Why Do International Companies Care About Wellness?

Written by Allie

Globally, workplace wellbeing programs are thriving, because wellness in the workplace is becoming increasingly important. They’re everywhere. (And we’re thrilled!)

But what differentiates one program from another? And why do programs look different depending on where you live?

What does corporate wellness look like around the world?

In the United States, wellness programs have become the norm. These programs take many approaches, but have grown steadily in prevalence and popularity in the last decade, especially among businesses with fewer than 50 employees.

What really sets US-based programs apart from programs elsewhere is the focus on reducing health costs and preventing illness (and relatedly, cutting back on sick days.)

The CDC’s most recent survey found that most American programs now focus on physical activity, nutrition, and stress management.

“Workplace health promotion programs can save companies money by reducing healthcare and absenteeism costs and improving worker productivity,” the researchers claim.

Those concerns certainly resonate with employers across the world, universal health coverage does reduce some of the burden elsewhere. Instead, the focus tends to be on building a healthy company culture and improving other areas of the organization. (That’s why, at least with IncentFit clients, we see more global companies opting for gym reimbursement programs or team challenges!)

Working Well: A Global Survey of Workforce Wellbeing Strategies, an annual report produced by the Global Centre for Healthy Workplaces, found that among multinational companies, 69% already have a global health strategy in place.

Most say that improving performance and productivity is their top objective. Others also recognize that health and wellness perks are important to help attract and keep the best employees, as well as boosting engagement and overall satisfaction at work.

In general, enthusiasm for wellness programs is high overall on the part of both employers and employees, across continents and cultures. “Only those companies that proactively pursue systematic improvement of employee health, understand the needs of their dynamic workforce, and measure the usage and effectiveness of wellness programs can truly reap the rewards,” say the report authors.

IncentFit as a Global Wellness Solution

IncentFit is based in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, but our clients span the globe. Because we work with employers from San Francisco to South Africa, we’ve learned a lot about the impact that wellbeing can have from place to place.

That’s why we don’t restrict our programs to just North American clients.

Instead, we’ve learned to adapt — whether that’s building our own geolocation technology to make sure employees can check in to gyms anywhere they want, or supporting a variety of fitness trackers to suit preferences in different regions. And when it comes to plan creation, our first step is always to understand an employer’s goals (what are you trying to improve?) and their concerns (what are your top challenges?) before recommending an approach to wellness.

That’s how we’re able to serve such a diverse network of employers…and we’re thrilled to be adding folks from new locations all the time.

Curious about how you can implement a global wellness program? Let’s talk.

Corporate Wellness Benefit Managers having a discussion while looking at an electronic tablet.

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