Many early iterations of workplace wellness programs focused solely on physical health. Companies offered gym memberships or built gyms within the workplace to help employees remain active and fit. The concept was that fitness directly affected physical health, and these programs could help reduce illnesses, absences, and so on. Many companies also offered preventative health services for employees to receive vaccines and health screenings for free. With time, corporate wellness programs transformed to encompass physical, mental, and emotional health.

Wellness Programs and COVID-19

The pandemic brought a sharper focus to wellness programs as stay-at-home orders and quarantines damaged employees’ emotional and mental health. These effects were severe for some individuals and damaged their health, ability to work, and overall quality of life. A robust wellness program is an incredibly useful benefit that provides a range of tools to help employees remain healthy, engaged, and productive.

Workplace Wellness Retains and Attracts Talent

Well-cultivated wellness programs are effective proof that the company cares about its employees. Done right, they improve employee loyalty, health behaviors, and stress levels. Effective wellness programs also reduce the likelihood of employee burnout, absenteeism, and turnover. Nearly 90% of employees report higher motivation when their employer supports their wellness, and 70% of employees participating in wellness programs have higher job satisfaction than those who are not.

Further underscoring the importance of workplace wellness, 87% of individuals consider a company’s health and wellness package before applying for or accepting a job offer. Additionally, over half of Millennials and Gen Z ranked wellness programs as an important or extremely important factor when job searching. A whopping 89% of employees are more likely to recommend their company to others if their employers offer holistic wellness programs.

Wellness Program Expectations Going Forward

The pandemic made it glaringly clear that many existing wellness programs were lacking or couldn’t flex to account for a largely remote workforce. With 87% of employees expecting employers to support their work-life balance, employers must reevaluate their wellness efforts. Employees need wellness programs that support both the work and non-work areas of their lives, particularly with so many continuing to work from home. Contact Windermere Insurance Group to learn more about revamping the health and wellness benefits within your organization.