These 3 Things Spell Big Changes for Workplace Wellbeing
February 13, 2020 / Corporate Wellness
Listen up, leaders — workplace wellbeing is changing.
As we’ve shifted into a world where employees are expecting their employers to provide well-rounded benefits, enticing workplace cultures that align with their personal goals and virtues and excellent work environments, wellbeing programs have emerged as an effective way to provide all of that and more.
But the needs of an organization can shift even from day to day, and wellbeing programs have been changing along with them. Many employers now provide holistic wellness benefits, covering physical, mental, social, financial and overall wellbeing, rather than addressing physical health alone. And, according to a recent report, 95% of employers believe that investing in health and wellbeing will be just as or more important in the future.
As this exciting industry continues to grow, it’s important to stay up to date on the latest trends in employee wellbeing. Here are three big changes for wellbeing in the workplace that you should know:
Workplace Wellbeing is a Worldwide Trend
While the U.S. has been grappling with high healthcare costs, the rest of the world has been ramping up its wellbeing efforts to combat global health trends. Rising levels of obesity, heart disease and stress (to name a few) have helped drive growth in employee wellness worldwide. In fact, the $47.5 billion employee wellbeing market continues to grow 4.8% every year. And, in our annual wellbeing industry survey of over 500 HR and health professionals, 94% of respondents reported that they offered a wellbeing program in 2019 — up 22% from the previous year’s survey.
Health aside, some things are universal in business — like the need for happy, engaged workers who show up every day to do their best work. Eighty-one percent of our survey respondents agree that a healthy workforce drives employee engagement and 58% believe that investing in wellbeing will boost productivity levels.
It just goes to show that no matter where you are in the world, when you put your people first, profits will follow. And when you have happy employees, you’ll have happy customers as well.
Executives Look Beyond the ROI of Workplace Wellbeing Programs
Wellbeing programs can cut costs, attract and retain top talent and build great company cultures, but getting the C-suite on board hasn’t always been easy. But now, things have shifted.
More and more executives worldwide are not just adopting a wellbeing strategy, but they’re championing it for its benefit outside of ROI. In our survey, we found that more than two thirds (67%) of executives and CEOs invest in workplace wellbeing because it’s the right thing to do or because it fits with their core mission and values.
This represents a significant change in workplace wellbeing. Today’s leaders are leveraging a people-first approach to build a brand that people want to work for, a brand that outshines its competitors, and a brand that’s true to their people. And they’re using wellbeing programs to get there.
Health Coaching Is on the Rise
Limited access to preventive healthcare or regular check-ins with a doctor can turn small problems into big ones over time — but health coaching is here to fix that.
Chronic conditions and mental illness (diabetes, cancer, asthma, depression and more) comprise more than 85% of the $2.7 trillion in annual health care expenditures. Here’s the rub — a significant portion of these conditions can be prevented, and in some cases reversed, with the right lifestyle interventions.
Anyone who has tried to change something in their life knows that it’s not easy. Health coaches provide a necessary human touch to digital health solutions, like workplace wellbeing programs. By addressing an individual’s needs with a holistic, whole-person approach, they can close gaps in care, help people adhere to medication or treatment plans and provide necessary support through a person’s health journey — no matter where they are.
For companies that provide HRAs and biometric screenings, health coaches provide that next step by helping people understand their results and initiating small changes to address any underlying issues.
Because of the significant impact they’ve had on improving health outcomes, getting through to hard-to-reach populations and reducing healthcare costs, health coaching programs have grown significantly in popularity, especially in the U.S., with more programs expanding to support the full spectrum of employee health and wellbeing.