5 Takeaways from Business Group on Health and Fidelity about Wellbeing Programs after COVID-19

By Welltok Marketing

For 12 years the Business Group on Health and Fidelity Investments have reliably conducted the industry-defining survey on employer wellbeing trends and investments. The findings offer not only insights about what’s changed, but also what employers should be planning on addressing in the future. This year’s insights have been highly anticipated because they reflect the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.

If you haven’t had time to read the 12th Annual Business Group on Health / Fidelity Investments Employer-Sponsored Health and Well-being Survey, we’ve got you covered! Here are 5 key takeaways our employee engagement experts had after reading the results.

1. Wellbeing programs have become a core part of business strategy
Nearly all employers (90%) credit wellbeing as playing a role in overall business strategy—a number that’s been steadily increasing. For example, employers are connecting wellbeing to safety messages and programs more than in the past. This means teams now aren’t challenged to argue the need for having a program, but they are being asked to drive ROI through higher engagement with it.

How can you drive action? See Welltok’s unique approach to engaging and activating employees.

2. Generic wellbeing programs are a thing of the past
8 in 10 employers say that DEI has influenced their wellbeing strategy. They are inviting internal DEI leaders and employees alike to weigh in, and they are acting on this input, as well as internal audits, to create more inclusive programs that make all employees feel seen, heard and appreciated. This includes an intentional focus on supporting traditionally marginalized populations.

Learn: Take a look at this infographic to see how you can use data to create a more inclusive experience.

3. Employees are tuned in to rewards
There’s been a downward trend in the percentage of employers been offering rewards; however, those that are still leveraging incentives are tying them to engagement with mental and financial wellbeing programs (21% in 2021 vs. 15% in 2020). This is important given the impact of COVID-19 on these aspects of wellbeing. It’s also encouraging to see that there’s been a significant increase in employees taking advantage of rewards (81% last year vs. 69% in 2019). Together this is a win-win combo, and employers can further maximize engagement in high-value programs like these by evaluating how their incentives programs are designed.

Read: Check out our Guide to Incentive Optimization for tips to improve the performance of your rewards program.

4. Mental and financial health are having their moment
The COVID-19 pandemic has elevated the demand for mental and financial health resources, and as stated above – they can’t be generic. For mental health, employers are planning to expand beyond a single program and/or EAP, providing niche support for things like mental health champions/allies, happiness programs, and digital cognitive behavioral therapy. Financially, companies are focused on helping employees pay off student loans and adding future programs to support lower-income employees. These programs are adding, not replacing, existing ones supporting other aspects of wellbeing, like physical health.

Need help filling benefits gaps? Our Connect Partner Ecosystem makes it easy to quickly launch new programs, under one contract with utilization-based pricing.

5. Expanded and digital support is part of the future
The long-term effects of COVID-19 are yet to be seen, but employers are preparing to meet employees where they need help. The majority (75%) of employers will expand their offerings in the next 3-5 years. How this looks will also remain to be seen, with many of them not expecting to resume programming to as they were pre-pandemic until at least 2022. This elevates the importance of offering support in different ways – maintaining or adding digital resources, using multiple communications channels (like text, email and direct mail) – to make programs more accessible to all employees.

These are some meaty takeaways, and it can feel like a lot to take on alone. That’s why your peers are turning to Welltok to help develop more inclusive total wellbeing programs. Want to learn more? Let’s talk.

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