As the end of 2017 approaches, I spent some time to reflect on what I learned based on the different employee wellbeing initiatives companies are implementing. A couple of trends were easy to spot, and I believe these fundamental principles will carry us into 2018 as companies further emphasize the importance of such programs.

Staying data-driven

Even though the word “data” has almost become a cliche in virtually every industry, HR has been lagging behind. The “go with your gut” philosophy is no longer an excuse as more tools have become available to track the performance of programs and initiatives.

This is becoming increasingly important as a huge wave of wellbeing vendors flood the marketplace. Being presented a nice sales pitch alone will no longer be a decisive reason for HR practitioners to buy. Instead, focusing on the measurement of utilization, impact on population, and ROI will be the key to success.

The rise of total wellbeing

While programs like tobacco cessation and step challenges will always be pillars within the wellbeing space, these programs alone are no longer sufficient to address the fast-changing needs of the millennial workforce.

Instead, the rise of mental and financial wellbeing products has proven that the needs of the market are shifting. It is crucial to consider all aspects of wellbeing to address the different needs. Again, personalization is the key to grab the ever-shrinking attention span of this generation.

Integrating employee experience outside of work

The term “employee experience” has been associated quite exclusively with at-work situations. Building an organizational culture to create a sense of belonging and empower the employee to make an impact has become a burning priority for many companies.

However, consider this –

The base layers within Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs often apply to time spent outside of the work environment. Life outside of work contributes immensely to the fundamental wellbeing of employees. Connecting the dots to make sure that employees are taken care of even outside of work will be the new trend going forward.


2018 will be an exciting year for this industry as the wellness space reinvents itself to put data and employee experience outside of work front and center. I’m excited to see how the strategies evolve in different companies. Let me know what you guys think in the comments section below!