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2021 Well-Being: The Year of “Next” Practices

Feb 08, 2021 Decorative image

Best practices are helpful, but they only capture what many are already doing. Next practices showcase emerging ideas to explore and advance your strategy. Check out these five next practices for your well-being strategy in 2021 and beyond.

1. Comprehensive Mental Health Approach

Offering a 1-800 number for an employee assistance program is no longer enough to help employees manage their mental health. In a Kaiser Family Foundation Tracking Poll, conducted mid-2020, 53% of adults in the U.S. reported that their mental health had been negatively impacted due to worry and stress over the coronavirus.

Next Practice: Employers should focus on reducing mental health stigma, educating managers on how to support employees, prioritizing mental health at the leadership level and ensuring widespread access to counselors.

2. Holistic and Inclusive Challenges

Workplace well-being challenges that are inclusively designed and focused on all aspects of well-being are important in the workplace to help everyone engage and feel welcome.

Next Practice: Provide resources and coaching that allows employees to design their own well-being journey and ensure worksite challenges welcome and are structured to include all sizes, abilities and interests.

3. Designing Work for Well-Being

More organizations are realizing the link between employee well-being and organizational performance. According to the Deloitte 2020 Global Human Capital Trends survey, many companies reported well-being as a major priority for their company’s success.

Next Practice: Tailoring well-being efforts to job design based on employee needs with benefits like flexible work schedules and healthy work-life boundaries to disconnect and recharge.

4. Recognition in the Workplace

Well-recognized employees have more drive and determination, better work relationships and stronger connections to their company. O.C. Tanner found a unique relationship between well-being and appreciation when it comes to employee retention in their 2019 Global Culture Report. According to the study, organizations that have leaders who foster a sense of well-being and appreciation also have employees who are 38% less likely to leave.

Next Practice: Employers should encourage managers to ask employees about their level of perceived recognition to gauge and improve appreciation levels and/or explore an employee recognition platform or strategy.

5. Real Financial Well-Being

Many employees need more than 401(k) planning guidance. Financial education, loan assistance and social service navigation are among the much-needed services and tools employers are offering.

Next Practice: Progressive and proactive employers are taking financial well-being beyond basic financial planning. To really help employees in this area, ask them what financial assistance they need and offer tools and resources that help them manage debt, stabilize their budget and truly find financial freedom and well-being.


Have questions or need some help with your well-being plans for the year? Reach out to your Hylant health strategist. Don’t have one yet? Contact Hylant here.

The above information does not constitute advice. Always contact your employee benefits broker or trusted adviser for insurance-related questions.

Author Maddison Bezdicek, Health Strategies Practice Leader, Hylant Employee Benefits Practice