Findings Report

Employee Wellbeing

While employee wellbeing initiatives have long influenced company culture, their prominence as a driving force behind a company’s total benefits package continues to evolve. With new vendors saturating the market, employers of all sizes have a wealth of support at their fingertips and also newfound responsibilities as they strive to take better care of their people. This report reveals the different ways companies are strategically approaching and implementing employee wellbeing programs with particular focus on the areas of physical, emotional, financial, and family wellbeing.

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Program Strategy

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.

View Chart:
Top Employee Concerns
Program Areas
Program Drivers
Program Status
Program Components
Program Roadblocks

Program Budget

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.

View Chart:
Dedicated Budget
Budget per Employee
Budget Earmarking
Budget Determination

Carrier Resources

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.

View Chart:
Use of Resources
Wellness Allocation
Most Useful
Limitations

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Program Administration

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.

View Chart:
Program Age
Ownership
Vendor Selection
Prioritization
Measurement

Physical Wellbeing

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.

View Chart:
Wellness Stipends
Stipend Amount
Stipend Management
Approved Expenses

Emotional Wellbeing

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.

Financial Wellbeing

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.

View Chart:
Top Employee Concerns
Financial Education
Financial Benefits
Continued Ed
Continued Ed Amount

Family Support

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.

View Chart:
Family Benefits
Childcare Contributions
Childcare Stipends
Baby Bucks

Pandemic Response

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.

View Chart:
Budget Impact
2020 vs. 2021 Budget
Budget Reallocation
Virtual Programs
Financial Benefits Impact
Program Adjustments

Methodology

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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