Millennials and Health Programs

Julie Shenkman
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Perhaps the most sought-after workplace benefit that millennials seek from employers is a health and wellness program that goes beyond just medical insurance. Millennials want to stay fit, health and happy, and companies can often leverage this benefit as a way to draw top talent.

While human resources generally try to gear health and wellness programs toward everyone at the office, there are certain aspects in this workplace benefit that millennial employees particularly hope to to find.

1. Wellness Ideal

Millennials may see their office as an extension of health and wellness because they spend a lot of time at work. Salaried employees may face 10-hour days, weekends and overtime. The extra pay may not be enough, and workers want to stay healthy even as they stay away from home. Helping younger people achieve their wellness goals should be on major aspect of this type of benefit for millennials.

2. Company Culture

Letting people plug into a motivational program that keeps them on target in terms of physical activities and proper breaks. Health and wellness focuses on helping someone achieve healthy outcomes. This occurs all over the organization by creating a community that supports someone's wellness goals. Co-workers can spend time together at the company gym, walking at a nearby park or playing softball together as part of this overall culture. Regular stretch breaks, ergonomic desks, walking breaks and fitness competitions create a positive atmosphere for wellness.

3. Details

Firms need to get the little details right to make a health and wellness program work. Occasional surveys can gauge employee satisfaction with the wellness program. Companies can use data to make recommendations, including dietary guidelines, fitness regimens and anti-smoking programs, to their employees. A specific worker within the company can lead this initiative so that the benefit has a visible leader.

Not everyone has the same wellness goals, so firms should be able to tailor specific programs to the needs of each individual. A male employee turning 40 may not have the same concerns as a 25-year-old who just had a baby. The more wellness details a company can give its workers, the better chance it has to retain a worker by making proper recommendations.

Nearly half of all workers surveyed in 2012 said a wellness program is a wonderful fringe benefit that helps keep employees with one company over another. Thanks to a highly competitive job market where retaining top talent is a priority for employers, a wellness program should be a vital part of a firm's offerings. This type of benefit starts with the company's leadership and trickles down through the whole organization.

Companies that have a health and wellness program remain viable when recruiting the best talent. Helping employees achieve wellness means the employer achieves its goals of being a successful business.

Photo courtesy of Stockimages


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