With the current state of U.S. adults’ health, corporate wellness is no longer a nice-to-have. Twenty-nine percent of adults admit to being inactive, and over one-third are not sleeping enough and are overweight. Given that most people spend much of their days at work, employers are uniquely positioned to help their employees get their health in check.
In fact, employer wellness programs have been steadily on the rise since 2013. As of 2016, 76% of employers have a wellness program. And in a recent survey from NBGH and Fidelity Investments, 86% of employers include employee well-being as part of their overall business strategy.
Other key findings from the survey include:
- An expanded definition of well-being is now the norm. Employers said that the following dimensions would be included in their well-being strategy in 2017: Physical health (95%), emotional/mental health (87%), financial security (84%), community involvement (73%), and social connectedness (58%).
- New trends are emerging in physical health programs. For 2017, 55% of employers are offering treadmill desks or sit-to-stand ergonomic support. And for the first time ever in this annual survey, NBGH/Fidelity found that 30% of employers will be offering subsidies or discounts for fitness wearables.
- Emotional and mental health programs are on the rise. In 2017, 40% of employers said they will be offering resiliency training programs, and 35% will be offering mindfulness training.
So how can you make use of these statistics? Tap into these tips to empower yourself for the greater good:
- Kill two birds with one stone. If you’re one of the 86% of employers who is deploying a physical activity program in 2017, consider how you can incorporate other facets of wellbeing into this. Running an activity challenge? Involve your community by having teams go head-to-head for a charitable cause. Considering a mindfulness program? Start with informal meditation groups in a pilot program to start integrating it into your culture - and to help you make the broader business case for it.
- Make wellness scalable. Even if you wear many hats, you don’t have to do it all alone. Consider appointing wellness champions across teams and at various levels to help employees stay engaged with your company’s wellness initiatives. If you’re kicking off a fitness program, look into subsidizing fitness wearables for your employees to help them stay accountable to their health goals and automate data capture for yourself.
- Be transparent about the data you’re capturing. Chances are, you’re collecting employees’ personal data, which means ensuring HIPAA-compliant capabilities is of chief concern. Make sure your employees know what data you’re collecting and how you’re using it.
- Understand there’s no one-size-fits-all solution. Not everyone gets engaged with their well-being in the same way. Consider studying up on health behavior theories to begin crafting messaging strategies that will motivate your employees.
Still not quite sure where to start? Lucky for you, all of these topics and more will be covered in detail at the upcoming Fitbit Captivate conference in Chicago on September 19th. The speaker roster includes health researchers, wearable tech experts, mindfulness teachers, and more. Join us for a day of inspiring sessions and meaningful networking opportunities, and stay for an award ceremony honoring the Healthiest Employers. Register today - you won’t want to miss it.