Employee Wellness Programs-Not Just a Trend

Employee Wellness Programs-Not Just a Trend

The US is seeing one of the lowest rates of unemployment over the past 50 years. The job demand is so great that today employees have a choice in the type of job they accept, and many are expecting more benefits including a higher salary and a great benefits package.  In addition, a large majority of our multigenerational workforce are looking for companies that offer worksite wellness programs. Employers offering wellness programs in the workforce is a somewhat relatively new concept, although it is more common in the workplace today. Ten years ago only a few top companies in Silicon Valley offered comprehensive wellness perks but today this benefit is now offered by many companies all over the nation. Data shows that prospective employees prefer a job with wellness benefits over a higher salary, possibly due to the increase cost of healthcare.  The thinking is likely that If one remains well and healthy, then overall healthcare costs are low.

Modern employers are fully aware that they need to embrace health and wellness if they are going to succeed at recruiting top talent. While offering wellness benefits to employees may seem to be a daunting task for small businesses who want to remain competitive, many employees are willing to offer input to help guide the employer toward the best options.

Having wellness benefits is two-way street with benefits for both the employer and employee, as well. A healthy employee is usually happier and more productive and is more likely to remain loyal, have a higher level of morale and is less likely to take time off for illness.  Finally, a healthy employee may not need to be concerned with higher insurance coverage which results in cost savings and more disposable income.

Depending on the type of company and its environment, the employer has many options for introducing wellness benefits. Some companies may have an onsite gym, exercise room or offer gym memberships. Others may offer more comprehensive wellness benefits that include physical and mental wellness as well as yoga, meditation, and stress relieving exercises.

As the workforce changes and more millennials enter the workforce, employers need to be aware that just offering a good salary and health benefits may not adequate to attract and retain a high performing employee. Today, wellness has become an integral part of the employment package- and while it may be an investment, there are enormous benefits for both the employer and employee.

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