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Navigating Wellness Trends: A Data-Driven Approach for Employee Wellness Programs in 2024 

By Wellsource, Inc.

In the world of employee of health and wellness, keeping pace with emerging trends is crucial to staying ahead of the curve and ensuring wellness strategies and interventions are effective and relevant. Wellness programs can serve as an engagement touchmark, a recruitment benefit, and a cost-savings instrument when deployed thoughtfully.

At Wellsource, we're committed to being at the forefront of these trends, and comparing them to the evidence-based health standards and recommendations that are the bedrock of our solutions. By leveraging actionable data and evidence-based solutions and proactively identifying shifts in the wellness landscape, we can better equip health professionals, employers, and population health managers with the knowledge they need to empower individuals to achieve their health and well-being goals. 

We've identified key trends that will shape how organizations approach well-being in 2024. 

Trend #1:
Continued Focus on Mental, Emotional, and Social Health

More organizations are recognizing the importance of mental and emotional health in workplaces, and investing accordingly. A whopping 91% of companies are reportedly planning to invest more in 2024 will do so in mental health solutions.

How organizations are responding: Strategic Initiatives focused on dimensions of health outside of physical wellbeing. Organizations are doubling down on strategies like employee assistance programs, stress management seminars, and virtual learning sessions to address work stress levels.

How data comes into play: Making more comprehensive interventions around mental health will require greater detail into a person's current state - are they feeling burnt out? Are they demonstrating indicators of anxiety or depression? Do they have social connections? All of these answers can help further personalize intervention plans and connect the right person with the right tools to advance on their individual health journey.

Trend #2:
Personalized Experiences and Lifestyle-Based Programming 

Personalization is key to meeting individuals where they are in achieving their health and wellness goals. More tailored interventions are shown to be more effective in addressing an individual's unique needs, preferences, and circumstances. 

How organizations are responding: Offering flexibility in wellness initiatives ensures that participants can customize their experience to suit their specific needs and preferences. Flexibility in programs and wellness offerings requires more on the administrative end of wellness programs, however. The challenge in personalizing approaches is in collecting the relevant information and parsing the data for individual insights – at scale. 

How data comes into play: Having a one-to-many personalization approach requires deep data insights and the ability to segment your population and deploy programming on the fly.   Collecting and parsing relevant information at scale for a one-to-many personalization approach is an initiative that must be considered from the outset of employee wellness program design. 

Trend #3:
AI and Wellness Initiatives – the Future is Now

Artificial Intelligence (AI) presents a transformative opportunity for health and wellness programs by personalizing individuals' experiences like never before. Through AI, health data can be effectively analyzed, providing actionable insights that cater to the unique needs and preferences of each individual.

How organizations are responding: The application of AI across all aspects of our work have yet to be fully discovered, but from the outset one of the more applicable uses of AI in employee wellness is to better identify at-risk individuals and empower positive lifestyle changes. With AI, we can revolutionize how we deliver care, harnessing the power of data to create deeply personalized experiences that truly empower individuals on their health journey.

How data comes into play: The power of AI lies not only in its algorithms but also in the quality and integrity of the data that fuels it. Therefore, it is crucial to ensure that the data used to train AI models is accurate, relevant, and representative of the desired outcomes. The quality and reliability of the data that informs AI algorithms is paramount and can make or break the credibility and validity of the AI-generated outcomes. A note of caution when approaching this kind of program: more than half of employees (53%) say they don’t feel prepared to work with AI, robotics or other advanced technologies. Trust will continue to be an issue when it comes to both accurate data collection, and evaluation of data-driven insights. 


The Bottom Line: Know the Difference Between Trendy and Trendlines 

Understanding the distinction between trending and trendy is crucial. While trendlines indicate a general direction or growing movement, things considered trendy are also often fleeting. In the health and wellness landscape, we have seen various trends may come and go, but the core of ongoing successful programming relies on a deep understanding of the population's unique needs.

At Wellsource, actionable data and evidence-based solutions drive our commitment to empower healthier lives through personalized wellness programs. The right data is essential for effective resource deployment, and consumers value evidence-based recommendations for wellness products. As we navigate the evolving landscape, let's continue to ask the right questions, draw conclusions from the data, and empower data-driven strategies to improve lives. 


Tags: engagement, Workplace Health Programs, Workplace Wellness

"Good health is your greatest asset. You will never regret a decision to take better care of your health."

Don Hall, DrPH, CHES, Founder Wellsource