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Happier, healthier members

Want to Attract and Retain Workers? Wellness Benefits Matter

by Michele Bell

Wellness programs are now one of the top-five employee perks, offered by 58% of employers, according to a survey by the Society of Human Resource Management. Another study by Randstad found that 41% of organizations added new health and wellness benefits in the past year.

What’s behind the wellness fervor? The hot hiring market may be one reason. Almost one in five employees changed jobs during the pandemic, according to Randstad, with workers demanding better pay, work conditions and benefits. Savvy employers are sharpening their game to stand out from the competition, including updating their wellness offerings. Studies show wellness benefits matter when it comes to hiring and retention: 67% of employees who work for organizations with wellness programs like their jobs more and are extremely or very likely to recommend their employer to others, and more than 50% of millennials and GenZ-ers consider wellness programs important in taking a job. Clearly, employers who want to keep and attract top-notch employees need to put wellness benefits high on their list.

Another reason wellness benefits matter is COVID fallout. The pandemic has left American workers more stressed, anxious, exhausted and depressed than ever – not to mention out of shape. More than 60% of American adults gained weight during the lockdown -- an average of 29 pounds -- according to the American Psychological Association. All these factors could bode poorly for chronic disease risk among employees if left unchecked. Fortunately, many workers are highly motivated to get back on track and want employee wellness benefits to help them get there.


Here’s how you can calculate potential medical cost savings by offering a digital chronic disease prevention program as an added benefit to members.

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The Right Wellness Program for the Times

Companies have long provided wellness benefits geared around a central workplace model. Those might include on-site wellness classes and communications, discounts to local health clubs and healthy meal offerings in the company cafeteria. The problem is, many workers no longer congregate in a central workplace every day or at the same time. They may still be working remotely or scattered among numerous satellite offices. That means wellness benefits need to flex with the changing work environment.

A mobile health platform, accessible through a digital app, can offer unique benefits for the modern workforce. It makes sense for the following reasons:

  • Transportable – Through a mobile health platform, your workers can access health coaching, resources, recipes and more from their mobile device, wherever and whenever it’s convenient for them. That makes these programs the most convenient and flexible benefit available.
  • In-the-moment – The best mobile health programs don’t rely on once-a-week meetings or appointments; they provide advice, support or encouragement as the employee needs it. That might include coaches giving feedback on an employee’s meal post, responding to a question sent by text message or offering encouragement when the employee meets a particular goal or milestone.
  • Scalable – Unlike an onsite event or class, mobile health platforms can easily scale from a handful of employees to thousands. Some of the best ones use AI-enabled technology that can learn what preferences and needs each person has and generate recommended content or responses for the coaches. This allows a small team of coaches to provide personalized, responsive coaching to a large number of people -- and at a price companies can afford.
  • Relational – The top mobile health platforms promote relationships between coaches and participants. As they correspond daily, celebrating successes and walking through setbacks, participants feel supported and encouraged. That’s important for improving physical health but equally for mental health, which has taken a hit during COVID. Knowing they have coaches in their corner to discuss all aspects of wellness – including practices like sleep, positivity, gratitude and mindfulness -- can help employees feel less isolated and alone.

Becoming the Employer of Choice

With a well-rounded wellness program that includes mobile options, you will have the advantage when it comes to recruiting and retaining employees. Even better, you’ll attract candidates interested in a healthy lifestyle, and those are the same employees who tend to be productive and positive contributors to your organization.

Of course, there are many apps on the market and some are higher on style than substance. Before you get your employees accustomed to a program, take time to choose one that meets your company’s unique needs and delivers on the four benefits discussed here. For more tips on choosing the right digital health app, download our ebook: “Digital Health Apps: What to look for when selecting apps for your digital health portfolio.”

Once you narrow down your options, insist on seeing each app in action. Observing the technology’s onboarding process, customer interface, communications options and resource library can help make the decision clear.


Schedule a demo of Yes Health’s all-mobile health coaching platform.

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You’ll find that the best digital health apps have a proven track record of helping employees lose weight, prevent chronic diseases, eat better, get fit and feel fantastic. That makes for a sound investment in the wellness of your current workforce, as well as the new team members you are sure to attract with a comprehensive wellness package designed for modern times.

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