The Transformation from Wellness to Wellbeing

Regardless of whether you view employee wellness from the view of an industry professional, a person who is tasked with finding and implementing wellness strategies for groups of employees, or that of someone who is partaking in said programming, you’re sure to have begun to noticed a shift. A shift from just “wellness” to an all-encompassing “wellbeing” strategy.

“The big thing in the HR world is that the industry is sort of rebranding, if you will, from wellness to well-being,” Sarah Sardella, Senior Director for Global Benefits at Akamai Technologies, said in a recent interview with HR Magazine. “There was this initial focus on health and fitness – physical health. Now everyone is saying ‘What about financial wellness, emotional well-being and mental mindfulness?”

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.”

That said, what’s behind the shift that’s changing employee wellness programs to define “health” more inclusively?

  1. Expanding Mission of HR. While it may seem like common knowledge, HR and benefits managers are realizing that not every employee is at the same point in their life. With this realization, the mission, and the definition of wellness” has expanded to include areas that some employees might need to reach their full potential of “health,” – things like financial wellbeing training, mental health information, etc.

  2. Return on Investment. According to HR Magazine, “leaders of organizations with knowledge of their return on investment reported a return of $1-$4 for every dollar spent.” While the true return is often different to quantify, the benefits for employees themselves – better overall wellbeing – is considered highly valuable.

  3. Improve employee satisfaction. “As employees are more satisfied with their lives outside of work – reduced stress, financial stability – and have healthy behaviors, that often reflects on their work life as well,” Herold said.

  4. Recruit and retain employees. “Free beer isn’t enough anymore,” is a common exclamation in the recruitment world – employees are looking for more when they’re weighing both current and future employers; including healthcare benefits and wellbeing options.

“Now, at the end of the day,” Jim Pritchett, DHS Group CEO, said, “Benefits and employee wellbeing programs need to be about engaging employees to improve, not just their physical health, but their mental and financial health as well. It’s not just something that benefits the employee, but makes an impact on the employer as well.” 

You can learn more about bringing a complete wellbeing program to your employees through DHS Group’s HealthSpective Engage program by visiting DHS Group online.