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Employee Wellness: XpertHR 2020 Survey

XpertHR wanted to know what organizations are doing today to promote and further employee wellness. This survey, conducted in November 2019, gives a snapshot of wellness programs and initiatives.

The modern incarnation of wellness programs began in the 1980s when companies decided that it made economic sense to encourage employees to live healthier lives. But what began as a focus on physical health has shifted to a more holistic view of wellness, including fitness, mental health, work/life balance and financial security.

Executive Summary

A competitive job market and low inflation rates continue to impact strongly on employers' decisions about salary and pay.

  • Almost two-thirds of survey respondents have an employee wellness program or wellness initiatives in place.
  • For those organizations with wellness initiatives, the three main drivers are: to improve employee health; increase employee engagement; and reduce healthcare costs.
  • Cost is still a major factor when deciding which wellness programs or initiatives to put in place, but employee suggestions and directives from senior leadership also impact these decisions. And while 39.4% have a specific budget for wellness programs, 40.4% do not.
  • The most common initiatives - employee assistance programs, access to filtered drinking water and nutrition education - are also the top three that respondents report as the least impactful. The most impactful are free flu vaccinations and periodic health risk assessments/biometric screening.
  • The three biggest barriers to wellness program implementation are: a lack of employee participation; cost; and lack of support from senior leadership.