Wellness Programs Expand to Embrace Well-Being

By SHRM Online staff Mar 13, 2012
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Organizations’ health and wellness offerings have expanded beyond traditional programs that focus primarily on physical health. Integrated well-being programs now include mental and emotional health, financial health, work/life effectiveness and stress reduction, according to WorldatWork's 2012 survey report Total Rewards and Employee Well-Being.

The survey was conducted Oct. 19-Nov. 4, 2011, among members of WorldatWork, primarily compensation and benefits professionals at mostly large U.S. companies. Below are the top offerings by employers in various areas impacting well-being.

Health related:

  • Immunizations (73 percent of employers).
  • Physical fitness/exercise programs (70 percent).
  • Mental/behavioral health coverage (69 percent).
  • Diet and nutrition (62 percent).
  • Smoking cessation (60 percent).

Work/life balance:

  • Encourage use of vacation time (66 percent).
  • Flexible schedules (65 percent).
  • Community involvement programs (56 percent).
  • Child care assistance (29 percent).
  • Elder care assistance (23 percent).

Retirement related:

  • Financial education (57 percent).
  • Financial counseling (45 percent).

Workplace environment:

  • Workplace safety initiatives (73 percent).
  • Ergonomics (57 percent).

Stress reduction:

  • Employee assistance program (EAP) resource and referrals (80 percent).
  • Stress management training (38 percent).
  • Yoga (27 percent).
  • Meditation (8 percent).

Skill-building education:

  • Time management (32 percent).
  • Healthy workplace relationships (24 percent).
  • Behavior modification (18 percent).
  • Healthy personal relationships (15 percent).
  • Parenting skills (11 percent).

Outreach to Family Members

Among other findings, less than one in three employers offered coverage in well-being programs to employee spouses or immediate family members.

“Organizations ought to consider a more-rounded and integrated approach to their well-being programs,” said Rose Stanley, a WorldatWork work/life practice leader. “One idea is to open up some of these programs, such as financial counseling or diet and nutrition, to the extended family. This could potentially provide the support needed to change behavior.”

WorldatWork posted a video on the survey findings.

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