New research by Shortlister, a leading employers and employee benefits consultants reveals the trends that wellbeing experts believe will define the corporate wellness industry in the coming years. These include emotional and financial wellbeing, rather than the traditional approach, which only addressed physical health.
Shortlister surveyed the nation’s top employee benefits consultants to get their take on the state of the wellness/well-being industry. The experts indicated that:
- Employers are unanimously:
- Shifting to an approach of total “wellbeing” that includes emotional and financial well-being, rather than the traditional approach, which only addressed physical health
- Adding more niche solutions (e.g., diabetes management, financial wellness, etc.)
- 2 out of 3 respondents reported an increased demand in:
- Prioritizing wellness/wellbeing initiatives as a strategic business objective
- Looking for a platform/hub partner to thoughtfully integrate their benefit initiatives
- Mobile-first or native mobile apps to improve member access to wellness resources
- The largest negative trend observed was employers actively moving away from carrier wellness programs in favor of third-party vendors
“One factor that surprised us was seeing how these trends are accentuated in the large employer market” said Joe Miller, President of Shortlister. “Large employers are driving the demand for the emerging wellbeing solutions, such as financial wellness and stress or resilience programs. Small and mid-sized employers are later on the adoption curve and the market is slow to provide solutions to these down-market employers.”
One of the primary areas that the experts predicted would help bolster the effectiveness of well-being programs, was in the approach to employee engagement. 50% of respondents indicated this was a key area of impact. Employers are turning away from the wellness moniker and looking to adopt a more holistic approach to employee health, engagement and emotional wellbeing.
“What we found most promising about the future of the wellbeing industry was a growth in genuine interest from employers to implement resources that support a holistic approach to employee wellbeing,” said Tom Ciccotti, Shortlister’s Executive Vice President. “From financial to emotional wellbeing programmes, we’re observing a clear shift away from attempting to quantify an ROI solely in terms of medical claim reduction to the realization that the right wellbeing initiatives can foster a culture where employees feel appreciated, empowered and view their organization as an employer of choice.