SSOW retrospect: value-based wellness and the future of work. | MOBE

SSOW retrospect: value-based wellness and the future of work.

By: Denise Vance-Rodrigues, Chief Commercial Officer – Employer

At this year’s Shared Services and Outsourcing Week (SSOW), one overarching theme rang true from HR to IT: navigating changing workforce needs is the challenge of our day, especially with the majority of managers leading teams with remote or hybrid work models.

I believe it’s also the challenge of our future.

The way we work, and how we cultivate workplace culture, has been overhauled. Against the backdrop of what some call “the great resignation,” employers are going above and beyond to ensure employee happiness. And, that means the way we engage employees to ensure they’re getting the health guidance they need must transform accordingly.

During SSOW, Jo Anne Dimitriou co-hosted a conversation with MOBE Chief People Officer Andrea Patten focused on “Discussing Workplace Culture and Readiness to Re-Enter the Workplace.” The conversation was a true meeting of the minds across employers from a range of different industries and backgrounds. We all had one thing in common: we’re on a mission to help employees get happier and healthier as we chart a new course for the future of work. Some noteworthy themes emerged from around the table:

  1. Wellness solutions must shift to address individual health needs, rather than act as a blanket solution for the common denominator. That goes for the role of HR professionals in helping to lead companies into the future, too. The ability to approach employee wellness with a one-size-fits-all solution has gone out the window. What works for one employee, may not work for another—and it shouldn’t have to.
  2. Expanding conversation beyond “return to work,” and shifting to the “future of work.” That means thinking about where remote and brick-and-mortar collaborative workspaces fit into the picture as permanent solutions, and ensuring company communications help employees feel connected to the mission, vision, and values of their company. This is critical to nurturing a strong culture.
  3. Mental health as a wellness priority. MOBE’s recent 2021 Workplace Wellness Action Index found that 44% of respondents with mental health concerns did not visit or call a mental health specialist during the past year, despite most (76%) reporting access to a mental health benefit. We must ensure that teams are engaging with the solutions that are at their disposal—and, as I mentioned, communication is key.

As we consider what the future of work looks like, value-based wellness is an important part of the equation. Value-based wellness is defined as the concept that wellness vendors should only make money when they successfully improve the health of a population and save the employer money on their healthcare costs as a result. Isn’t that refreshing?

We know that employees are seeking wellness options that address their health needs holistically—and that neither employers nor their workforces have the flexibility to scale up their budget in this challenging environment. We also know, based on the Workplace Wellness Action Index that I mentioned earlier, that employees are still struggling with the foundational elements of their health. By honing in on the basics (sleep, movement, nutrition, and emotional health) and taking a value-based wellness approach, employers can make a significant impact on employee health—and drive mission-critical ROI.

In our new workplace landscape, wellness solutions that are value-based, and that harness data science and technology to identify and address individual health concerns, are the next wave.

It’s no question that we’ve overcome incredible challenges in the past year, and that amazing innovations are resulting from those challenges. Now, it’s time to set our sets on the horizon—to the future of work, and how value-based wellness can propel us into that future.