While the use of wellness programs may be desirable to help save health plan costs and improve employee health, care should be taken to ensure that the program is designed to comply with all applicable laws.
In addition, prior to implementation, the composition of the workforce and potential for adverse impacts against different multigenerational members should be evaluated in order to determine whether the intended program is worthwhile.
I discuss this in my article “Wellness Programs in a Multigenerational Workplace,” in Confero magazine.
Following is an excerpt:
The modern workplace continues to evolve and change. One factor greatly influencing workplace dynamics as well as employee benefits needs is the multigenerational composition of the workforce. Studies regarding employee benefits trends show that millennials (a generation that began in the early 1980s), who have entered the workforce, desire a wide array of employee benefits—even more so than Generation X-ers or baby boomers. For millennials who came of age in the time of the “helicopter parents,” the desire for employer support and protection with regard to retirement, health, and welfare security has increased. As compared to the independent-minded Generation X-ers, millenials are less opposed to employers being involved in their health and they prefer a paternalistic approach with regard to employee benefits. Baby boomers are focused on having less time to financially recover from the recession before they retire and may plan to work past age 65 or even on a part-time basis when they retire. Employers seeking to capture the loyalty of their diverse employees must take note of the different expectations of their multigenerational workers, as well as the impact that they will have on the attractiveness of an employee benefits program.