Five Employee Wellness Trends to Watch in 2020

The new decade has finally arrived! There’s a lot of change underway, from the crazy fast digital revolution (do you know iPhone apps really only started to become big in 2009?!) to the way our workforce is changing. Everyone is demanding change, not only millenials, and everyone from employers to innovators, service providers, and nonprofits are trying to keep up.

Here at Hela Health we have been working closely with progressive employers across industries on their plans for ensuring healthy, happy employees balanced against increasing pressure around cost-effective initiatives and changing expectations for how companies support the wellbeing of their team.

We’re excited and encouraged by the fact that HR teams are thinking seriously about what everyone needs to thrive, with a focus on better tailoring benefits to age groups, unique circumstance, gender, and more. And that’s not only good for keeping employees in top shape for gains in productivity, but also improving recruitment and retention in a competitive talent environment. In fact, 78% of employees would likely remain with their employer because of the benefits it offers, up from 72% in 2016, and more than 50% of employees said they have left jobs after hearing the siren calls of better benefits elsewhere.

Innovative HR teams we are working with really understand that health and wellness programs are a core business objective. As employee expectations change and at a time when recruitment and retention are more difficult and costly than ever before, especially for women at key inflection points in their life around health and family needs. When they can reduce turnover and recruit the best talent out there, there’s a big impact on the bottom line.

But we still have a long way to go and need to think seriously about how we can continue to improve benefit offerings in the digital age. According to a study published by Aetna, 70% of employers believe they provide reasonable access to health and wellness benefits, while only 23% of employees agree.

The good news is that there are more programs, apps, and benefits than ever that you can unroll this year. And based on our calls and engagement with employers thinking about women’s specific benefits, here are Hela’s wellness trends to watch in 2020:

Remote Benefits: As teams become increasingly remote or more flexible on time and location, employers are taking a look at how they can support wellness both in and out of the office. Digital benefits from online fitness clubs to virtual education from apps and portals are taking off so all employees can benefit from significant investments in what was formerly done on site from in-person health assessments to in-office fitness classes and centers.

Wearables at Work: Wearables are taking a big step up! Wearables are putting health data directly into the hands of consumers and because they’ve been around for a few years, they are getting much smarter and more accurate. Many employers are offering access to these digital tools, either company wide, through request, or special marketplaces to help employees personalize their health

and wellness experiences.

Equal Benefits: Many employers aren’t only thinking about helping women thrive, but also employees with various gender identities and family structures- from same sex couples to employees caring for elderly family and more. Whether companies are extending family policies or ensuring their programs include content for everyone, many employers are thinking seriously about how we can all thrive from the investments made in benefits.

Mental Health: A number of employers are already providing access to on-site and virtual coaches, but peer support and building shared communities and experience is becoming increasingly important. When men and women can hear from their peers that they might face similar challenges and can share tips, employees feel validated, build confidence, and overcome fears of isolation.

Digital Detox: employee burnout is real and happening now more than ever since it’s hard to truly unplug with constant emails. With increasing work life blend along coveted flexibility, we also lose out on some much needed work-life balance by carving out time and space to mentally and physically take time away from the office. Many companies are implementing digital detox policies, encouraging or requiring employees to unplug from all work-related communication a set number of hours or days per week, or turning off email access when paid time off is taken.

Other employee benefits we’re watching this year are preventative health days that don’t deduct from PTO, paid parental leave for both men and women, and efforts to improve transparency from employees to management.

Hela Health works with employers to provide a virtual, comprehensive platform powered by expert providers to get modern women the education, tools, and support they need to make informed decisions for their care. If you’re ready to jump into the future, don’t hesitate to contact us. We can help your company create a customized benefit strategy that meets your workforce’s needs, as well as your budget.

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