2011 HR Trends Survey: Wellness Programs a Top Priority

The year of 2011 brings a lot of promise and possibility to the American workforce. According to the survey conducted by the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM), researching and developing a new wellness program at their organization is a priority for HR this year.

Wellness Programs

In the last year, the toll of group health insurance spikes really impacted human resources professionals all over the U.S. Organizations have already started offloading a portion of the insurance costs to employees who participate. However, the value of effective disease management and prevention has become more important than ever. For example:

  • Most Employees Say Their Health Choices Impact Their Productivity at Work. In another study by ComPsych, a reported 74% of surveyed employees reported that their well-being led to a significant lack of energy at work. Medically obese individuals could cost up to $13 billion, and smokers adding more than $1,600 a year for an employer.
  • Success Story: We Energies (Milwaukee, WI) recently discovered the ROI of wellness programs, which not only helped reduce sick days used, but lead to an overall savings of $12.1 million for the company (an estimated $180 per person).

As you research your organization’s wellness program options, the most efficient approach would be to inquire with your current insurance provider regarding their wellness offerings. Whether you decide to use your provider or find a wellness vendor, another important element is creating a culture of wellness that extends beyond what the plan offers and encourages a higher commitment of the organizational environment to a work-life balance.

Other Findings

With more than 1,240 HR participants, the SHRM study showed wide agreement in a number of other areas as well:

  • 85% expecting a stronger link between employee performance and company goals
  • 80% will be researching and implementing employee wellness programs
  • 75% will invest more in employee education and training benefits
  • 67% say there will be more flextime in 2011
  • 63% will be expanding the company by recruiting new talent
  • 63% say that wages are going up

 You can expect to read more in the next week about how to strategize these other high priority HR initiatives, including tips and ideas to get you started.

Image provided by photostock / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

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