Increasingly, employers are taking a holistic approach to their wellness programs for workers.
According to a recent study from Optum, employers are increasingly engaged in efforts to keep employees healthy. However, more organizations are moving their focus from wellness to well-being and taking a holistic approach to employee health. Read on to learn about the latest trends and best practices.
Among the study’s key findings:
- 88% of employers plan to address stigmas regarding mental health; and many express concerns about substance use disorders and how to improve access to behavioral health services.
- Over three-quarters (79%) of employers offer wellness/well-being programs to reduce absenteeism, 78% use them to attract/retain good workers, and 76% use them to improve/maintain morale.
- More than 8 in 10 employers say it’s “very important” to offer health and well-being programs specifically for women’s needs; and 84% plan to increase their investments in women’s well-being over the next three years. More companies than ever offer some kind of fertility and/or neonatal services.
- About three-quarters of employers say they use digital technology such as fitness apps to increase workers’ engagement with wellness/well-being activities.
- Over 80% of employers offer wellness programs to retired employees and/or workers’ family members. These offerings are designed, in part, to help encourage employees’ buy-in and to influence them to make more positive lifestyle/health choices.
- Over 40% of employers offer advocacy services for employees with complex and chronic health conditions. Nearly two-thirds of respondents say these efforts are improving health outcomes, increasing productivity, and encouraging the best use of benefits and services.
- More organizations are seeking innovative, cutting-edge approaches to enhancing workers’ well-being. For instance, according to study results, employers’ use of telemedicine has gone up 171% since 2014.
The study authors conclude, “Well-being programs have the potential to create value for employers beyond containing healthcare costs. Employers recognize that well-being strategies play a critical role in driving a positive employee experience that results in healthy, happy, loyal, and productive employees.”