Stay on top of corporate wellness trends this year by taking a look at the top issues that will impact your program in 2019:
Privacy of personal data: Every wellness portal, survey, wearable device and lab test data has the potential to expose employees and employers to data breaches. Ensure your wellness vendors maintain the highest level of data privacy, security and compliance. As an employer, it is also important to be transparent to employees about who has access to their health information.
Self-care and advocacy: Mindfulness will continue to be a way for employees to control stress and boost self-confidence and, ultimately, productivity. More employers are including other holistic wellness programs that employees can use both at work and at home such as meditation, sleep programs and social well-being.
Legal impacts on the horizon: A recent decision involving the EEOC and AARP took effect on January 19. In this case, regulations concerning wellness program incentives were eliminated without newly revised regulatory guidance. Employers are now faced with uncertainty regarding whether their wellness program incentives fall within the “voluntary” requirements under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act (GINA). Proposed rules may be released by June 2019, but it may be 2020 before the EEOC issues any final rules. Employers are encouraged to monitor developments, including the issuance of any new wellness program regulations, and work with legal counsel to ensure their wellness programs comply with all applicable laws.
Avoiding employee burnout: A recent Gallup survey found that 44 percent of employees reported feelings of burnout at work. Employee burnout impacts all industries, costing employers money in lost productivity, low engagement, increased errors and more safety incidents. Managers and employers should identify signs of stress and help employees take actionable steps toward managing and resolving the root causes. Employers can encourage employees to relax and recharge with mid-day breaks, advising on better sleep habits, offering flexible schedules or using paid time off.
Onsite health clinics: According to the National Association of Worksite Health Clinics, 50 percent of employers with over 5,000 employees have onsite or near-site clinics. By 2020, it's estimated that two-thirds of all employers will have onsite health facilities. By creating these employee health clinics, employers can offer competitive benefits, control costs and provide quality healthcare to employees. According to another similar study, 58 percent of employers that incorporated an onsite clinic say it has been successful in helping members control chronic conditions.
Personalization using artificial intelligence: Technology is allowing employers to transform corporate wellness programs by tailoring plans, wellness goals and preferences to each employees health and well-being objectives. User-interface platforms enable employees to customize a plan that works for their lifestyle.
Financial wellness: Corporate Insight's 2018 Employee Financial Wellness Survey found 14 percent of employees had access to employer-sponsored programs or resources to help them improve their financial well-being. The survey found 63 percent of workers with access to financial wellness resources used them, and the 53 percent who did not have access to a financial wellness plan said they thought their employer should offer one. Employees who are distracted by financial problems can create significant costs for employers in terms of productivity and work errors. An effective financial wellness program should encourage budgeting, emergency savings, debt elimination and retirement planning.
It’s essential to regularly assess and evaluate your wellness strategies. Taking note of the latest industry trends can help you refresh your corporate wellness strategy and will help keep your employees happy and healthy. On April 30, we'll be hosting a complimentary webinar on trends in corporate wellness. Keep an eye on our events page for registration details.