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Workplace wellness trends to look out for in 2020

Is your workplace ready?

Let take a trip down memory lane of workplace wellness — back to the 1980s to be exact. Workplaces everywhere were looking for ways to instill a culture of health to combat increasing health care costs External Site due to obesity and tobacco use.

Four decades ago, the foundation of workplace wellness relied almost solely on physical health. The lunch-time gym rush was real: There were lines to use a weight machine, and Jane Fonda-inspired workout classes skyrocketed the popularity of leotards, leg warmers, and thick scrunchies.

Though scrunchies are making a comeback, a lot has changed since then. It's likely your employees think of health and wellness as much more than what they see on the scale. The real question is: Has your company kept up with the workplace wellness trends, or are you stuck doing what's always been done before?

Workplace wellness trends for 2020

You've got a lot on your plate, which is why we're here to help. We've rounded up the top workplace wellness trends for you to pay attention to in 2020.

"Impacting the health of your employees goes far beyond a traditional wellness program," says Amy Gould, Wellmark Blue Cross and Blue Shield employer health and well-being consultant. "Employees want and expect more from their employers when it comes to their health and these trends speak to it. We have made sure our services align to what you need to support the well-being of your employees."

Trend 1: Fitness wearables.

You may be hard-pressed to find someone in your workplace who isn't donning a fitness wearable of some kind.

According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services External Site, less than 5 percent of adults participate in 30 minutes of physical activity every day. Fitness wearables can help your employees become more accountable by sharing their activity with family members, coworkers and friends. Fitness wearables also keep your employees honest when it comes to steps tracked, minutes exercised, calories burned and number of times they've stood throughout the day.

As a Wellmark Blue Cross and Blue Shield member, your employees can take advantage of deals and discounts External Site through Blue365. With Blue365, your employees can get exclusive discounted wearables from FitBit, Garmin and Polar.

These wearables can do it all External Site from setting individualized goals and monitoring heart rate to tracking sleep and sparking monthly challenges.

Trend 2: Rethinking incentives.

Truth be told, incentives only take your employees so far when it comes to making sustainable, lasting changes to their health and wellness. Typical wellness programs may inspire an employee to participate in a weight-loss challenge and collect the cash, but by next month, they're back to square one in their weight-loss journey.

Grab your pen and paper, because we're sharing a recording of our Rethinking workplace wellness incentives webinar External Site completely free to you. Get all the insights you need to connect the importance of well-being programs and incentives with your company's mission, vision and culture. might also be surprised to know how far recognition and appreciation can go in your workplace.

Trend 3: Taking a holistic approach.

Now more than ever, employees turn to their employers to provide solutions that address their unique situations think getting out of debt, dealing with emotional issues, or even becoming more involved in the community. Investing in a holistic wellness program for your company is vital to improving culture and increasing productivity and engagement among your employees.

Think of your employees' wellness holistically by addressing these six elements: physical, mental, emotional, career, social and community.

Trend 4: Easy-to-use, convenient platforms (and apps).

It's no secret technology is changing quickly. Your employees are looking for platforms or apps to help them navigate (and manage) their health. That's why it's important to leverage technology that is personalized, easy to navigate, and available at the push of a button.

Where Wellmark Blue Cross and Blue Shield members get more

As a Wellmark member, your employees get access to the following tools and resources:

  1. Coming soon: The new Wellmark Wellness Center Powered by WebMD® ONE. With the new Wellmark Wellness Center Powered by WebMD ONE, your employees will be able to customize their wellness programs to fit their interests and reach their personal health and wellness goals. If you need access to the platform, contact your wellness representative.
  • New home page with easy-to-find action items
  • Simplified navigation
  • Unique, personalized experience
  • Recommended action plan and next steps
  • Enhanced wellness assessment and personalized report upgrade
  1. myWellmark® Opens in a new window. Your employees' one-stop-shop for all their personalized health insurance information is now better than ever. Employees can see how close they are to meeting their deducible or out-of-pocket maximums, know what visits will cost before they go, find in-network providers and even see patient ratings for doctors.
  2. Doctor On Demand® External Site. Whether they need treatment for the cold and flu, anxiety, depression and more Doctor On Demand can be accessed with the click of a button all from the comfort of their home.

Trend 5: It's all about engagement.

If your employees don't feel connected to the work they do or the mission of your company, odds are they aren't engaged in anything your company is offering. Take a moment to identify what your workplace is currently doing to engage employees. Do you offer well-rounded resources to help employees with their unique situations to ensure they bring their most engaged self to work each day?

If you don't, we've got options for you:

  1. Start small check out our free webinar! External Site We teamed up with engagement experts at SALVEO Partners to help you build a blueprint for creating an engaging workplace for your employees. You'll get insights on how employee engagement is a key factor in business performance, and how companies with engaged employees see five times more revenue External Site compared to companies with low engagement.
  2. Bring it full circle: The Thriving Workplace Culture SurveyTM. Go even deeper with SALVEO's Thriving Workplace Culture Survey. With this survey and the help of a dedicated Wellmark health and well-being consultant, you'll get a better understanding of your employees' current engagement levels within your company and other influences that relate to their overall health and wellness.

Bonus trend: Financial wellness support.

According to the CareerBuilder Online survey by Harris Poll 2017 External Site, 78 percent of Americans live paycheck to paycheck. And according to the Federal Reserve, External Site 40 percent wouldn't be able to cover a $400 emergency expense if it popped up today. It's clear that debt and finances weigh heavy on most of the population, including your employees — especially since costs continue to rise faster than inflation.

PSA: When your employees suffer from financial burdens, it can impact every aspect of their health and wellness.

Change the narrative and unlock five free tips to improving the state of financial wellness within your workplace today. All you have to do is check out the free Rethinking financial well-being in the workplace External Site webinar.

Millennials are expected to make up 75 percent of the workforce by 2025 and this generation comes with a lot of baggage not just financial, but their health too. If your workplace doesn't make changes, it could cost both you and your employees in the long run.

Invest in your employees, and they'll invest in you.

Keeping your bottom line in check is important, but keeping your employees happy, healthy and engaged in the work they do is priceless.

The numbers speak for themselves — making the investment in a holistic wellness program for your workplace contribute to:

  • 41 percent lower health-related costs compared to employees who are struggling.1
  • Employees are three times more likely to go the extra mile when they feel their employer cares about their overall well-being.2

At Wellmark, we know your business, and we have insights and data on your employees that you may not have in-house. We can serve as an extension of your workforce and provide expertise in creating engaging solutions to meet the unique needs of your organization. Every step of the way, your Wellmark health and well-being consultant will be there as your go-to source for finding the right combination of solutions because one size doesn't fit all.

Questions? Contact your authorized Wellmark employer health and well-being consultant or email us at Send Email.