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According to a list from Employee Benefit News on 15 trending workplace benefits, employee wellness and perks continue to take center stage. Below is the full list of trending benefits, and the eight highlighted in bold show that more than 50% of the benefits listed relate to employee wellness.  The list shows that employers recognize the impact wellness benefits have on recruitment, retention, productivity, and business success, and as the labor market continues to tighten and competition intensifies, the importance of creating benefit packages that show employees that their company cares about them only increases in importance.

  • Health Savings Accounts (HSAs)
  • Paid Parental Leave
  • Wellness Challenges
  • Standing Desks
  • Critical Illness Insurance
  • Telecommuting
  • CPR/First Aid Training
  • Acupressure/Acupuncture Coverage
  • Stress Management Programs
  • Lactation Rooms
  • Casual Dress Benefits
  • Service Anniversary Rewards
  • Spot Bonuses
  • Life Insurance
  • Volunteer Days 

Although only eight benefits were highlighted in bold, many of the remaining seven are tangentially related to health and wellness, which provides further evidence that employees want more than access to health insurance from their employer.  The broader list also provides areas where employers can more align traditional health benefits with wellness benefits.

For example, many employers are shifting more of the total medical expenses to employees by adopting a high-deductible health plan (HDHP). One of the benefits of HDHPs is the opportunity for employees to use an HSA, which is on the trending benefit list, to pay for deductibles, copayments, coinsurance, and some other expenses.  An HSA allows employers or employees to set aside money on a pre-tax basis to pay for qualified medical expenses, making the benefit potentially quite significant.  Since an employer can fully or partially fund an HSA account, many employers, including Wellable customers, are rewarding employee participation and milestone achievements in a wellness program with HSA contributions.  For instance, an employee to can earn HSA contributions for participating in wellness benefits an employer offers, such as wellness challenges and stress management programs.

Regardless of how an employer incorporates employee wellness into their benefits strategy, it has become clear that wellness offerings are transitioning from a nice to have to a must-have.  Employers that choose not to offer these types of benefits will experience challenges with recruiting and retaining the best talent.  As a result, they will limit the success of their enterprise in long-term ways.

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