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In the News: Survey identifies top nontraditional workplace wellness initiatives

According to the International Foundation of Employee Benefits Plans’ Workplace Wellness Trends survey, while more traditional wellness initiatives remain popular in the workplace, there is a growing emphasis on more non-traditional initiatives.

First, the most popular traditional wellness initiatives are:
•Flu shot program (71%)
•Smoking-cessation program (54%)
•Health risk assessments (51%)
•Health screenings (50%)
•Wellness competitions/fitness challenges (42%)

And the top non-traditional initiatives include:
•Vacation time/time off use being encouraged (66%)
•Mental health coverage (63%)
•Tuition reimbursement (63%)
•Community charity drives (57%)
•On-site work events/celebrations (50%)

Looking ahead, emerging or future unusual wellness offerings are expected to include discounted or free wearable tracking devices, financial education, workplace design changes (such as standing desks or collaborative work spaces), as well as game leagues and even themed dress-up days.

“Employers are taking a greater interest in the social and mental well-being of their employees,” said Julie Stich, CEBS, director of Research. “Both traditional and nontraditional wellness benefits are creating the return on investment employers are looking for in their workplace wellness programs.”

Among the approximately one-quarter of organizations currently analyzing and aware of their wellness return on investment (ROI), 93% are achieving positive ROI, with the average ROI per $1 spent hovering around $3. Among organizations tracking more specific wellness efforts, 54% said wellness efforts have improved engagement, 45% said wellness efforts reduced employee absenteeism, and 38% said wellness efforts have positively affected their company’s bottom line.

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