If your program looks and feels the same as it always has, it’s time for a redesign.
The traditional workplace has been upended. Following years of global uncertainty and health challenges, you and your employees are likely adapting to new ways of working and living. Wellness programs are no exception.
New points of focus
Nearly every organization has altered its day-to-day management over the past few years. Among the most notable impacts is the rise of remote and hybrid workforces.
With so many employees rotating between home and work environments, and some never visiting a central location, wellness programs are adapting. This has led to decreases in on-site fitness activities, in-person health fairs, free food in the workplace, and in-office biometric screenings.
But it’s not just physical changes to office spaces. On an individual level, wide-scale mental shifts have taken place as people reassess their lives and careers.
To reflect these realities, wellness programs are increasingly focused on the following areas:
- Mental health
- Physical fitness
- Financial well-being
- Work-life balance
- Job satisfaction
- Diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI)
Mental health is front and center in today’s wellness programs. According to HRMorning, 90% of employers are increasing their investments in mental health initiatives as part of their wellness programming.
Employee assistance programs (EAPs) will play a big role as employers look to connect employees to free or low-cost resources. Stress management, resilience, mindfulness and meditation are among the trending topics for wellness programs.
On-site yoga and fitness classes, once a staple of wellness designs, are giving way to virtual options. Though gym reimbursements remain popular, around one-third of employers are shifting dollars away from gym memberships in favor of online options.
Digital classes allow employees to fit workouts into their schedules. These classes are often less expensive than in-office workouts. And the ability to access classes anytime, anywhere can remove barriers to participation for those who don’t have time during the workday or feel uncomfortable exercising at work.
Financial wellness is another growing point of emphasis in wellness program design — and for good reason. Employee Benefit News reports that financially stressed employees spend about 25% of their work time dealing with financial challenges.
Seeing that improvements in financial well-being are tied to gains in employee engagement and productivity, employers are investing more in this area of wellness. Trending topics include retirement and emergency savings, budgets, inflation and debt management.
With growing levels of employee burnout, work-life balance is also becoming a priority in wellness design. Common initiatives include mental health days, additional paid time off, flexible hours, and hybrid or remote work arrangements.
Supervisor support is vital for work-life initiatives to achieve success. Organizations are training supervisors to watch for signs of employee disengagement and become champions for work culture improvements. Other strategies include limiting or eliminating after-hours emails and phone calls.
The past two years have seen historic rates of employee resignations. To improve job satisfaction and retention, organizations are emphasizing social connections in their wellness programming.
Efforts to strengthen employee bonds include a mix of virtual and in-person options. Common examples are employee-led committees or support groups, team channels that promote common interests through platforms like Slack or Microsoft Teams, volunteer opportunities, community drives, and celebratory team gatherings.
Diversity, equity and inclusion
Another growing development is aiming wellness initiatives at traditionally underrepresented employees. Xtelligent Healthcare Media reports that more employers are working with vendors to document DEI factors in wellness programs. In addition, organizations are using diverse participation and inclusion as a measurement of program success.
Wellness program design changes around DEI include communications in multiple languages; promotional materials featuring different genders, races and body types; and offerings that appeal to people of different ages and ability levels.
Stay on top of wellness trends
For more insights on redesigning your wellness program, talk with your benefits adviser. They can help you stay on top of the trends and implement benefits that fit your workforce.
Submit a quote here to connect with one of our experts.
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Written content in blog post: Copyright © 2022 Applied Systems, Inc. All rights reserved.