5 wellness program initiatives to consider in 2024

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Key takeaways

Employee wellness programs are a retention booster and a talent magnet. These five ideas will help you offer employees a well-rounded wellness program.   

In 2024, the question is not should employers help support employee wellness, but rather how should employers help support employee wellness.

That’s because helping employees thrive is not only the ethical thing to do, but it also makes good business sense. Gallup research shows that work life influences home life, and home life influences work life—and when employees are thriving in their personal lives, they bring the effect of that thriving life to work.

In addition, employees who strongly agree that their employer cares about their overall wellbeing are:

  • 69% less likely to actively search for a new job
  • 71% less likely to report experiencing a lot of burnout
  • 35% more likely to be thriving in their overall lives
  • 3x more likely to be engaged at work
  • 5x more likely to strongly advocate for their company as a place to work

Today’s best employee wellness programs take a holistic approach that considers multiple aspects of wellness, such as physical, emotional and financial. That in mind, check out these five wellness initiatives to consider at your workplace.

1. Mental health programs

Over the next one to two years, 30% of employers are considering adding mental health programs or services to their benefits packages, according to Optavise research. There are several popular digital mental health solutions that can offer employees access to mental health coaching, therapy, psychiatry, guided meditations and more.

Learn about 4 strategies that support employee mental health.

2. Financial coaching

Financial education programs empower employees to convert their hard work into financial well-being. By partnering with financial consultants who visit your workplace, employees can learn about budgeting, saving, investing and managing debt—so they can be better equipped to improve their financial wellness.

Check out these three ways to help employees deal with medical bill stress.

3. Flexible workplace structures

When employees have options to work from home and/or maintain more control of their working hours, it can help improve their work-life balance, mental health, physical health and overall quality of life.

Some industries allow more flexible work options than others, but it’s important for all employers to consider what they can do to give their employees flex options. Companies with workers that are traditionally tied onsite to set shifts are introducing greater flexibility with strategies such as: on-demand schedules, shortened workweeks, new shift permutations, new shift times, cross training to provide workers more agency, and job-sharing arrangements.

4. Fitness expense programs

Only 28% of Americans are meeting physical activity guidelines set by the CDC. One straightforward way to help get your employees moving more is by helping to cover their fitness expenses. Whether through subsidies, reimbursements or stipends, you can help cover their costs of:

  • Memberships to gyms and fitness centers
  • Exercise classes
  • Personal training
  • Home workout equipment purchases
  • Sports leagues

5. Supplemental health insurance

Around one-quarter of employers say they’re adding supplemental health insurance products like cancer insurance (27%), critical illness insurance (26%) and stroke insurance (25%) in the next one to two years, according to Optavise research. These benefits help employees seek the care they need, when they need it, while protecting them from out-of-pocket costs.

Supplemental health insurance pays cash benefits directly to employees in the event of critical illness, injury or hospitalization. Employees can use cash benefits for any purpose, including medical bills and everyday living expenses. This financial protection can be affordable and can be deducted directly from employee’s paychecks.

Want more? Check out our blog, 4 meaningful ways to support employee wellbeing.

Optavise is your benefits partner
Optavise is a trusted partner, guiding employers and their employees through healthcare choices including voluntary benefits, benefits administration, and year-round advocacy services that reduce costs and increase benefits engagement.