Holistic Wellness Remains a Hot Topic Among Employers

From managing stress to improving resiliency, companies are finding new ways to assist with their employees’ financial challenges.

More employers are investing in “total well-being” programs that address areas such as financial and emotional health, according to the 7th annual survey about corporate Health & Well-being from Fidelity Investments and the National Business Group on Health.

The survey revealed employers are adding programs that help employees manage stress, improve their resiliency and assist with their financial challenges.

Never miss a story — sign up for PLANADVISER newsletters to keep up on the latest retirement plan adviser news.

This year’s survey results indicate employers recognize a “healthy” employee may be affected negatively by non-health factors and are including programs to address emotional and financial needs rather than focusing solely on physical health. In 2016, 87% of employers offer emotional or mental well-being programs and 76% provide financial health programs. When employers were asked about well-being programs in the future, 67% plan to expand their efforts, and an additional 17% plan to maintain at the current level.

“Employers have long understood the importance of improving employee productivity, and are now focused on the factors that impact productivity, specifically, drivers of well-being, such as emotional stress and financial challenges to achieve their goals,” says Adam Stavisky, senior vice president, Fidelity Benefits Consulting.

NEXT: Wellness program components and incentives

Stress management is by far the most popular emotional well-being program offered—54% of employers currently offer this program, and an additional 12% are planning to do so in 2017. Also popular is resiliency training, which helps employees manage setbacks in the workplace or in life outside work—27% of employers offer this program, with another 20% planning to do so in 2017.

To help employees manage their financial well-being, nearly three-quarters (73%) of companies surveyed offer on-site financial seminars, and 59% make a financial coach available to employees. Student loan repayment assistance—a benefit typically only offered in the public sector—will now be offered by 13% of employers in 2016, and another 21% are considering adding it in the future.

In 2015, 81% of employees received at least some amount of incentives, up from 73% in 2014. The percent of employees receiving incentives steadily increased as employers expand well-being programs to appeal to additional elements of overall well-being, as well as provide employees with more ways to earn incentives. At the same time, as employers expand into new areas, they are moving away from