As The Industry Grows; Technology, Data, And Increased Insight Into What Encourages Employees To Stay Healthy Is Shaping The Future Of Corporate Wellness Programs.
Corporate wellness is any workplace health promotion activity or organizational policy designed to improve health outcomes and support healthy behaviour in the workplace. Corporate wellness programs are approximately a $10 billion industry and are expected to grow at a rate of almost 8% annually by 2021. Decreased long-term costs, increased productivity, and improved employee satisfaction are just some of the benefits that come with a healthy workforce. Below are the few emerging trends that will shape up the future of corporate wellness programs.
Data integration will continue to be one of the biggest drivers of wellness programs. Digital platforms, apps and wearable devices can capture and deliver important insights when it comes to an employee’s health. Wellness, nutrition, coaching, risk assessments, biometric tracking, education and safety, and individual and group challenges are just a few of the programs that are offered through digital platforms. Housing well-being data on technology platforms will also allow companies to more readily design a well-being experience for employees that match their preferences and needs by allowing them to recommend content or specific program offerings, as well as personalize program options based on employee interest.
Employees seeking a more personalized approach to their well-being experiences are one of most emerging corporate wellness trend of 2018. Data analysis from the use of digital platforms, apps and wearables will streamline programs to help them be more effective. Companies will begin to narrow down their program offerings, as too many wellness programs can cause employees to feel overwhelmed. Data collection will help organizations create more holistic approaches to wellness. This will be driven by a process that will recommend options to employees, ultimately increasing adoption and helping employees obtain the help they need.
Many corporate wellness programs include some type of financial well-being component. When employees are in debt or experiencing financial issues, the stress can reduce their effectiveness in the workplace. It tends to an increase in absenteeism and leads to poor health habits or illness. In 2018 employees will look for programs that go beyond the typical saving for retirement and focus more on debt reduction, paying off student loans, and planning for healthcare costs during retirement.
The World Health Organization (WHO) has called stress the health epidemic of the 21st century. In fact, one recent study found that work-related stress costs businesses approximately $30 billion a year in lost workdays. That’s why companies are taking a more concentrated approach to stress management programs for their employees. Stress regulation training, mindfulness and meditation are a few examples of programs employers are implementing.
Sleep deprivation is an even bigger issue than stress. According to a recent study, sleep deprivation was estimated to cost employers roughly $411 billion annually. So more employers are now tackling it head-on through formal sleep awareness and education programs. They are also using incentive programs that track an employee’s sleep and provide points towards rewards for achieving set sleep goals.