It should be no surprise that among the top trends in human resources is improved wellness programs. An increased desire for a healthy lifestyle and more involvement from upper management has put wellness at the forefront of the human resources department.
Needless to say, we have work to do. In fact, the Flex + Strategy Group blog noted that 25% of employees do not have the option of a wellness/wellbeing program at their workplace. However, 20% said that although they do not participate in a corporate wellness program (either for lack of interest or opportunity), they still pursue wellness programs on their own. Evidence that there are either not enough or not appropriate opportunities available in the workplace. This paves the way for needed improvement.
Here are a few ways we see wellness programs advancing in the upcoming year:
Competition vs. Rewards for Wellness Initiatives
With the EEOC’s Final Rule on Employer Wellness Programs, we expect to see a decrease in the number of financial incentives for wellness programs and a trend towards more friendly competition in the workplace. 91% of employees said they would engage in healthier behaviors if they were rewarded, according to a survey from Welltok, which proves there is still a need to incentivize behavior. But with the rise in wearables and other technology, we can anticipate more Fitbit challenges and competitions in our future.
A Focus on Mental Health
Mental and behavioral health conditions cost employers around $104 billion each year, while only 41% of employees say their employer helps them meet mental health needs. As wellness programs become more holistic, we find a trend towards more engagement in the mental health realm. Helping employees take control of their mental health not only improves retention but productivity as well. Whether it’s implementing more mindfulness practices or on-site counseling, there are many opportunities for employers to engage employees in this way.
Highlighting Financial Wellness
Many employers made the headlines last year for offering student loan repayment and tuition assistance. However, this is not financially viable for all companies. However, we do anticipate more education being provided around financial wellness for employees. According to Aon Hewitt, nearly 89% of employers plan on implementing tools to expand their financial health focus. The main reason? “To increase employee engagement”. From budgeting classes to debt management, expect to see more financial education in the workplace this year.
How is your company improving wellness this year? What new programs are you implementing?