As wellness plans diversify, employers must improve employee awareness
- Sixty-two percent of employers say they provide wellness programs, but only 40% of employees say their organizations offer them, according to the Transamerica Center for Health Studies 2017 Consumer and Employer surveys. Employers also say their wellness programs positively affect their workers' commitment, job satisfaction, absenteeism and turnover, and lower healthcare costs.
- "Finding Fit: Implementing Workplace Wellness Programs Successfully", the guide offered within the Transamerica Center for Health Studies report, is described as an evidence-based free guide focused on small to midsize organizations. The guide presents different types of wellness programs that have proven to be successful, and provides employers with a step-by-step procedure for identifying wellness programs that suit their unique situations and promote employee engagement.
- Wellness programs now span the gamut, from external education programs to disease management programs like onsite clinics and preventative care.
The survey isn't the first source to show a disconnect between how employers and workers view their wellness programs. In a December 2017 Willis Towers Watson survey, 81% of employers said their wellness programs were meeting workers' needs, but 61% of employees disagreed. There's clearly a disconnect between employers and workers over the effects of wellness programs — a real problem in a time when wellness programs can vary so widely.
Customization is key to effective wellness programs, as it is to today's benefit offerings. Wellness programs can be costly, but if small and midsize organizations can find a wellness program that takes into account their financial limitations, staff composition, employees' needs, and other distinct characteristics, they'll be more ready to provide for the well-being and engagement of their workforce.
Employers must address the disconnect between what they think their wellness programs are achieving and what employees think the programs have accomplished. Surveying employees about what they want and need is one way organization leaders can start the process.
- Transamerica Center for Health Studies® and Interdisciplinary Center for Health New Workplace Wellness Employer Guide from Transamerica Center for Health Studies and UC Berkeley Interdisciplinary Center for Healthy Workplaces Published
- Transamerica Center for Health Studies® Finding Fit: Implementing Workplace Wellness Programs Successfully
- HR Dive 61% of employees say well-being programs don't fit their needs