Health care costs are on the rise, and in order to control their internal costs, companies are focusing on embracing wellbeing and developing wellness programs to keep employees happy and healthy in the New Year.
According to the ninth annual Health and Well-Being Survey from Fidelity Investments and the National Business Group in Health, 67% of companies plan to expand their existing wellness programs over the next three to five years. And as they expand, employers are putting more resources into incentives to entice employees to utilize wellness programs.
Expanding Well-Being Initiatives
Employers are beginning to see well-being initiatives as a way to not only keep costs down but to improve employee engagement as well. Which means, many companies’ fast-expanding wellness programs will focus on traditional physical health, social and emotional well-being, job satisfaction, and even financial security.
Employers also intend to include more stress management training, community involvement and volunteer activities, and social connectedness opportunities in the coming year.
Embracing New Wellness Trends
On top of program expansions and incentives, employers are also discovering exciting new employee wellness trends for 2019.
AI is already starting to make its impact on the corporate wellness industry by personalizing each employee’s experience. In the new year, more companies will adopt this type of technology to help give employees access to the information that’s most relevant to them, and leverage data based on their preferences and goals.
2019 will also bring more digital social recognition programs to help employees motivate one another to reach their fitness and general wellness goals.
Virtual Wellness Programming
As more employers offer remote opportunities and flexible hours, they’ll start to focus less on in-office wellness initiatives and classes. Instead, they’ll provide more virtual programs that can be viewed anywhere, at any time.
Lastly, with new technology, companies will be able to utilize smarter analytics for their wellness programs in 2019. You can generate reports targeted specifically to each employee that include things like biometrics, incentives, health risk assessments and challenges, and evaluate what is working and what isn’t.
With rising health care costs, the companies that embrace these key trends will have the most success investing in their employees’ overall well-being during the new year.
Creating a Culture of Wellness
Employers can implement new technologies and resources to support their wellness programs, but if you don’t create a supporting culture around the program, employees are much less likely to take advantage of it. In 2019, more companies will be focusing on creating that type of culture and working to get their employees engaged in their wellness initiatives.
In creating a culture of wellness, more employers will also start to prioritize self-care opportunities for their employees – such as mindfulness practices and general holistic wellness. It’ll also be important to identify and address burnout and encourage employees to take time to relax and recharge in any way you see fit.
As we head into the new year, employers are seeing more reasons to embrace employee wellness programs. And by cutting costs with new, efficient tech, expanding programs to include overall well-being aside from physical wellness, offering employee incentives, and creating a healthier company culture overall, they’re able to provide the most effective programs and make a positive impact on their employees’ well-being.
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