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5 Employee Wellness Trends to Watch in 2020 and Beyond

As we enter the new decade, the landscape of our workforce is noticeably changing and employers are taking a closer look at their employee wellness programs to better meet their staff’s needs. In fact, 76% of employees think their workplace has a responsibility for their health and well-being, according to a MetLife survey. And according to Glassdoor, 87% of employees expect their company to help them balance their work and personal lives. These statistics underscore the interconnectivity between well-being and engagement and show how much employees expect their workplaces to commit to their wellness. As employers refocus on health and wellness goals, a few employee wellness trends stand out as we forge ahead in 2020.

1. The Shift of Employee Wellness Programs to Holistic Wellbeing

With the many different segments of generations in the workforce and the presence of technology making it harder for employees to compartmentalize aspects of their life, employers must find wellbeing programs that  help manage a work-life blend rather than a work-life balance.

The days of focusing on preventive care and biometric screenings are fading out and employers are investing more into programs that are encompassing the whole person and impact the overall environment. With the labor market tight, and the workforce changing, employers are looking to attract and retain younger talent by creating an attractive environment that appeals to all generations. wellness success is hard to measure so employers are looking at the overall value they are providing to their workforce rather than trying to connect some of these programs to health plan renewals. This approach is beginning to make the employee wellness program more engaging for employees.

Some new areas to focus on include truly personalized wellness. Innovative platforms that can be tailored to the individual. Wellness with a one size fits all approach is not as appealing anymore. People are busy and tend to engage and focus only on the things that really matter to them. In order to provide a personalized program, it’s important to offer many different paths for the employee to either consider or be directed to, depending on the investment made in the overall program.

One way employers are investing in wellness is through more holistic program designs. These are employee wellness benefits plans that help address all aspects of the body and mind, as opposed to just the former. These plans include access to mental health professionals and assistance in dealing with stress and depression. Companies using this method are focusing more on metrics like employee satisfaction and retention than one-size-fits-all health plans. According to MetLife, 55% of employees would be more interested in working for a company with access to these benefits.

2.Tailored Health Portals

Many employees use the internet for researching and coordinating their health care. Oftentimes, this is done through point solutions (e.g., websites or applications that deal with a specific focus, like managing diabetes), which require employees to reenter their personal information into multiple sites. Employers are now moving away from point solutions, opting instead for tailored platforms. These platforms house employee data and offer access to a variety of health solutions. From such a portal, employees could locate a doctor, research a condition or review their health plan coverages all in the same place. Depending on the platform, employers can work with vendors to include solutions based on their employees’ unique needs.

3. Social Enrichment Program

A common thread in workplace surveys for years has been the employee’s desire for meaningful work—people want what they do to matter. This isn’t always easy, depending on the line of work, so employers are offering ways to give back. Some companies partner with nonprofit organizations to help fundraise, and others provide an allotment of paid “volunteer days” for employees to use throughout the year. Regardless of the approach, your commitment to social enrichment is what matters to employees.

Philanthropy is central to Burnham’s culture and a key factor in our employee wellness. Wherever you find a Burnham office, you find a team that’s dedicated to serving the local community. Through financial support, in-kind donations, event participation, volunteer hours and professional guidance, our employees are making a difference individually and together as a group. You can find our Community Commitment page here.

4. Financial Employee Wellness Resources

Many organizations employ a diverse cast of employees—some may be nearing retirement, and others may be finishing school. This means employees can often face unique financial stressors from one another. To combat this, some employers offer financial wellness programs to help reduce these stressors. These programs vary in complexity but can include personal financial planning, tuition reimbursement, seminars, and payday loan assistance. The idea is to offer enough services for anyone in your workforce to take advantage of, no matter their financial situation.

5. Artificial Intelligence

Artificial intelligence (AI) has been around for years, and we’re seeing it weave deeper into the fabric of the workplace.  For example, employers can use AI to:

  • Help employees choose the right benefits plans based on their lifestyle.
  • Track complex data like engagement and performance.
  • Monitor abstract trends. 

Wherever 2020 leads, you can guarantee AI will be there. 


If you want to hold on to your employees and attract new ones, consider investing in your employee wellness programs in 2020.  First, evaluate your current initiatives, then think about ways to improve them. Take time to think about some new ideas that can have a true impact on your workforce. Mental health and wellbeing, stress management, mindfulness, financial wellness and true flexibility for caregivers are all hot and trending right now. It’s also wise to reach out to employees and see what they find most valuable. 

Contact Burnham Benefits today for more wellness program ideas or for ways to get started.


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