By Jessica Thiefels (Originally posted on TriNet's Blog)
Millennials need a workplace wellness program but a traditional one may not work for them. Usual approaches to wellness in the workplace, such as the “how much weight can the whole office lose?” challenge provides little value to them. This is a generation that exercises regularly, frowns upon smoking and has more healthy-living resources available to them than any generation before.
Luckily, a wellness program can still be a valuable way to build loyalty with millennials, who are considered more transient in the workforce than generations before them. If you are looking to attract and retain more millennial employees, take these three ideas into consideration as you build or modify your wellness program.
1) Consider health-hacking your way to wellness
The first generation of digital natives knows how to use technology to their benefit. When it comes to wellness, millennials are using apps and online tools to track their fitness, find the healthiest foods and find solutions for their health concerns.
There are many ways to incorporate these preferences into your program. For example, telehealth is a rising trend among American adults, especially millennials. Telehealth is defined as the use of technology to support and improve healthcare, especially long distance. Learn more about this at HealthIT.gov.
Additionally, millennials are always looking for healthcare providers that use apps to book appointments and share health data. Research providers within your health insurance and wellness network that provide these services and share the list as a wellness resource for employees
Consider giving wearables (otherwise known as fitness trackers), such as the Fitbit, as incentives in the wellness program. Less expensive incentives could include subscriptions to popular health apps helping them track the data that matters to them while staying within budget.
2) Focus on life improvement, not just physical health
While some people in your company may want to focus their wellness on weight loss or getting in shape, millennials are more likely to struggle with other areas of life, like drinking enough water or managing stress and anxiety.
Consider hosting a wellness event, such as a “healthcare myth-busting” brown bag lunch with a representative from the health insurance company you work with or other specialist in the community. This person can discuss the many benefits employees don’t know they have in terms of mental health and bust any myths that employees believe to be true. You may also consider providing yoga classes, creating a meditation space or bringing in mental health specialists for talks and consultations.
3) Provide health-focused financial incentives
Millennials are often strapped with debt, which means they’re putting off home-buying and other large purchases, and haggling at every opportunity—especially when it comes to health care.
According to Becker’s Hospital CFO,“compared to the general population, millennials ages 18 to 34 years old were most likely to ask for a discount, ask for a cheaper treatment option, request a price check or appeal an insurance decision.”
Your wellness program can help address some of these healthcare gaps. Small gestures that help millennials fund their personal health goals can go a long way toward building loyalty. For example, you can offer to pay for a month of health insurance to cover the employee’s usual deduction amount, give gift cards for athletic ware or reimburse employees for a health club membership. These could be given for reaching certain health-related goals that are built into your wellness program.
Your wellness program is a great way to build millennial loyalty. When you lean-in to their tech interests, focus on whole-health and provide incentives they find valuable, your employees and your company wins.