st year of MetLife’s research conducted among employers was that employees who feel cared for when working demonstrate an ROI from feeling so: among workers who feel cared-for at work,

  • 50% feel financially healthy, and,
  • 57% feel holistically healthy,

compared with workers who don’t feel the love at the workplace.







Doubling down on the role of employers in bolstering peoples’ well-being, the 2023 Edelman Trust Barometer found for another year that a person’s employer was the most-trusted institution in the world — much more than business in general, government, media, and NGOs.

See the Edelman data highlighted here: “My employer” ranks far above the other institutions assessed.

Furthermore, in our polarized social/political moment, employers are the only trusted institution across folks whether divided and deeply entrenched or not so divided.







Health Populi’s Hot Points:  Richard Branson has said, “Take care of your employees and they’ll take care of your business.”

Branson’s point is well-taken in the context of the MetLife and Edelman Trust findings. Not only do these feelin’-the-love employees realize an ROI on their own financial and holistic health, but they can be part of a re-building of the economy Wunderman Thompson coined as “the Joyconomy.”

As we entered 2023, the Wunderman Thompson forecasters called out the emerging trend of consumers “gravitating towards positive feeds and social circles, showing resilience, innovation, and joy in the face of continued hardship,” they explained.

This is the viral nature of being Connected with one-another: we can kick off a flywheel of positive behaviors that improve our own individual health status, which then inspires others in our networks and our networks’ networks.

The conveners at the 2023 Virgin Thrive Summit are meeting-up with this very concept in mind: after all, these are company leaders who are already investing in their employees’ health and well-being as part of Virgin Pulse’s community. Another Branson mantra-of-wisdom: “Happiness shouldn’t be a goal, it should be a habit.”

Let’s build the Joyconomy together.