Employee wellness programs are growing in popularity as employers seek to create a positive work environment, improve workplace wellbeing, boost engagement, and reduce employee stress.
Many companies are planning to make a push in the next few years. According to predictions made by the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM), 70% of companies will have employee wellness programs in place by the end of 2023.
With so much on the line, what are the benefits of workplace wellness programs?
What are the most common workplace benefits and corporate wellness programs, and what can employees look forward to?
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention report that stress costs US businesses $190 billion per year in health care, lost time, and other productivity losses. To mitigate these costs, many companies are focusing on employee wellness solutions. Ideally, these workplace wellness programs included initiatives like weight loss, smoking cessation, stress management training, and healthy eating. However, with changing trends, many companies have started including DEI programs and other employee benefits initiatives.
DEI Programs for Workplace Wellness
Working to improve employee wellness and retention has become a top priority for many organizations. However, achieving these goals can be difficult when the workforce is not comfortable expressing their opinions or feel they do not have a voice. This is where diversity, equity, and inclusion programs come in.
Diversity refers to the wide range of human experiences that must be represented in an organization. Equity means everyone who participates in the workplace should have an equal chance to succeed. Inclusion recognizes that people with different backgrounds and perspectives can contribute a lot to an organization’s success.
To develop successful diversity, equity, and inclusion programs:
- Start with empathy
- Build an inclusive environment
- Encourage employee feedback
- Teach communication strategies
- Make sure the workplace policies are clear and concise
Here are some key DEI program trends for 2023 that must be considered while implementing workplace wellness programs successfully.
Trend #1: Hiring for Diversity
Leading companies like Google, Facebook, and Microsoft are increasingly focusing on the trend of inclusive hiring practices to reap the benefits of a diverse workforce.
The benefits of a diverse workforce are numerous and well-documented. A study by the University of California, Berkley found that companies with diverse workforces are 35% more likely to have financial returns above their respective national industry medians.
There are many reasons for this. A diverse workforce brings a wider range of perspectives and experiences to the table, which can lead to more innovative thinking. In addition, diverse teams are known to make better business decisions 87% of the time. So it is no surprise that companies are eager to hire.
Trend #2: Employee Resource Groups (ERGs)
Employee resource groups (ERGs) are support groups for under-represented employees. They are important in promoting inclusivity. ERGs have been successfully implemented in various organizations. ERGs typically focus on a specific dimension of diversity, such as gender, race, or sexual orientation. They provide support and networking opportunities for members, and they also work to promote inclusivity within the organization.
The formation of ERGs can be a response to incidents of discrimination or a proactive effort to promote inclusivity. In either case, they are a vital element in creating a more inclusive workplace.
Organizations that have successfully implemented ERGs have found that they can be valuable resources for under-represented employees.
Trend #3: Training and Education
Organizations are beginning to invest in training and education to help employees and leadership address unintentional biases and become more aware of diversity, equity, and inclusion in the workplace. Some organizations have implemented successful DEI training programs that have had positive results. These programs typically focus on educating employees about the importance of DEI and how to create a more inclusive workplace.
Additionally, these programs often seek to address unconscious biases that employees may hold. By investing in training and education, organizations can signal their commitment to DEI and begin to create a more diverse and inclusive workplace.
Trend #4: Fostering a Culture of Inclusion
The fourth trend that we are seeing in the workplace is a focus on fostering a culture of inclusion. This includes creating a safe and inclusive environment for all employees, regardless of their background or identity. Leaders play a key role in promoting inclusion in the workplace, and there are several strategies that they can use to create an inclusive environment. Some of these strategies include:
- Providing training on inclusion and diversity for all employees
- Creating clear policies and procedures around inclusion and diversity
- Encouraging open dialogue and feedback on inclusion and diversity
- Conducting regular assessments of the workplace culture to identify areas of improvement
By taking these steps, leaders can create a workplace culture that is inclusive of all employees and that values diversity.
Trend #5: Holding Leadership Accountable
As Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) become increasingly important in the business world, so does the accountability of executives and leaders. More companies are being held responsible for the lack of DEI within their ranks, and leadership is often the target of criticism. This trend means that leaders must be more careful than ever to ensure that their words and actions align with their company’s DEI values.
One of the most important ways to hold leaders accountable is to create a diverse leadership team. This sends a strong message to employees and the public that the company is committed to DEI. It also ensures that different perspectives are represented at the highest levels of decision-making. Many successful companies have achieved this, and their example should be followed.
In conclusion, it has been highlighted that DEI programs have become crucial to creating a more inclusive workplace, and they are expected to continue to be important in the future.
As DEI becomes more important in the business world, executives and leaders are being held more accountable for a lack of DEI within their ranks. To combat this, leaders must be careful to ensure that their words and actions align with their company’s DEI values. One of the best ways to address this is by building a diverse leadership team, which sends a strong message of commitment to DEI and ensures that different perspectives are represented in decisions being made.
There is evidence to suggest that employee wellness programs can be effective in reducing stress levels, boosting employee engagement, and improving workplace wellbeing. Given these benefits, companies need to invest in these programs by keeping in line with the latest trends as part of their 2023 employee benefits and wellness plans.