Momentum of Wellness Benefits Leveling Off: SHRM Survey

Jul 13, 2016
Healthier employees lead to healthier businesses—or so companies have found over the past five years with the increase of wellness benefits. Companies have increased these benefit offerings in an attempt to manage the rising cost of health care. However, according to the Society for Human Resource Management’s (SHRM’s) newly released 2016 Employee Benefits Survey, the number of wellness benefits offered by organizations has begun leveling off.

“This leveling off doesn’t mean wellness benefits are on the decline however,” explained Evren Esen, director of workforce analytics at SHRM. “Wellness benefits offered by organizations are plateauing as businesses experiment with and fine-tune the benefits that work well for their individual company.” 

Other wellness benefits findings: 

• Thirty-seven percent of organizations offer health and lifestyle coaching for employees, a decrease from 46 percent in 2015.
• Thirty-one percent offer employees access to weight loss programs, similar to 1996 when 29 percent of organizations offered weight loss programs. Twenty percent offer nutritional counseling in 2016. 
• Twenty-eight percent offer subsidies or reimbursements for offsite fitness center memberships and 26 percent offer onsite fitness center access while 17 percent offer onsite fitness classes and 10 percent offer subsidies or reimbursement for offsite fitness classes.
• Employers (41 percent) offer smoking cessation programs to discourage smoking, similar to the 45 percent of smoking cessation programs offered in 1996. Further, 20 percent of organizations have a smoking surcharge for health care plans. Fifteen percent offer a health care premium discount for not using tobacco products.
• Thirty-three percent of organizations offer employees the opportunity to use standing desks, an increase from 25 percent in 2015.
The survey polled 3,490 HR professionals from a randomly selected sample of SHRM’s membership.

For more information or to schedule an interview, please contact Kelly Morrison of SHRM Public Affairs at 703-535-6321 and or Vanessa Hill at 703-535-6072 or

About the Society for Human Resource Management
The Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) is the world’s largest HR professional society, representing 285,000 members in more than 165 countries. For nearly seven decades, the Society has been the leading provider of resources serving the needs of HR professionals and advancing the practice of human resource management. SHRM has more than 575 affiliated chapters within the United States and subsidiary offices in China, India and United Arab Emirates. Visit us at and follow us on Twitter and Instagram @SHRMPress. 


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