As employee wellness continues to evolve, 2024 brings exciting new trends for the workplace to consider. Insights from 2023 show that having a workplace wellness program is no longer a ‘nice-to-have’, but a critical element of workplace culture. Surveys addressing organizational challenges such as hiring and retaining talent, improving company culture and employee engagement, managing cost, and more proved that wellness is a key part of workforce strategy. Now that a reported 87% of organizations have at least one well-being initiative, read on to see what to expect for 2024.
Leverage AI & technology to build personalized, customized wellness programs.
90% of people agree that wellness is ever-changing and looks different for everyone. By harnessing data analytics to craft personalized health programs for individuals, you can tap into AI-powered wellness platforms, customizable wellness apps, and wearable devices.
Examples of using AI to tailor wellness programs for a diverse workforce include:
Customized exercise plans
Language analysis for emotional indicators
Predictive analysis of employee trends using historical data
Bear in mind, however, that your wellness technology must be a comprehensive, one-stop shop that’s personalized, private, and secure. For optimal employee outcomes, ensure you’re combining this with human collaboration, such as on-site health coaching.
Expand financial wellness offerings.
New research shows that financial wellness is at an all-time low. In fact, a recent survey by MetLife in 2023 showed 48% of employees citing financial concerns as a cause for poorer mental health, a number up 31% in 2022. Financial stress impacts employee focus and productivity, which leads to greater absenteeism and on-site accidents, and worsens mental and physical health concerns. To combat this, consider going beyond traditional financial benefits:
Consider customized advice and solutions utilizing AI
Increase your focus on financial stress
Offer easily accessible mobile financial tools
Incorporate gamification of financial education
Emphasize retirement planning & budgeting
Be proactive about mental health.
Four out of five employees believe mental health benefits are as significant as physical health benefits, and studies show that 81% of individuals are actively looking for workplaces that provide mental health offerings. Helping employees reduce stress and improve emotional wellness will be a top focus for companies this year. Consider a proactive approach to mental health through initiatives such as Mental Health First Aid, promoting a sense of belonging, and creating a culture of psychological safety.
Build strategic and expert partnerships.
Data shows that 9 in 10 employers plan to change health and wellbeing vendors in the coming years to meet the needs of their employees and improve worker health. In 2024, the trend of forging partnerships with healthcare professionals is projected to continue, with 60% of companies seeking expert input to enhance the effectiveness of their well-being platforms. Employers now seek vendors that can do more, such as supporting a broader range of needs, delivering newer innovations, guaranteeing cost savings, and integrating with existing programs. By hiring a wellness partner you can save time and use your existing resources efficiently. For more guidance, see 5 Things to Look for in a Wellness Vendor.
Build an inclusive workplace culture and programs.
Employees in an inclusive company are more engaged, demonstrate higher advocacy for their company, and have a higher retention rate. As it relates to health, remember that employees have different access and experiences with health and wellbeing resources and healthcare systems. Consider the following in creating an equal opportunity to thrive:
Offer a diverse range of wellness activities to suit various cultural interests, physical abilities, and lifestyle choices.
Conduct regular employee surveys to gain insights into their wellness needs and preferences.
Ensure the inclusivity of wellness initiatives by providing programs in various languages and offering both onsite and remote options.
Offer education and training to both managers and employees regarding cultural competence and sensitivity.
For 2024, workplace wellbeing is set to reach new heights to address employee challenges and put health and happiness at the forefront. Keeping these current trends in mind, offering a comprehensive wellness program is the best place to start. If you’re looking for help with your organization’s wellness program, contact us. We can support you in creating initiatives that work for your needs and employees.