According to recent statistics, 62% of U.S. employers offer some type of general wellness program while more than three-quarters of job seekers mention that benefits are “very important” when considering a new job, and 69% say they would choose one job over another if it offered better benefits.

In the not-so-recent past, health care benefits simply consisted of employers offering an insurance benefits package, and perhaps sick time. With an increase in health insurance premiums, a surge in preventable chronic illness, a decline in overall productivity, and a shift in workforce demands, business leaders recognized a need for change.

As businesses look to attract talent and understand current workforce demands, they will need to take a long look at the type of company they portray and if that portrayal is attracting strong talent.

Gone are the days that you are given merit for working long hours. Companies are noticing that staff retention is directly linked to job satisfaction and a positive atmosphere that promotes work-life balance.

There has been a strategic shift in how employers find talent. It is becoming increasingly difficult to fill positions and retain employees. Businesses now go where the talent is.

Businesses are searching for young, highly qualified talent and will go to great lengths to attract them. Many companies, such as General Electric, HomeAdvisor, and Expedia Inc. are relocating their headquarters in search of young talent.

Millennials now make up the largest number of working individuals. This generation is leveraging this to influence their employers. In fact, 44% of millennials say they will leave their current job within two years. Unlike their predecessors who strive for job security and structure, millennials seek benefits such as flexibility, a positive work environment, and opportunities to contribute in a meaningful way.

For many workers, quality of life includes an employer who supports them as a person, not just a budget line item.

Robust employee health and wellness programs are on the rise as employees become more vocal about what is important to them. Individuals want flexibility and are increasingly interested in personal health and wellness benefits. It is not uncommon to find on-site gyms, free or incentivized healthy lunches and snacks, and flex scheduling. Many large corporations were early adopters of this new mindset, while medium-sized and small businesses are catching up.

The Greater Phoenix Chamber Foundation’s, Wellness AtoZ initiative works directly with businesses of all sizes to help build or enhance a company’s wellness program at no cost.

“Phoenix Children’s Hospital’s wellbeing program formally launched five years ago. We learned a lot during the first couple of years. One of our best decisions was to become an active member of Wellness AtoZ. Their robust menu of wellbeing offerings provided us with tools to increase employee engagement and implement meaningful programming,” said Wellness Program Manager, Kristina Bignoli of Phoenix Children’s Hospital.

The Wellness AtoZ initiative launched as a result of the Chamber’s economic development efforts—specifically, employers citing the need to attract and retain healthy talent. The program has seen major successes going into its third year. Connecting with businesses across Arizona, small businesses are using this tool to extend their reach and grow their network.

“As a small business owner focused on workplace wellness services, I am so fortunate to attend the quarterly Wellness AtoZ WorkWELL forums,” said Susan West of M2 Mindfulness. “Hands down, Wellness AtoZ WorkWELL events have been the most valuable networking resource for making connections and learning more about corporate wellness challenges and progress in Arizona.”

West, a small business owner and entrepreneur, has seen the value of wellness in her workplace.

“I can directly attribute revenue, media mentions and creative campaign ideas to interactions and conversations Wellness AtoZ made possible,” said West.

As the economy and workforce continue to evolve and transform, it’s vital that business of all sizes adapt to continue to meet the needs of the customers and employees.

If your company is interested in joining this broad group of health-conscious businesses and expanding your network across the state, please contact us at (602) 495-2198 or email info@wellnessatoz.org.

Posted by Danny Imes