Business Trends in 2021: Employee Health Focus

Like many companies, your workplace probably looks a little different after everything that happened this year, whether you adopted a permanent remote work strategy, employ essential workers, re-opened your office(s), or managed a mostly deskless workforce.

But now that 2020 is over, we’re looking at what goes into your employees’ health and well-being. Even if your workforce will continue to be remote for the first half of 2021, well-being programs and benefits are more important than ever. Nearly half of employers see investments in health and well-being as an integral part of their workforce strategy, and 65 percent plan to expand their well-being programs in 2021, according to WebMD® Health Services.

Trend #1: Financial Health

There are many reasons for financial stress — crushing debt, lack of emergency savings, or no clear path toward retirement. Amidst these struggles, your employees are hoping you can help. Especially now, it’s important for your employees to have easy access to financial tools and resources to help them get back on track during these hard and uncertain times.

From financial literacy training and explaining how to save and plan for retirement to help with managing day-to-day finances and debt management education, there are many ways employers can help with their employees’ financial well-being.

Trend #2: Understanding Emotional and Mental Health

According to the American Psychiatric AssociationExternal Site, around 25 percent of employees have been diagnosed with depression — 40 percent of whom take an average of 10 days off each year as a result. The pandemic has only made things worse. In mid-July, more than half of all adults in the United States reported their mental health had been negatively impacted because of COVID-19.

According to two studies conducted by the Business Group on Health, employees are showing significant interest in using employer-sponsored mental health services like stress management programs, mental health apps, mindfulness meditation programs, and more. But, a survey from MetLife showed that nearly 60 percent of employees dealing with mental health issues think their employer doesn’t offer programs that meet their needs or the programs they do offer are too difficult to understand or access.

This means that offering mental health programs and resources is just one part of the solution — employers also need to actively work to reduce the stigma around mental health and using or seeking out these benefit offerings.

Trend #3: Tailored Health Solutions

When it comes to well-being, think quality over quantity. No matter the number of well-being programs you offer, it’s important to remember that one size doesn’t fit all. A fast-emerging trend in workplace wellness offerings is tailoring solutions to your employee population based on what they need. But how do you figure that out? The answer: Working with Wellmark Blue Cross and Blue Shield’s health and well-being consultants.

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