Whether your brand is built on healthy lifestyles or you're approaching corporate wellness as a hiring strategy, it's important to stay on top of the current trends.
The wellness trends of 2019 aren't just diet, exercise, or retreat fads. They are built on more than a decade of results from real-world use-cases combined with cutting-edge technology and the ever-changing world business environment. Some of these trends are the latest evolution of traditional employee support methods while others are brand new, based on what can now be offered with the latest mobile and AI technology.
Join us today as we dive into the most significant of the corporate wellness trends of 2019.
One of the most notable things about corporate wellness in 2019 is that most of those aforementioned fads have faded into the background. Wellness trends this year aren't focused on the health benefits of granola or 30-day fitness challenges. Instead, we see more big-concept changes. A concerted effort from companies around the world to offer a more fulfilling and personally useful set of wellness programs. While also finding a way to truly achieve ROI on the investment you put into employee health and happiness.
The biggest change in corporate wellness programs has been personalization. As you already know, personalization has been sweeping the business world and wellness programs are no exception. In fact, employees have an incredible amount to gain from the personalization of their fitness programs and adding any aspect of personalization can significantly increase engagement.
Personalization changes all that by custom-tailoring your wellness program features precisely to the needs and preferences of your employees. Including allergies and medical conditions, scheduling limitations, and providing calculated suggestions that employees are more likely to enjoy. Any form of personalization can make employees feel more empowered, involved, and personally taken care of by their company instead of simply being 'required to be healthy' as one-size-fits-all programs have done in the past.
A big part of the personalization push involves digital platforms and mobile apps. After all the easiest way to personalize is to let employees punch in their own information and manage their own schedules. Even a basic app that, say, allows your employees to schedule their own time in the gym can improve their health and get them involved. But the options are really far more advanced and varied than digital basics.
There is a wide selection of wellness apps your employees might enjoy, from personalized nutrition planning to collaboration apps that allow employees to help/encourage each other to meet their goals in an engaging and multistage virtual program.
Many of these wellness apps also come equipped with AI personalization, meaning that an intuitive computer program takes their preferences and offers an even more personalized experience. A wellness AI might make healthy meal suggestions that fit into an employee's lifestyle and include their favorite flavors. Or it might help them craft a unique workout routine that fits with their medical limitations and personal goals. AIs are incredibly powerful, and can even be used to predict wellness trends among your employees by analyzing the choices they make (and the plans they follow through with).
Connecting with coworkers is another big part of 2019's developing wellness trends. Many people have an easier time keeping up with their health and fitness goals when they have the support of people near them. Getting cheers and congratulations on meeting goals makes those achievements that much more rewarding. And encouragement when making progress can help your team keep on their goals without getting discouraged. Modern wellness program apps make it simpler to provide this social connectedness without even asking coworkers to sweat in front of each other.
Using a social fitness platform, your teams can actually build a stronger sense of connectedness by sharing their fitness goals and supporting each other in reaching them. From drinking more water to marathon training, every employee is free to set their own goals, share their accomplishments, and post friendly words of encouragement. And this constantly shared positivity builds supportive camaraderie among your team members.
There are also programs that get families involved, which can be incredibly helpful for people trying to change their lifestyles. If your wellness programs include app logins for family members or classes that encourage family member participation, you can make a much more significant impact on your employee's lives by changing how their family approaches wellness.
There have been a number of recent studies showing that relocated employees are less likely to take care of themselves because they feel disconnected and depressed after leaving friends and family behind. In 2019, businesses are therefore putting more focus on programs that make relocated employees feel more connected to their coworkers, the company culture, and to their own wellbeing. Any program that makes sure relocated employees are supported can improve their chances of happiness, health, and success.
Interestingly, the social connectedness trend also goes hand-in-hand with a trend toward wellness privacy. How public an employee's health and fitness details are should be entirely under their control. Even if you have a social wellness program set up, it's important that employees' details remain absolutely private unless they choose to share. Many people don't want to share any details about their physical health or personal life with coworkers, even if they take part in company-offered health and wellness programs. And it is our obligation to protect that privacy.
HIPAA, GDPR, and a slew of other data privacy regulations are definitely at play here. Remember that as we become a more data-oriented world, the need to protect that data from both unauthorized coworkers and invading hackers is incredibly important. Wellness information like one's workout schedule or medical limitations can be identifying, therefore put an exposed employee at risk of attacks like identity theft, medical scams, and even stalking.
Then, of course, there is simple respect for personal privacy. You probably don't want the world to know about every single glass of water you drink or visit to the bathroom. And neither do your employees. Most professionals carefully tailor the amount of personal information they share with coworkers. Some are very private people, some will share only their successes and keep failures to themselves, and some are even trying to plan a fitness surprise for --say-- a fiancee who is moving to their state. Make sure always to keep employee wellness information private, putting the power to share in their hands alone.
Burnout is another major focus of 2019 wellness trends. It's time to acknowledge across all industries that burnout happens. And that it's a growing problem, especially in high-pressure or highly repetitive jobs no matter how vital that job might be. Even people who are dedicated to their work and adore the company can burn out simply by not managing their time, stress, and vacations correctly. Addressing burnout is something every company should focus on in 2019.
Here's your content from Verblio:
The first step is to accept burnout by creating burnout awareness. Make it something that's okay to talk about in the workplace. Instead of something to be ashamed of. Talk about burnout as a stress-related problem, and acknowledge that not everyone has the tools they need to manage their stress properly. This makes it possible to start addressing burnout.
After the acknowledgement, it's essential to take steps to minimize any current cases or risk-cases of burnout in your office. Learn how to identify the signs and put together a plan to reduce whatever has caused the burnout to occur. Assess how you are assigning workloads, and whether those loads are realistically sustainable for employees. Assess if vacation time is being taken and, if it isn't, incentivize taking it.
And if anyone is facing a serious case of burnout, consider taking direct measures to help them de-stress and love the job again.
Then, of course, there's keeping burnout from happening in the future. Many of the steps you take to reduce burnout will also help employees avoid becoming burnt out in the first place. But you should also take a close look at your company culture's approach to stress, and how to improve that so it's easier for employees to unwind and resolve any stress-causing problems in the workplace.
There has also been a significant increase in focus on self-care in the business world. Often, when professionals get caught up in their work they can start neglecting important aspects of self-care. And we don't mean showering enough. Most people shower every single day. But what they don't do is sleep enough hours, brush their teeth with sufficient attention to detail, or spend enough quality time with their loved ones.
In the past, it's been seen as 'not your place' as the employer to affect an employee's self-care. But we're not talking about telling your employees to brush their teeth. Instead, businesses are now making it easier (and providing encouragement) for employees to take care of themselves in the midst of their busy schedule by, for example, providing named sanitary UV toothbrush holders and paste dispensers, or scheduling more family-friendly after work events instead of just meeting in the bar after shift.
Along similar lines is an increasing trend in onsite clinics for employees, especially for larger companies and in office buildings where the clinic may be shared by multiple businesses. An on-site clinic makes it a million times easier for employees to take themselves in for a check-up on any number of minor health concerns. And any doctor will tell you that regular access to a health professional is the key to preventative medicine. From treating causes of employee fatigue to catching cancer at it's earliest treatable stages.
Finally, there's a type of wellness that many businesses have overlooked in the past: financial fitness. Providing financial resources is an increasingly popular trend among practical businesses. Finances are a major source of strength or stress for any professional. Employees who have their finances locked down and are moving forward in a positive way are also more likely to be energized and focused at work. While those with money problems at home from medical debts, student loans, or more expenses than income are also more likely to be distracted and at risk of burnout.
By providing services like financial advisement, debt management, and retirement planning assistance you can significantly increase the morale and healthy lifestyles of your employees. Popular financial fitness services also include help building up savings accounts, setting up trusts and college funds for employee children, debt consolidation, and insurance advice.
No year before 2019 has seen so much potential and business focus on improving employee wellness. Over the last decade, we have learned so much from the successes and failures of past wellness programs. The 2019 wellness trends are all the result of refining our approach both professionally and technologically to provide the best possible wellness benefits to professionals everywhere.
Here at InKin, we believe strongly in using cutting-edge technology to give your employees the best possible wellness program experience. For more information about this year's rising wellness trends or how inKin Social Fitness Platform can help your entire team feel great about exercise and wellness, contact us today!
Photo Credit: Depositphotos