Corporate wellness programs are put in place to ensure that the employees’ health is not at risk. While employers provide extended medical leaves, finance healthcare services, and health insurance, that is not enough. A corporate wellness program is an approach an employer takes to ensure their employees have a healthy workplace. This can be achieved by including different health activities in the work schedule daily to improve their employees’ wellbeing.
Creating wellness programs has various benefits. These include improved employee health behavior, lowered elevated health risks, recruitment, employee retention, increased productivity, decreased employee absenteeism, and reduced medical costs. Our copy will highlight some of the top trends that will shape the future of corporate wellness programs in 2021.
Top 10 Trends
As discussed above, corporate wellness programs benefit both the employer and the employee.
In the last couple of years, most organizations have started prioritizing mental health. Given that in 2020, people had to work from home, and the anxiety and stress levels were high because some people lost their jobs, others took a pay cut, and others were on the edge because they did not know how long they were going to be retained for.
Most employers have taken this into account and are incorporating mental health wellness programs in the workplace.
2021 will see most employers investing in mental health for their employees. Wellness begins in mind, therefore, employees need to be in the right headspace to be productive at work. The trend of investing in a mental health wellness program is one that will majorly shape the future of corporate wellness programs and one that should stay.
Mindfulness and Meditation
Mindfulness and meditation play a huge role in the employees’ mental health wellbeing. It is a trend bound to shape the future of corporate wellness programs in 2021 and the years to come. Mindfulness and meditation are important to include in corporate wellness programs because they help reduce anxiety, reduce implicit race and age bias, increase body satisfaction, improve cognition, and help the brain reduce distractions. Mindfulness and meditation go hand in hand with mental health.
Stress management wellness programs in the corporate industry have been in place for some time now. However, with the pandemic and how employees’ anxiety and stress levels skyrocketed due to everything’s uncertainty, 2021 is bound to see more employers incorporate stress management programs as part of the corporate wellness program.
Stress management programs help put employees at ease. They could either be stressed in their personal lives or the work environment. Having this program in place ensures they have a channel to let it out and learn how to handle and manage stress, making the work environment healthy.
Telemedicine is a system that allows professional health care workers to evaluate, diagnose, and treat patients through telecommunication technology. Telemedicine ensures that the patient and health care worker are not in physical contact with each other. After the pandemic hit, telemedicine gained popularity. It is a trend that most employers will invest in, in 2021 as part of their corporate wellness program. It is easier to get in touch with a healthcare provider and have them diagnose while also ensuring they are practicing social distancing.
COVID-19 Wellness Passport
It is only right that this makes it to the list of the trends shaping corporate wellness programs’ future in 2021. Most employers are investing in a Covid-19 wellness passport. It is cost-effective and ensures that every individual and employee in the workplace stays protected. It also minimizes the chance of anyone unknowingly exposing individuals in the workplace to the virus.
In-person and Virtual Activity Meetings
Due to the social distance rule, most corporations have some employees coming into the office and others working virtually. A trend that could shape the corporate wellness program is coming up with activities that both employees can participate in. To ensure that you promote social and physical wellness, you could have daily or occasional virtual yoga. This ensures that both the employees working from home and those working from the office can stay active and feel connected.
Financial Wellness Programs
Most employees are usually stressed out about their finances. The pandemic has made most employees’ financial stress hit an all-time high. With pay cuts, and the cost of living still being high, it has impacted a lot of stress.
Financial wellness is often overlooked, but it is a trend that will shape the future of corporate wellness programs in 2021. For instance, employers could include benefits such as, financial planning support that is accessible, financial planning education sessions, and extended paid leave. Given how stressful the pandemic has been on employees, setting up a financial wellness program for them would be a good thing.
Making Wellness a Priority
Most employers are looking into making their employees’ wellness a priority. Some of the top corporations have already embraced and incorporated this in their wellness programs. Most people, when looking for employment nowadays, look at the wellness program offered.
2021 will see a lot of corporations investing in wellness programs. This is because, a good wellness program ensures that an employer can easily retain their employees, and it is also a strategy in hiring new employees.
When the pandemic hit, most corporations had to learn to adjust and embrace the idea of their employees working from home. Most corporations still have their employees working virtually, and they are not intending on having them go back to the office.
Working from home has helped most employees learn how to balance their work and personal life. While this is great, employers need to ensure that they set up virtual events or charities where they can still contact.
A trend that is also bound to shape corporate wellness programs is employers devising wellness programs for employees who work from home and have children. Options such as flexible work hours, child care, and paid leave can be put in place for parents since they have to juggle between work and watching their children. Employers could also have a wellness program for young employees since they are more likely to be affected by stress.
Corporate Wellness Stats and Growth Projections in 2021
As essential as it is for employers to have a wellness program in place for their employees, it is also important to educate themselves on why it is important. The following are some statistics that will help employers understand the importance of having a wellness program in place.
- Company Culture – 77% of employees believe that having a wellness program in place significantly impacts the company’s culture.
- Healthy Lifestyle – 61% of employees report that they have had a healthy lifestyle change since they enrolled in their workplace wellness program. While 70% have implemented healthier behavior due to the healthy cafeteria menus.
- Support – When looking for jobs, most employees tend to look if a company has a wellness program in place. 87% of employees look for employers who can support them achieve their work-life balance.
- Satisfaction – Employees are more likely to be satisfied and productive in jobs with a wellness program in place. Out of every ten employees, nine say they are motivated and satisfied in their jobs when their employers support their health and wellbeing.
- Financial Sustainability – 63% of employers who have a wellness program in place report that they have had significant financial growth and sustainability. Compared to other companies that do not have a wellness program, they have a 40% chance of having better financial performance.
- Reduction in Elevated Risks – Wellness programs are essentially put in place to ensure employees adopt healthy behavior. Whether it is their eating habits or fitness, there can be a significant change in six weeks or less when a wellness program is put in place. A study shows that five out of every seven health risks are improved in one year.
- Reduced Health Care Costs – Wellness programs ensure a decrease in the healthcare costs that an employer has to incur. Money spent on wellness programs saves the company at least thrice the cost that would have been spent on healthcare. Various scientific papers and studies can attest to this. With a wellness program in place, an employer could see a 62% decrease in healthcare costs.
- Decrease Absenteeism – Statistics show that having a wellness program in place can decrease absenteeism, which will also save costs. As an employer, you can get a return on your investment when your employees are present and doing their job. 56% of employees are present at work due to wellness programs.
- Increase in Productivity – Having a wellness program in place will significantly increase productivity at work. As mentioned earlier, everything starts in the mind, so if your employees are relaxed and in a good headspace, they will be productive at work. A wellness program will see a 54% increase in productivity when it is employed.
- Improvement in Employee Health Behavior – Having an employee wellness program helps improve the employee’s health behavior. If the employees are working long hours, eating unhealthy, and not getting time to exercise, it increases their health risk and is likely to develop a chronic disease. This means an increase in the healthcare cost.
You will notice a significant increase in productivity and a drop in absenteeism with a wellness program in place. A study also shows that 70% of employees are satisfied with their work if there is a wellness program.
Having a wellness program in place is great for both the employees and the employer. More than ever, 2021 should be the year that more corporations embraced trends for their corporate wellness programs. Set up one if it is not already in place.