While the concept of wellness and a company’s need to support itsworkforce in this space is not new, 2020 has certainly emphasized its importance. As each of us, our families, and our organizations have managed the complexities of this year, I’d like to pivot to what the future can bring as well as some ways to think about overall wellness.
Where is technology taking us?
With more and more technology solutions coming to market, there is a point solution for seemingly everything, including new opportunities that didn’t exist pre-pandemic. Our challenge as employers will be to sort through this continued evolution and support how our workforce will be forever changed by the events of this year. When I consider what is most important for our employees, technology solutions in the wellness space will need to stand out as being unique but inclusive to an individual’s needs. For example, they will need to meet the employee where they are at that moment and focus on their physical, mental, financial, and social components of wellness. Being mindful of life moments and capturing stressors and challenges that come at those moments in time is also critical. I believe that resources that can do this in a seamless way — and be delivered in a convenient, bite-sized method — will be the most useful.
How do we enable our employees’ wellness?
As we have thought through these challenges of how to “show up” for our employees, we have spent time listening and engaging in conversation with our teams. In this way, we can better understand what is most important to our diverse workforce through methods such as surveys and focus groups. We have focused on total wellbeing from physical, mental, financial, and social, with a broader emphasis on not just our employees, but the entire family.
Physical Wellness: Offering medical plans with choices to meet families’ needs to focus on improving health opportunities. A high deductible health plan may not work for everyone. Virtual healthcare options will also be in demand, along with onsite clinics, depending on the size of the employer. I believe that the convenience factor will go a long way in today’s environment.
Mental Wellness: Employee Assistance Program and Counseling services are the baseline expectation, and employees continue to have high expectations in this area. We have found family focus is critical in the mental wellbeing space, such as offering simple resource tools to parents on how to talk to their children about complex topics, to offering virtual cooking classes together as a family, for example.
Financial Wellness: I am a firm believer that financial counseling resources are a must, especially in our 2021+ environment, to help employees understand their financials and create a plan for their future. More and more solutions on short-term loans and pay-on-demand will shift how our employees think about compensation that supports their financial wellness.
Social Wellness: There are also ways that employers can empower employees and their families to volunteer together for nonprofit organizations that are important to them. Furthermore, Business Resource Groups (BRGs) support employees and are important for a culture of inclusivity and allyship.
There is so much to consider for the future; the sky is the limit.