BY: Jessica Grossmeier, PhD, MPH // Speaker, Author, Researcher, Advisor
Employee expectations about their work continue to evolve and with that, so must workplace well-being offerings. According to APA’s 2023 Work in America Survey, 33% of employees say they are likely to change employers in the next year. Gartner research asserts employees are looking to make changes in their lives that increase their sense of purpose and of feeling valued and connected.
Many wellness, HR, and Benefits professionals are in strategic planning mode for the next calendar year. While it’s critical that each organization examine its own data to understand employee needs, it’s also helpful to consider emerging trends in workforce well-being. Here are a few areas to consider as you finalize your plans for 2024.
Take a more holistic approach to well-being.
Most organizations have expanded their health, safety, and well-being strategies beyond a narrow focus on physical health. Mental health and financial well-being have been on the forefront of this shift and attention on these critical dimensions are likely to continue. To organizations already well along the path of a more multi-dimensional approach to well-being, consider going deeper to address innate human needs for meaning, purpose, and connection.
Expand mental health initiatives to a more proactive, preventive approach.
Many organizations have been increasing investments in employee mental health by expanding employee assistance program offerings, training for managers and supervisors, and digital mental health resources. While it’s important to maintain support for employees dealing with mental health challenges, organizations can also take a more proactive and preventive approach. This means going beyond programs to address the systemic and environmental contributors to employee stress, burnout, and anxiety.
Evolve programs and resources so they can be accessed anywhere.
Now that many organizations are choosing to support remote and hybrid work as permanent options, they may be more willing to increase their investment in offerings that can be accessed anywhere. Even as employers aim to attract their employees back to in-person work with a return to in-person wellness amenities and programs, it’s critical that they maintain access to resources such as remote classes, digital apps, and telehealth providers. Offering a combination of in-person and virtual resources accommodates the needs of a diverse and distributed workforce. Fully remote workforces are being supported with ergonomic home office equipment or virtual ergonomic assessments, stipends to meet technology requirements, and support for use of co-working spaces.
Increase personalized solutions by partnering with providers that are thoughtfully incorporating AI into their offerings.
Employees are becoming accustomed to personalized consumer experiences, and this will drive expectations for a more tailored user experience with health and well-being programs. Employees are less likely to engage in one-size-fits-all programs, so smart and thoughtful use of AI can be a differentiator for health and well-being providers. For example, AI can analyze individual health data to provide personalized recommendations about next steps toward their fitness, nutrition, financial, and mental health goals. This includes data from wearable devices and smartphone apps, enabling real-time feedback and guidance on how to get a better night’s sleep; how to engage in the health care system; and coping or stress management techniques.
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ABOUT THE CONTRIBUTOR
Jessica Grossmeier, PhD, MPH // Speaker, Author, Researcher, Advisor
Jessica Grossmeier is an award-winning researcher and the author of Reimagining Workplace Well-being: Fostering a Culture of Purpose, Connection, and Transcendence
. She is a leading voice in workplace well-being, having dedicated her career to identifying evidence-based strategies that promote a thriving workforce. Her current work includes advising, writing, and speaking on topics related to workplace well-being best practices, measurement and evaluation, strategic planning, and value demonstration. Learn more at www.JessicaGrossmeier.com