Employers are almost unanimously shifting to an approach of total "well-being" that includes emotional and financial well-being, rather than the traditional approach, which only addressed physical health, according to a survey from Shortlister of the well-being subject matter experts at the nation's top employee benefits consultants.
Ninety percent of total respondents (17% more than last year) said this strategy is more prevalent this year than the previous year. Eighty-one percent of respondents said adding more niche solutions (e.g., diabetes management, financial wellness, etc.) is more prevalent this year.
Two out of three respondents reported an increased demand in:
- Prioritizing wellness/well-being initiatives as a strategic business objective;
- Looking for a platform/hub partner to thoughtfully integrate their benefit initiatives; and
- Mobile-first or native mobile apps to improve member access to wellness resources.
"One factor that surprised us was seeing how these trends are accentuated in the large employer market" says Joe Miller, president of Shortlister. "Large employers are driving the demand for the emerging well-being 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. Fifty percent of respondents indicated this was a key area of impact, as employers turn away from the "wellness" moniker and look to adopt a more holistic approach to employee health, engagement and emotional well-being.
The findings of this survey are contained in the Shortlister Well-being Industry Prospectus 2017 report, which may be downloaded from here.