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4 Ways to Address Employee Retention Issues with Wellness Benefits

Feb 22, 2022

Employees are actively seeking out companies with wellness benefits and many companies are recognizing how much of a game-changer these benefits truly are. In a recent Employee Benefits News Webinar: Employee Gratitude & Appreciation: The Cornerstone of an Engaged Workforce, viewers were asked their top area of focus for their company and employees: 

Improving workplace wellbeing and culture ranked as the top priority. And within the HR space, 78% of benefits professionals see employee wellbeing as more of a priority now than in the past. So what HR benefits are companies choosing?

The highest ranking wellness programs according to employers are improving employee health (54%), Controlling healthcare costs (40%), and enhancing employee engagement (32%). According to PwC’s 2021 Health and Well-being Touchstone Survey, improving employee health was the highest priority when choosing wellness programs, followed by controlling healthcare costs and enhancing employee engagement. Thus, much like employees, health is also a top concern for HR leaders as well. 

What should you consider when picking wellness benefits?

Along with this growth in demand, there has also been a growth in supply. In 2017, workplace wellness was already a $48 billion industry, which is now projected to grow to $66 billion by 2022.13 With more and more wellness benefits to choose from, here are some factors to keep in mind when choosing what to add to your HR package:

  1. Inclusivity: Will your employees use the benefit? For example, meditation apps are a trending benefit and yet only 14% percent of American adults meditated in 2018 and only 15% of remote employees say they would consider group or individual meditation sessions or apps.14 15 Meanwhile, food benefits are something your entire workforce will enjoy. And more than one in three employees of color, hourly workers, part-time workers, and those with financial challenges say they have trouble accessing healthy food/nourishment and clean water, health services, safe housing, transportation, and outdoor spaces
  2. Work/Life Balance: More than two out of three employees working from home are experiencing burnout. As we have started to work where we live, it’s hard to differentiate between work time and free time. In addition, parents, caregivers, and even those living alone have the added stressors of meal prep, cooking, and dishes to deal with after every meal. Consider how your benefits give your employees the gift of time so they can properly recharge during their lunch break or after work.
  3. Daily Impact: Do your wellness benefits make your employees’ lives better every day? While PTO is important, employees often only feel revitalized for a short period after their time off. More than 50% of employees have unused vacation days every year, with some stating they’re too stressed to even take the time off. Your benefits should regularly show your gratitude by helping reduce the everyday stress of your employees.
  4. Health: As mentioned above, physical health and wellness comprised the top three biggest concerns for all employees. Working from home has made our lives extremely sedentary and with employees struggling with work/life balance, it can be easy for employees to slip into unhealthy habits. Studies show online fitness training can be overwhelming and less motivational. And 1 in 3 employees have difficulty accessing healthy food and clean water, health services, safe housing, transportation, or outdoor spaces. On top of this, making it easy for your employees to eat healthy has many other benefits.

Navigating the Next Era of the Workplace in 2022

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4 Ways to Address Employee Retention Issues with Wellness Benefits