5 Best Employee Wellness Programs for 2023
As U.S. companies transition into a hybrid work model, demand for wellness programs that complement their workforce has directed employers’ attention to programming options that reach employees regardless of where they’re working. We’ve identified the five wellness offerings that employers want to implement in 2023.
- Virtual Fitness & Mindfulness Classes
- Virtual Cooking Demos
- Wellness Challenges
- Mindfulness & Stress Management Programs
- Health Coaching
5 Wellness Programs that Support Employee Wellness in 2023
At the beginning of the pandemic, the University of Chicago published an article that suggests that, “37% of jobs in the United States can be done from home.” One of the silver linings of COVID-19 was giving organizations the opportunity to explore work-from-home and hybrid models for staff.
Fast forward to 2023 and now Zippia is reporting, “74% of U.S. companies are using or plan to implement a permanent hybrid work model.” The article lists a number of compelling statistics that suggest hybrid workforces are here to stay, including this statistic that states, “84% of companies said that employee health and wellness was a ‘very important’ consideration in coming up with a work plan.”
The sentiment for updating work plans to care for employee wellness is also causing organizations to evaluate new offerings for enhancing their wellness programs.
Before COVID-19, few companies would consider incorporating virtual classes into their wellness programs. Now virtual classes are a staple for many wellness programs, even for organizations transitioning back into the office. The reason organizations are choosing to incorporate virtual classes into their wellness programs is because of how accessible these offerings are for employees in the office and the home.
Virtual wellness classes cover a broad list of activities from HIIT, yoga, and meditation. These classes require little to no equipment to participate, and many can be done from the comforts of an office desk or home setup.
Virtual yoga classes are a perfect example. Combining fitness and mindfulness into one class, office workers and workers at home can perform yoga from their workstations. In practice, a single live virtual yoga class can provide a much-needed midday break to more employees across multiple locations that would ordinarily take a few onsite classes to cover.
We covered the benefits of onsite and virtual corporate fitness classes in another article. Though the article specifically addresses fitness classes, the insights from the article are still applicable to less planning-intensive activities like yoga and meditation. Our article lays out the challenges of scheduling both formats to help employers decide which format is best suited for their employees.
There are many team-building activities available on the market, but organizations are making virtual cooking demos a monthly fixture for their employees. Prior to virtual cooking demos, in-person demos were cost-prohibitive for many organizations, costing hundreds of dollars per attendee to source the cooking materials, space, and instructor.
Virtual cooking demos are so popular with employers because the format combines scheduling flexibility, low cost, and high participation. Virtual cooking demos are perfect for team-building with a wellness-centered twist, checking off multiple boxes for companies looking to improve their culture and the well-being of their employees by giving employees the tools to establish a habit of healthy cooking.
Learn how Strive’s virtual cooking demos create a fun environment for coworkers to share a meal together from the comforts of their own kitchens.
Wellness challenges are another fun way employers can bring employees together with healthy competition. Large and small companies can all benefit by hosting a wellness throwdown.
The biggest obstacles to running a successful wellness challenge is internal marketing and keeping score. Companies not looking to DIY their own challenges or want a deeply integrated approach can work with a wellness vendor to handle the design, marketing, and administration of the challenge. Data for the challenge should be fully reported on without the company having to manually pull data themselves.
Another way employers are looking to improve employee wellness is through offering on-demand resources for navigating stress and facilitating mindfulness. These resources can include webinars, exercises, and even access to a therapist in real-time.
Organizations with a broader mission for their wellness programs will find many mindfulness and stress management offerings overlap with other fitness and nutrition initiatives, too.
With employees feeling more and more disconnected from their workplace, employers have been looking into one-on-one coaching to give their employees an extra set of hands to help on their wellness journey.
Employers can find certified coaches for employee fitness, nutrition, and even mental health. These coaches can be made available onsite or virtually.
One-on-one coaching has the highest cost of all the top employee wellness programs because of the hourly rates of having highly skilled, certified professionals helping staff meet their wellness goals. This can make offering health coaching cost-prohibitive for many mid-market employers.
Interestingly, small companies and startups may get as much value from health coaching as large enterprises.
The personalized experience of one-on-one wellness coaching complements employee-first cultures found in organizations with tight-knit workforces.
Strive is a strategic wellness vendor for large and small organizations across the U.S. We offer a wide range of wellness programs to help employers achieve the goals of their wellness initiatives. Our services are turnkey and tailored for each client. This means our clients can create the wellness programs their employees need without sourcing from multiple specialized vendors and dealing with the exponential administrative burden.