The World Health Organization recently declared loneliness to be a pressing global health threat—Its mortality effects are equivalent to smoking 15 cigarettes a day. Workplaces have a unique opportunity to help combat the loneliness epidemic by fostering community, connection and belonging within their organizations.

Creating Community to Combat Loneliness

This National Employee Benefits Day (NEBD), we’re breaking down the definition of loneliness, its impact on workplaces, and steps employers and plan sponsors can take to combat loneliness within their own organizations, leveraging social capital to build a stronger workforce.

Here are three ways to get involved this Benefits Day:

  1. Tune in tomorrow (April 2) at 2:00 p.m. ET for a FREE webcast, The Loneliness Epidemic: How Did We Get Here and Where Do We Go From Here? Anjali Rameshbabu, Ph.D., will share the implications for our workforce, the healing effects of social connection and strategies for organizations.

  2. Visit the NEBD resource page for additional information surrounding loneliness and building community, including blogs, podcast episodes, toolkits and more.

  3. Watch a video about loneliness and how building a culture of community in the workplace can help employees make meaningful connections and overcome feelings of loneliness.

“Companies that create programs to tackle structural loneliness have the power to drive change at a societal level not only by strengthening connections among employees, partners and clients but also by serving as an innovation hub that can inspire other organizations to address loneliness.”

Dr. Vivek Murthy, U.S. Surgeon General
What Can Employers Do?

The workplace is the single best place to create social capital. Workplace leaders seeking to improve employee and organizational wellness should include resources aimed at fostering connection between individuals and across teams, creating opportunities for socializing as well as cultivating a company culture that values openness, belongingness and communication. Without a new approach to facilitating relationships at work, employee isolation and disconnection will continue to grow.

Join the Foundation in celebrating National Employee Benefits Day on Tuesday, April 2, 2024! For more information, visit www.ifebp.org/BenefitsDay.

Anne Patterson

Associate Director, PR and Communications Favorite Foundation Product: Foundation Community. It’s like LinkedIn but only for Foundation members. They can post questions, share best practices, etc—all with fellow members who also live and breathe employee benefits. Benefits-related Topics That Interest Her Most: Mental health, diversity, equity and inclusion, behavioral decision making, family-forming benefits, payroll audits. Personal Insight: When she’s not busy keeping up with her two little ones, Anne finds joy in home renovation and décor, haiku writing, watching Jeopardy, crafting charcuterie boards, and bicycling.

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