In recent years, more Americans realize the importance of holistic wellness. In the workplace, employees look to their employers for wellness offerings to reduce financial, emotional and physical stress. According to LIMRA research, 74% of employees who experience a high degree of financial pressure believe employers should offer programs to address this particular stressor. Employees with moderate financial stress and those with no/very little stress also agree.
How effective are these initiatives? New data from LIMRA examining employee and employer perspectives on wellness programs suggest these offerings could greatly benefit workers experiencing stress, particularly lower-income and younger workers. According to the study, 3 in 5 workers who participated in their company’s wellness program reported improved financial, emotional and physical stress levels.
Participants with higher degrees of anxiety were more likely to say that program participation alleviated their stress either “somewhat” or a “great deal.” Sixty percent of participants with a high degree of financial stress reported that their company’s wellness program reduced this particular stressor.
This suggests that company wellness programs successfully helped to minimize anxiety levels in those most afflicted. A proportion of employers seem to agree. Almost 4 in 10 employers target their benefits education to employee segments considered at high risk or who have a greater need for these benefits.
In general, younger workers are more likely to face financial anxiety. Thirty percent of Millennials and 35% of Generation Z workers cite feeling distracted at work because of personal financial worries, compared with only 19% of Generation X workers and 8% of Baby Boomers. Furthermore, 52% of Millennials and 57% of Gen Z Americans scored a five or below on The LIMRA’s Financial Wellness Index, an indicator of consumer financial wellness.
Employees under severe stress are more likely to have greater absenteeism, lower productivity, and eventually higher turnover. Millennial and Gen Z workers represent about 48% of the current workforce1, presenting a significant need for employers to help these segments better manage their personal and work-related demands.
Yet it is not enough to offer a wellness program. Employees need to take advantage of it. LIMRA reports that 15% of all employees including 18% of Millennials and 26% of Gen Z workers are unsure if their company provides an employee wellness program. While wellness programs do benefit those using them, employers can increase their impact by improving communication and education efforts.
Employers who can effectively target holistic benefits packages to employee segments with the greatest need can position their organizational employee-value propositions for attracting and retaining qualified talent.
1Current Population Survey Annual Social and Economic Supplement, 2021 and 2017; Pew Research Center, April 2018.