5 Workplace Wellness Trends to Act on in 2022
The workplace wellness trends emerging so far in 2022 send a clear message about what employees are expecting from their employers. Staying abreast of the most current workplace wellness trends can prove impactful for organizations seeking to retain current employees, boost employee engagement and retention, and attract new talent. Here are a few we believe deserve extra attention right now:
Support for Mental Health & Wellbeing
This first trend has received a lot of buzz to date. In a 2021 American Psychological Association (APA) study, 79% of employees said they had experienced some degree of work-related stress in the last month, with roughly 6 in 10 saying they experienced negative impacts from that stress.
While supports like employee assistance plans and telehealth therapy are integral parts to a well-rounded benefits package and should be prioritized, companies should look to other stress-reduction methods to supplement, such as livestream yoga or t’ai chi classes, or on-demand mindfulness meditation practices. In our experience working on-site and virtually with employees over the past decade, these supplemental yet impactful practices help employees to feel more resilient in the face of stress and give them something to look forward to each week.
Another possible avenue for mental health support is through wellness webinars. A great strategy is to offer a bundle of monthly or quarterly webinars on topics related to self-care and stress management.
Diversity in Well-Being Offerings
When it comes to workplace wellbeing offerings, one of the common challenges is that employees all need a little something different – because some of the variables of being human include gender, race, sexual orientation, family structure, religious background and lifestyle, to name just a few – we are all different. It is important for leaders to recognize this and offer a diverse array of wellness offerings to connect with as many employees as possible. Doing so can help them to feel seen and heard, which can boost feelings of psychological safety at work.
We expect this trend will take the corporate wellness landscape further into a focus on holistic programming, which recognizes and prioritizes the whole person and all dimensions of wellbeing.
Employee Benefits will Become a Key Employee Retention Tool
In 2021, “The Great Resignation” took center stage, as many employees vacated their positions in search of greener pastures. This has prompted a wake-up call for employers and led to a re-imagining of the workplace. Employees want to be heard by their employers. Employers can encourage healthy feedback loops by survey employees and taking action on the data they receive.
Community Connection & Engagement
Employee engagement continues to be a challenge in our hybrid world. How can you bring employees together? One option we advocate for is offering livestream workplace wellness classes, which give employees the opportunity to come together for something other than a meeting – in a space for self-care and connection. Try scheduling classes in for your employees as meetings to increase the likelihood that they’ll attend. Make it fun and don’t hesitate to incentivize them!
Increased Interest in Financial Wellness Offerings
Financial stress impacts employees’ emotional wellbeing. According to a 2019 report by Metlife, 1 in 3 employees admits their financial stress makes them less productive at work. Some of today’s top stressors include lack of emergency savings, keeping up with monthly expenses and being laid off. For companies, this can mean lost revenue, absenteeism, and high turnover.
Research shows that providing financial wellness support can increase employee engagement and even loyalty to their company. Per this PWC study and analysis, more than 80% of employers report having a financial wellness program in place, however many of these are traditional programs focused on retirement education and other planning programs that aren’t addressing the current, real causes of employees’ financial stress.
How to Deliver Workplace Wellness Programs that Work
The first step to delivering impactful employee wellness programming is to start by gathering data. Survey employees to find out what they need and deliver based on those responses. Remove as many barriers to participation as possible. Make wellness offerings creative, interesting, and easily accessible no matter where employees are working from. Finally, be sure to measure the impact the offerings had, through participation tracking and surveys.
To position your company for success in the face of a competitive job market, hybrid work environment and ongoing global uncertainty, improving employee wellbeing must be top-of-mind. Employee wellbeing is the key to a profitable, sustainable business. Corporate HR and employee benefits teams should find ways to meet the needs expressed by these trends and most importantly, deliver in a way that is authentic and in alignment with the overall culture your unique company is looking to promote.
Find out how Urban Balance’s Workplace Wellness services can enhance your employee benefits program when you contact us for a complimentary consultation.
Urban Balance is the premier provider of comprehensive on-site corporate wellness services including massage in the Portland, Oregon metro area and offers virtual workplace wellness programming worldwide. We deliver livestream and on-demand classes, webinars, and special events to the workplace environment for happier employees and a healthier bottom line.
Browse our catalog of virtual wellness services with offerings including yoga, Pilates, Tai Chi, Zumba, HIIT, Barre Sculpt, meditation, nutrition, learning opportunities, and more.