People Matters Magazine November 2021: Well-Being By Design

Page 48

The evolution of corporate wellness industry through the pandemic



Mental well-being has been under the spotlight all year, but it is just one of the major trends in corporate wellness. Next to it are changes in how wellness is delivered, and changes in how wellness is even viewed at a strategic level by organisations


By Mint Kang


irst, there were fears that benefits would be slashed as part of costcutting strategies, as organisations struggled to cope with the economic upheavals in the first half of 2020. Then, companies moved to enhance their benefits and well-being programmes instead, recognising how much stress the pandemic was placing on the workforce, and also realising that they would have to overhaul their approach to workplace wellness in order to attract and retain talent. That shift in emphasis kept the corporate wellness industry up and growing while other industries were hit by the pandemic – various estimates value the global market for corporate wellness at over US$50 | november 2021

billion as of 2020, with growth projections ranging between 7-9 per cent annually for the next few years. Three major industry trends stand out as people strategies and employee expectations change.

The demand for more strategic well-being offerings The pandemic 'stepped on the emergency button of many employers', says Pheona Chua from the corporate health and wellbeing practice of Willis Towers Watson Asia Pacific. Workplace wellness was already on the rise before 2020, driven globally by

younger generations' expectations and a rise in chronic health conditions, but the pandemic accelerated that growth, she adds. 'Well-being has thus been pushed to the forefront of many employers’ mind, being now a key business agenda,' she explains. 'More employers are also adopting a more strategic and long-term approach when it comes to well-being as compared to the previously tactical or short-term approach.' Corporate wellness providers concur, saying they have noticed a much higher tendency to view benefits strategically since

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