Wellness and Mental Health

How are Employers Investing in their Workplace Wellness Programs in 2024?

Align your company policies with the latest employee wellbeing trends to meet your workforce's health and wellbeing demands.
In This Post:

Thanks to COVID-19, the past two years have completely revved the workplace wellness trends. While employers have started taking employee wellbeing seriously, the workforce’s expectations of workplace benefits have changed. The pandemic has shifted the focus on crucial benefits and employee engagement strategies that have been ignored for a long time. 

Employers should align their company policies with the latest employee wellbeing trends to meet their workforce’s health and wellbeing demands. Knowing the newest trends can help employers make crucial decisions about investing in their workplace wellness programs. 

When the wellness dollars are invested in the right modules and features of the workplace wellbeing programs, it will boost engagement and ROI. 

Here is a quick glimpse of the investment trends of workplace wellbeing programs for 2022. 

The Employee Wellness Program Investment Trend

Research by many renowned organizations shows coinciding outcomes of the latest employee health and wellbeing needs. Employers must take account of these factors and make sure it meets their workplace wellbeing needs. 

Fidelity Investments and BGH surveyed around 166 giant, large, and medium-sized companies to understand the investment trends of employee wellness programs. 

According to the study, 80% of the participants agreed that DEI or Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion programs influenced their workplace wellbeing strategies. 

In 2020, the average budget for employee wellness programs was $4.9 million. However, the total budget grew about 22% to reach an average budget of $6 million in 2021. 

In large companies with more than 20,000 workers, the average budget per employee increased from $230 in 2020 to $238 in 2021. 

Workplace Wellness Programs

Which Employee Wellbeing Modules Are Being Prioritized to Invest the Wellness Dollars?

With the changing employee health and wellbeing needs, employers are revamping their workplace policies. A few years ago, employee benefits commonly included healthcare reimbursements, HSAs, retirement plans, life insurance, etc.  

For a few years only, employers have started considering employee health and wellbeing aspects for their workplace benefits packages. However, even this was limited to physical fitness and healthy eating elements. 

Recent times have seen a lot of changes in health and wellbeing facets, especially since the pandemic. Focusing on holistic health dimensions has become more vital than ever. 

The pandemic has affected employee mental healthfinancial wellbeing, and social wellness in many different ways, throwing light on their significance. 

The remote working situations, juggling multiple responsibilities, economic drop, and other uncertainties have made employees realize the need for strong physical and mental health. Also, poor health has impacted employee engagement, productivity, and overall business, forcing employers to rethink their employee wellbeing initiatives. 

Almost 48.4% of employees said the heavy workload caused mental stress. 35.7% of employees cited disturbed work-life balance as the primary reason for mental stress. Also, 40.5% said job security concerns caused stress. 

Compared to the other working generations, Millennials recorded high burnout feelings. While 59% of Millennials experienced burnout in 2021, a steady increase from 53% in 2020, 58% of the Gen Z group followed suit in 2021. 

Owing to all these stressors and other wellbeing factors, employees and employers have started taking stern measures to address them. 

An online survey conducted to understand the health and wellbeing activities prioritized by employees during 2020 and 2021 revealed the top ones:  

  • Exercising enough – 76% made efforts to exercise more in 2021, compared to 74% in 2020.
  • Routine health checks – A 1% increase from 70% in 2020 to 71% in 2021 was observed for individuals getting regular health screenings.
  • Stress management – 75% in 2021 worked on managing stress, an improvement from 73% in 2020.
  • Work-life balance – While 77% worked on achieving a work-life balance in 2020, the number grew to 79% in 2021.
  • Financial savings – Compared to 53% in 2020, almost 60% in 2021 planned on saving enough to make large purchases like vacations, cars, etc.
Workplace Wellness Programs

The changing health and wellbeing priorities must be considered and addressed through the best-suited workplace wellness program modules. Many employers have started redefining their employee benefits and perks packages to meet their workforce’s expectations. 

Some key parameters considered by businesses to improve employee health and wellbeing in 2022 are: 

  • Flexible working schedules – to ensure a work-life balance and relieve stress. Almost 74% of employers have started offering programs to support work-life balance, and 69% are expanding their leave benefits.
  • Favorable financial support – HSAs, FSAs, 401(k) plans, student debt and education loan reimbursement, LSAs, and short-term loans. Around 83% of businesses have started offering financial wellness programs to support budgeting and savings, while 77% are offering resources to support crucial financial decisions.
  • Mental health support – include different mental health resources, employee assistance programs, expert consultations, and more. A massive 92% of employers expanded their mental health support through emotional wellbeing programs and resources that focus on stress management, better sleep, and other holistic health dimensions.
  • Incentives & Gamification – Boosting employee engagement in workplace wellness programs by incentivizing wellbeing activities and making them fun by gamification. Incentives like paid leaves for child/elder care (55%) and childcare support (64%) were trending.
  • Health screenings – Offering corporate-sponsored health screenings, assessments, and vaccine mandates to prevent or reduce potential health risks.
2022 is just here, and workplace wellness trends can keep evolving with time. Supporting the evolving trends can help create a healthier, happier, and more productive workforce, even beyond the pandemic. 
Written by Rekha Reddipalli

Senior Content Developer at Wellness 360 Technologies

Wellness Companies

Browse our curated list of vendors to find the best solution for your needs.

Stay Informed

Subscribe to our newsletter for the latest trends, expert tips, and workplace insights!

Share on facebook
Share on linkedin
Share on twitter

Related Posts