Best Money Moves and DHS Group are working together to transform employee wellness programs into employee wellbeing. DHS Group believes that employee wellbeing encompasses physical health, mental health and financial wellness. The opinions expressed in this blog belong to the author and DHS Group.
Regardless of whether you view employee wellness from the perspective of the industry professional, one who is tasked with finding and implementing wellness strategies for groups of employees or that of a participant engaged in wellness programming, you’re sure to have noticed a shift from “wellness” to an all-encompassing “wellbeing” strategy.
“Historically, employee wellness programs have had this focus on physical health – specifically through things like step programs and activity programming,” Jim Pritchett, DHS Group CEO, said. “However, we’re quickly seeing these programs expand to include more as people ask questions about pieces like mental health and [how to fix their] finances.”
Will Herold, DHS Group’s VP of Employer Solutions, agrees. “A wellbeing approach is more of a holistic approach to help employees improve on all aspects of wellness – those being physical, mental, financial and health,” Herold said. “What we knew as ‘employee wellness’ only ever focused on one piece of the complete wellbeing pie.”
What’s behind the shift that’s changing employee wellness programs to define “health” more inclusively?
- The Expanding Mission of HR. While it may seem like common knowledge, HR and benefits managers realize that not every employee is at the same point in their life. With this realization, the mission and definition of “employee wellness” has expanded to include financial wellbeing training and mental health information – areas that some employees might need in order to solve issues and help them reach their full potential.
- Return on Investment (ROI). According to HR Magazine, “leaders of organizations with knowledge of their return on investment reported a return of $1 to $4 for every dollar spent” on employee wellbeing programs. While the true return is often difficult to quantify, the benefits for employees themselves – better overall wellbeing – is highly valuable.
- Improving Employee Satisfaction. “As employees are more satisfied with their lives outside of work (reduced stress and financial stability) they have healthy behaviors that often reflect on their work life as well,” Herold said.
- Recruit and Retain Employees. “Free beer isn’t enough anymore,” is almost a cliche in the recruitment world because employees are looking for more when weighing both current and future employers, including retirement options, healthcare benefits and wellbeing options.
At the end of the day, benefits and employee wellbeing programs need to be about engaging employees and encouraging them to improve – not just their physical health, but their mental and financial health as well – which is where DHS Group’s HealthSpective Engage platform comes in. It’s not just something that benefits the employee, but impresses a positive impact on the employer as well.
“Our goal has always been to help companies achieve better health outcomes with lower costs,” Pritchett said. “With HealthSpective Engage, companies can both enhance their benefits system – adding pieces like financial wellbeing to the puzzle – and simplify the process. A decision that ultimately helps companies improve their population health and leads to employees and families that are healthier in multiple areas of their life and not just one single focus.”