Top takeaways from The 2023 Corporate Wellness Institute
Find out the top lessons learned at this year’s Corporate Wellness Institute, including trends and actionable items.
What’s most important for your workplace wellness?
On November 5 - 7th, IPMI (International Performance Management Institute) hosted the annual Corporate Wellness Institute conference. At the event, HR, benefits, and wellness professionals met to discuss the latest trends and best practices for workplace wellbeing. This year’s theme was “Exploring and Implementing Evidence-Based Wellness Strategies for Happier, Healthier Workplaces.”
Ben Thompson (Regional Vice President, Large Enterprise Sales at Forma) attended with Sean Hughley (Director, Commercial Sales at Forma) who hosted Forma’s Think Tank session on Lifestyle Spending Accounts (LSAs) with special guest, Tanya Moore (Chief People Officer at West Monroe). The duo took note and are sharing their perspectives on the state of well-being.
3 key insights into workforce wellness programs
Pulling from the theme of evidence-based wellness strategies, below are our top takeaways and actionable insights.
1. People need to do more with less.
Companies are faced with tight budgets due to rising healthcare costs and economic conditions. At the same time, organizations need to recruit and retain talent. Meanwhile, every dollar spent is being scrutinized. Benefits - specifically wellness benefits - can be the lynchpin that helps differentiate and compete in today’s job market. The reason? People who feel and get meaningful support are more productive. Everybody wins - the employer and the employee.
So how can businesses address these competing interests? Benefits and HR professionals are evaluating wellness offerings critically to ensure programs are impactful and provide the most value. What’s more, they’re looking for solutions that push the limits of a dollar.
Right now everybody's taking a look at what they're doing and all these benefits they're offering. But do their employees even know that they have these benefits? Do employees know where to find the go to use the programs? And, are these programs actually being used or producing any results? We've got to do more with less. Because there's so many things that you're doing and that's a huge problem that a flexible benefit like an LSA solves. Because it's one benefit that you can communicate that people can use for whatever they need.
- Ben Thompson: Regional Vice President, Large Enterprise Sales at Forma
2. Wellness remains a priority.
Most companies recognize the need for wellness programs. This is being driven by employee demand, healthy outcomes, and better productivity. However, just adding a wellness program isn’t enough. The solution needs to do just that - solve a problem. Is your company in need of parity? Is your workforce showing signs of unhealthy behavior and needs a little push as an incentive to make a change?
Simply adding standalone solutions one by one has become cumbersome over time. An emerging theme is the notion of consolidation. Rather than offering a variety of individual options which can be costly and ineffective, many are looking to provide a consolidated, comprehensive wellness program.
The primary reason why organizations are all looking for better wellness is because employees are asking for it. So it's something that's becoming employee driven where they're expecting wellness benefits. The other big piece is obviously the better wellness, the better productivity your staff has, and the better health outcome.
- Sean Hughley: Director, Commercial Sales at Forma
3. Employees want flexibility and support.
With distributed and diverse workforces, providing targeted benefits for specific locations or groups is next to impossible. Employees want personalized benefits and support. They want options that matter to them. To address expansive, personal needs employers are focusing on programs that cover broader options that meet employees where they are.
Benefits teams are looking at flexible programs, like Lifestyle Spending Accounts, that can meet the needs of all employees. This way, employees have a choice and the ability to address wellness holistically.
Employees are asking for more and more things. For the benefits teams, they can't satisfy and hit all the needs of their employees. And so they're increasingly looking for these flexible benefits, LSA type of bending, if you will, because their employees are so diverse. There's a need to meet people where they are.
- Sean Hughley: Director, Commercial Sales at Forma
Identifying (cost)effective wellness solutions
As an outcome, our team walked away focused on pinpointing points of friction and problems. The biggest issue companies face increasing demands with tighter resources. However, other issues emerged like a wellness stipend program that lacks global parity or the workforce having an uptick in sick days due to unhealthy behavior.
But, where should employers start and why? The answer depends on you and your organization. What are the biggest stressors and pain points your workforce is experiencing? How is that problem impacting them or their productivity? How would the solution remedy those issues? By identifying and targeting strategic pain points, it’s easier to find a reasonable starting point that will resolve issues - big or small - and prove ROI.
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