How Companies are Redefining Wellness in 2017

By: Lindsey Snow, Account Executive

“Wellness” today is so much more than Fitbits, calorie counting and Soul Cycle – and companies are taking notice. Organizations are now embracing an all-encompassing definition of wellness—moving from just health benefits and workplace insurance policies to a broader mindset of how they can positively impact the physical, financial, emotional and social wellbeing of employees, consumers and stakeholders.

Why are companies tackling wellness in a more holistic way? The numbers speak for themselves:

  • 85% of American consumers ranked “being in good health” as the #1 contributor to success, according to an American Express study.
  • 75% of consumers want their employers to offer incentives to help improve their health, a HealthMine survey found.
  • 64% of millennial employees are stressed about their finances and 37% say that issues with personal finances have been a distraction at work, according to a PwC financial wellness survey.
  • 63% of millennials say it’s important that their company’s loyalty program supports lifestyle preferences such as wellness programs, sustainability efforts or a charity, according to a Colloquy study.
  • 29% of American employees resign due to work overload and lack of healthy work-life balance, a Cornerstone OnDemand survey found.
  • Top concerns of HR and finance executives today include; employee wellness and productivity (83%), cost management (76%) and ACA compliance (58%), a HUB International study found.

And although many might think tackling wellness is reserved for companies in the health space, that’s no longer the case. Here’s a sampling of leading companies in a variety of industries that are making holistic health a priority as both a business and social imperative—redefining wellness in 2017:

  • Community: Under the notion that a city is only as healthy as its kids are and that a younger community will help create a healthy overall community, Morgan Stanley developed its signature Healthy Cities platform. Through the initiative, Morgan Stanley works with nonprofit partners to provide kids in underserved cities with three basic needs to kick-start a healthy life: nutrition, health services and play— all thanks to the commitment and volunteer services of over 9,000 of Morgan Stanley’s employees worldwide.
  • Employee: Google is consistently ranked as a best place to work and it’s no wonder with perks such as ping-pong tables, nap pods, wave pools, LEGO stations, massages and laundry drop-off. But what really sets Google aside as a leader is its holistic approach to wellness, which includes physical, emotional, financial and social health. The company consistently earns high praise for its employee benefits package, which offers six weeks of paid leave for new dads and eighteen weeks for moms—a move that they found directly correlated with employee retention, decreasing the rate at which new mothers quit post-maternity-leave by 50 percent.
  • Supply Chain: A pioneer in responsible supply chain practices, Levi Strauss & Co.’s Worker Well-being initiative goes beyond labor compliance to focus on broader workforce issues. The program collaborates with employees, supplier partners and local organizations to implement programs focused on financial empowerment, health and family well-being, and equality and acceptance.
  • Consumer: Through its global campaign Let’s Rise, Westin Hotels and Resorts aims to take on the disruptions and unpredictability of travel by empowering consumers to embrace wellness as a way to regain control of their health before, during and after their stay. The campaign features Six Pillars of Well-being: Sleep Well, Eat Well, Move Well, Feel Well, Work Well and Play Well—designed to embody the brand’s consumer wellness approach and connect guests to signature Westin programs from a workout Gear Lending program in partnership with New Balance (Move Well) to more nutritious meal offerings through its SuperFoodsRxTM menu (Eat Well). Westin also works with a group of wellness experts including running coaches, personal trainers and bloggers, health coaches, TV hosts, wellness speakers, and yoga instructors, all in an effort to guide and inspire consumer wellness.

Whether it’s healthy communities, employee wellness, supply chain well-being or consumer health, stakeholders want and expect companies to take a more active role and holistic approach to wellness. In taking a cue from the successes of these organizations, more companies can begin to prioritize and hone in on a robust wellness strategy—creating not just a healthier bottom-line, but a healthier and happier humankind.