- Seventy-nine percent of employers say they offer wellness programs to improve absenteeism/presenteeism; 78% use the programs to attract and retain talent and 76% say they use wellness programs to improve and maintain employee morale, according to Optum's 10th annual Wellness in the Workplace study. The results come from information provided by 544 companies employees.
- The study also found that employers are embracing digital technology to engage workers in health and well-being programs. Since 2016, the amount of employers that use health-related mobile apps rose 46%. About three-quarters of respondents reported the apps assisted the increase in worker participation. The amount of organizations reporting their well-being programs included the use of fitness or activity devices rose by almost 40% in the same time period.
- Surveyed employers cited several areas of emerging interest, with mental and behavioral health at the top of the list. Substance use disorders concern 84% of employers, the survey revealed. Nearly 90% of employers say they plan to address the stigma of mental health. About the same amount of organizations said they "are concerned about the level of access to behavioral health services." Additionally, 84% of employers said they will augment their investment in women's health services. Programs addressing fertility are up 35 percentage points from 2016 to 2018, and neonatal and first year of life are both up 27 percentage points. Employers are also increasingly taking advantage of telemedicine; usage has gone up 171% since 2014.
Almost half of the nation's employers offer workplace health or wellness programs, according to researchers at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill's Gillings School of Global Public Health, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and RTI International. When employees are faced with physical, mental, emotional, social or financial problems, workplace productivity can suffer. Such causes can cause absences or a lack of engagement.
As employers learn more about the science of how humans thrive, organizations can build a better foundation for well-being, experts previously told HR Dive. Some employers are taking a holistic approach to health and well-being programs, taking a look at what drives productivity and health engagement.
Some data suggests that personalization and total well-being support might be the best way to design and implement the programs. Eighty percent of employees would be more engaged if offered personalized wellness programs combined with a variety of non-cash incentives like paid time off, according to a Welltok report.
A five-year study of Humana's Go365 wellness and reward program indicated that highly engaged members had lower healthcare cost increases than members with low or medium engagement, and that higher engagement is linked with fewer emergency room visits and hospital admissions. Lifestyle risk factors also decreased.