Fridays (with Benefits) - Is holistic wellness the next big thing in benefits?

Wellness has practically become a buzzword in benefits circles. What used to mean "checkups" and "exercise" is now an all-encompassing term that covers virtually every part of a person's health. This means employers need to think bigger with their wellness offerings -- gym memberships and fresh fruit only go so far. The latest wrinkle in the wellness discussion? Holistic viewpoints. Let's dive in...

Investing in holistic wellness leads to more productive employees - Katie Kuehner-Hebert, BenefitsPRO

According to an Optum/National Business Group on Health survey of 2,200 workers from large companies, wellness needs to extend beyond the norm, to cover things as broad as financial health and mental well-being. Because these all add to a better employee experience.

In fact, the survey shows that a renewed, forward-thinking focus on wellness is directly related to employee productivity and loyalty, as well as their overall health. Not only did the surveyed employees indicate boosts in job performance and positive opinions about their employers.

However, it was clear from the results that financial well-being needs to be higher on the priority list. Nearly ⅓ of employees claimed they wanted more options available to them. This, along with improvements in prescription drug costs, are the biggest problem areas that employers could realistically solve, within reason.

But there was some better news -- 71% of employers are now offering mental health support. While these may not be as comprehensive as people want -- 25% claimed they wanted expansion in this area -- it's still a positive sign that employers are stepping up to prevent employee burnout and other long-term effects of stress.

The article makes some interesting finds about the things employees want the most from their benefits plans, and is well-worth the five minute read.


Fridays (with Benefits) is a weekly roundup of the latest headlines about employee benefits -- from FSAs to fitness programs and everything workplace wellness. It appears every Friday, exclusively on the Learning Center. And for the latest info about your health and financial wellness, be sure to follow us on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.

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