10 Corporate Wellness Trends for 2020
The advent of 2020 and the ushering in of a new decade bring new workplace wellness challenges, but they also bring exciting new trends for employers to consider. These trends are filled with ideas that can improve current wellness programs and increase both engagement and results. As we head into 2020, here’s what you can expect to see in corporate wellness:
Tailored wellness experiences: Employers can create personalized wellness portals that provide employees with the tools they need to stay healthy. Similar to the way data is collected by e-commerce sites to offer new products to users, wellness administrators can use information from employees’ health risk assessments, biometric data and claims data to provide notifications and programs that are relevant to each employee’s health status.
Holistic benefits: Benefit plans involving holistic health, the care of both the mind and body, will be utilized by more employers. Managing mental health will be an area that employers continue to focus on and provide support for employees.
Psychographic profiling: This approach can help wellness administrators customize how they communicate with each employee, increasing the likelihood that an employee will participate in an employer’s wellness program. Employees are segmented into five personality categories: self-achievers, who willingly participate; balance seekers, who investigate all health and preventative care options before participating; priority jugglers, who prioritize their families’ health care over their own; direction takers, who rely on health professionals before taking action; and willful endurers, who have a difficult time adjusting their lifestyle to new routines. Each employee receives health benefit information and communications best suited for their profile.
Equal benefits for alternative families and identities: Employers will evaluate and expand benefits and programs for employees who care for extended family members and/or elderly parents, have blended families, or are part of an LGBTQ+ community. Organizations will begin to explore the feasibility of expanding family leave policies to provide new parents of both sexes access to flex-time policies.
Points programs replaced by wellness platforms: Points programs are cumbersome because they often require users to log into multiple apps to view all of their health care information. Using a well-being platform allows an employee to see all of their health data – biometric screenings, incentives, coaching, etc. – in a single, integrated place. More employers will phase out points programs and implement technology platforms or wellness portals that help employees become more engaged in their health care.
An increase in mental health and stress reduction benefits: Stress harms overall mental health and employee engagement, so stress-reduction activities that include face-to-face coaching, mindfulness classes and individual therapy will increasingly become part of wellness program initiatives.
Adding adventure and social good programs: These feel good, citizen-oriented, philanthropic programs allow employees to give back by volunteering time and services. This type of initiative appeals to younger workers and is beneficial for corporate morale. We’ll see employers expand these programs in 2020. A focus on musculoskeletal health: Desk jockeys as well as those employees involved in manual labor jobs need wellness tools to minimize the risk to their musculoskeletal health. A wellness portal is the ideal way to provide this information – it can provide employees with recommended stretches and exercises to minimize the risk of injury, as well as provide video conference sessions with a physical therapist.
Expanding financial wellness programs: Employers will go beyond seminars and offer in-house financial counseling for young and middle-aged employees as well as future retirees. All employees can increase productivity and lower stress brought about by financial concerns. Some employer programs will include payday loans using alternative “currencies” like hours or vacation time, tuition reimbursement, student loan pay-down assistance, credit counselors and financial concierge services. Using artificial intelligence (AI) to better predict evolving employee needs and benefits investments: AI is already creating more personalized experiences for employees and this trend will continue and be more widely used. AI allows companies to leverage data to adjust their wellness programs, resulting in a better user experience based on each employee's preferences and wellness goals. It can also help employers gauge employee satisfaction and handle issues before they escalate. If you need more information about any of these trends, or have questions about how to implement them, please contact us for more information. In addition to these trends, below are some final recommendations to begin the new year:
- Commit to conducting a yearly review of the workplace wellness culture in your organization.
- Conduct annual reviews to stay ahead of changing technology, societal conditions and worker satisfaction levels.
- Measure productivity and employee engagement.
- Adjust all employer wellness programs in response to the results.