Employers Expanding Wellness Definition and Program Opportunities

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Employee Wellness 2017

Most individuals spend about one third of their adult lives at work. It’s a natural fit then that workplaces become the center for healthy habits. Employers are moving into the role of nurturing their employees and helping them become healthy, happy and financially sound.

This has required companies to expand the definition of wellness to address employees’ physical, emotional, and financial needs. Broadening the concept comes with additional potential benefits. It can help create a more productive and engaged workforce that feels valued by their employer.

Related: New Wellness Initiatives Look To Build Employee Engagement

Additionally, organizations that spend the resources on creating a wellness-focused culture have the ability to attract top talent and potentially lower healthcare costs through establishing healthy living habits.

Designing a Better Wellness Program in 2017

Over 60% of companies have grasped this trend according to the Society for Human Resources Management (SHRM) 2016 annual benefits survey. They are providing comprehensive programs that include incentives, gamified team challenges and custom programming. And 84% reported planning to continue or expand their wellness offerings in the next 3-5 years.

Related: Wellness Efforts Need to Address Five Important Risk Factors

Move Beyond One-Size Fits All

Therefore, in order to be successful today, wellness programs need to tackle many aspects of employee well-being through various methods and engagement tactics.

Related: Wellness Program Components Need Analysis Prior to 2017

A key to connecting with employees is recognizing a new approach that moves beyond one-size fits all is needed. With five generations in the workplace, a successful wellness program must evolve to meet the varying needs of employees at different life stages.

Increasing the scope of wellness is one of the biggest trends noted by benefit experts recently. And along with that, companies are adding more programs to increase engagement and motivation, such as utilizing customizable tools like fitness trackers, nutrition apps, stress and financial management tools and seminars. Handing out rewards for employee effort is helping too.

Related: Workplace Wellness Programs Approaches and Take-Aways

Design the Workplace Around Wellness

Making wellness a cultural issue, means employees don’t have to figure out the program alone, there will be connections to programs and resources and they will be acknowledged for their commitment. Broadening the wellness definition and tailoring wellness program initiatives to meet personal needs and preferences means a broad range of worker demographics will be engaged, increasing the value of their benefit offerings.

Related: Focus On Value For Employee Wellness Programs

Source:  Workforce. Workplace Wellness Programs Continue Healthy Ascent. March/April 2017. PP44-49.

Infographic: Wellness Program Trends in 2017

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