While a majority of companies are committed to investing in employee wellbeing, formalized programs with standardized components still are not widely implemented except at larger companies. When comparing annual trends, the global pandemic has driven companies to invest more in emotional and family wellbeing support to address the needs and priorities of their remote or hybrid workforces.
Nearly half of companies report a dedicated budget for employee wellbeing initiatives, which continues to increase year over year. We’re also seeing that companies are investing significantly more money per employee for wellbeing, especially at tech companies, likely as they were forced to pivot toward meeting the needs of a more distributed workforce.
Over the past few years, significantly more companies have been taking advantage of wellbeing resources and funding made available by health plan carriers. This growth is likely due to the fact that many companies weren’t previously aware that they could turn to their carriers for this kind of support.
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When it comes to identifying focus areas for a total wellbeing benefits package,
we see employee happiness and self care as the dominating influence. When it comes to selecting vendors, companies most often turn to guidance from benefits brokers. Employee feedback ranks as the most important way to measure the success of wellbeing program rollouts.
With a majority of companies still looking to support the physical health of their employees, the pandemic has raised new challenges in the ways they promote a healthier lifestyle. Many companies are now offering a wellbeing stipend to cover a broader range of approved expenses including group fitness, personal training, holistic care, and nutrition. These stipends are managed in a variety of ways.
The pandemic has driven an unprecedented need for mental health benefits to help employees better adapt to remote work. Accordingly, a majority of companies are strategically focused on employee emotional health. With multiple stressors affecting employees, companies are getting creative with the benefits they provide, including turning to new and innovative vendors who offer a range of emotional supports.
As employees look for more custom support to handle their personal finances and prepare for life events, employers are becoming more aware of the stressors surrounding financial wellbeing. Companies continue to invest in financial wellness initiatives in a variety of ways, including increased profit sharing and more support for continued education.
The additional demands on employees juggling work and at-home responsibilities drove an unprecedented need for offerings to help families adapt. In response, many companies enhanced their overall employee wellbeing programs by supporting employee needs for childcare and other expenses associated with a prolonged period of working from home. While some companies contribute to childcare costs via specific childcare stipends, others opt to allow childcare and family-related expenses to be reimbursed through more flexible wellbeing stipends.
The pandemic forced an overnight shift to remote work for most Americans, bringing the office home and challenging companies to come up with new methods for managing and engaging employees. It’s not surprising that many companies reported investing more in employee wellbeing programs in response to the pandemic. While there are more strategies and wellness-related vendors than ever before, companies also said the pandemic has challenged their ability to implement their wellbeing programs successfully.
Insights from this report represent data collected from Sequoia’s 2022 Dataforest DEI survey, and anonymized information and trends from our database. Dataforest is refreshed periodically with updates from new survey submissions.
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