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2022 wellness trends

5 ways to support employees with better wellness in 2022

March 22, 2022

The number of Americans who quit their jobs in 2021 reached record highs. One of the ways to stem the tide of employee departures is through your benefits with a greater focus on employee wellness. With that in mind, here are five ways we expect employee wellness to trend in 2022. Or watch below as we sit down with three HR leaders to learn more about what they’re doing in the midst of the Great Resignation. 

Offer a lifestyle spending account

Lifestyle spending accounts (LSAs) have emerged as a trendy benefit in recent years. And their usefulness to employees is especially meaningful right now, since they are well-suited to address our three common wellness needs: mental, physical, and financial.

An LSA is an employer-funded, post-tax spending account, with eligible expenses and plan details customized by the employer. An LSA can promote healthy habits and overall well-being.

Expanded mental health support

Mental health needs have clearly become even more of a priority in the last couple years. Kate Levesque, global benefits manager at WEX, said on our Benefits podcast in 2021 that she was seeing increases in enrollment into WEX’s Employee Assistance Program (EAP) and increases in medical/disability claims from employees.21 EAPs can be built with flexibility to support a variety of needs. 

Provide flexible work

Many employers ended up in a work-from-home situation in early 2020. And, as it turns out, many learned that working from home — or simply the freedom to do so — works best for them. But flexible work isn’t limited to just location. More than 40 percent of managers in a recent survey said they let employees choose their own hours.

There are three common “ways of working” for today’s workplace:

  • In-person: Think of this as the traditional office setting.
  • Hybrid: The option of working partially in an office and partially at home or in another location.
  • Full-time remote: These employees work primarily elsewhere.

Creative financial support

Pay raises can improve employee financial wellness. But there are other ways to support the bottom lines of your employees, especially those who might need it most. Communicating the benefits of these financial incentives is also a critical piece in retaining employees.

Johnny Taylor, President and CEO of SHRM, laid out this potential scenario during WEX’s HSA Day 2021 of an employee leaving your company not realizing what’s available to them: “You can go across the street for $2,500 more, but you have this benefit offering that is really $4,000 or $5,000 more in value to you. They just don’t know.”

What are a couple ways you can financially support employees? 

  • Short-term loans. These are a great way to support employees in the event one of them experiences an unexpected cost, such as car repair or home repair. Employers are uniquely positioned to deduct loan payments through payroll deductions alleviating credit concerns for employers and employees. 
  • Student debt relief. From 2008 to 2018, the average cost of college tuition increased by more than 25 percent! This increasing burden has created an opportunity for employers to provide another way to support employees through student debt relief

Provide and promote telemedicine

Demand for telemedicine is booming. A 2021 survey revealed that 17 percent of U.S. adults said telemedicine options were important to them, which is up from just 7 percent four years earlier. One study also found that individuals with telemedicine (or telehealth) access had lower rates of depression, stress, and anxiety.

Anyone can take advantage of telemedicine options, but those who might benefit the most include employees:

  • Without a vehicle or reliable transportation.
  • Who lack the time needed to travel and sit in a waiting room.
  • Who frequently experience sinus problems, allergies, or other easy-to-treat conditions.
  • In rural areas where in-person access to healthcare is limited.

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The information in this blog post is for educational purposes only. It is not legal or tax advice. For legal or tax advice, you should consult your own counsel.

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