As we head into 2021, employers are looking to turn the page on a tough year. However, the push for digital health and wellness programs is still prevalent and should be part of your 2021 plan. As many organizations remain remote, employees are missing out on health and wellness perks that were available while working in the office. It is important for employers to keep their employees motivated to stay healthy, especially through the winter months.
A recent study, State of the Industry: Employee Well-being in 2016, from Virgin Pulse, in partnership with Human Capital Media, surveyed over 1,000 HR professionals across a variety of levels and industries to see how they planned to use employee wellness and health programs in 2016. Their findings go beyond the obvious answer we have seen in past years. The survey indicated that employee wellness programs in 2016 will not simply focus on reducing healthcare costs for employers and employees. Employee wellness has expanded to include financial wellness, and more company-centric motives like employee productivity, promoting organizational culture and employee engagement. The investment in employee wellness is moving from being viewed as a cost-cutting measure and is now used more as a tool for employee engagement. Here are the key stats from the new study:
As employee wellness becomes the rule and not the exception there’s an opportunity to have your program rise above the rest. Expanding wellness programs past just medical health and focusing on other aspects of employees’ lives, such as employee financial wellness, that can affect their health through stress and other factors can create a more holistic wellness picture. Financial education is a component that continues to enhance employee wellness programs across the country. Finances are a common stressor for employees regardless of their age or station and providing financial education and planning to employees can actually make employees healthier.
It's the time of year for diets, gym membership renewals and for some, delusions of grandeur about a healthier year. The key is to turn that burst of enthusiasm into long-term healthy habits that help employees fall into routines that are here to stay for the long haul. Healthy employees miss less work, and are more productive, focused and hungrier to move up and improve. So how can we bring good habits to employees that foster healthier, and ultimately stronger, contributors? The answer is simple. Bring the health and wellness initiative into the workplace. From zumba classes at lunch and yoga happy hours, to health-conscious gift card reward options like CVS/pharmacy and Whole Foods Market for reaching weight loss goals or maintaining those habits, employee health and wellness is a win-win for the entire company. While employees get healthier, healthcare costs get reduced for both employees and employers. One example of this is at USI insurance. If employees and spouses agreed to annual biometrics screenings, healthcare costs could drop as much as 30%. While some employees can find these screenings invasive, 89% of USI employees enrolled in the program, finding the discount to be worth the tradeoff of the screenings. The impact that the discount has on employees and their family budgets is significant, and they can attribute that financial relief to their employer. If that's not enough motivation to keep those new year's resolutions, then I don't know what is. For more information on the impact employee health has on your business and it's staff, check out this article in the Orange County Register.
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