Companies continue to place greater emphasis on employee wellness programs, and for good reason. People expect, now more than ever, for employers to offer strong benefits plans. However, the problem is that many organizations continue to miss the mark when it comes to wellness offerings. 

In my over 20 years of recruiting experience, I’ve learned time and time again that there is much more to offering wellness programs than just offering them. Our team of Healthcare recruiters agrees that you need to choose the right combination of benefits that make sense for your team and integrate wellness into your company culture for these programs to be successful. 

In this blog, we’ll discuss:

  • Why employee wellness programs are so important
  • Most companies still fail to get what employees want out of wellness programs
  • What companies are getting wrong about employee wellness programs

How Do Employers Get Wellness Programs Wrong?

Employee wellness programs can be a great resource for employees if done right. The problem is many companies are doing it wrong. Too many companies treat it as a band-aid for deeper underlying cultural issues. 

You can’t have a bad company culture of overwork, poor management, and where people feel they aren’t listened to… and then expect things like a foosball table in the lunchroom, Fun Friday, lunchtime yoga, or free meditation apps to fix everything. It’s not that simple and the wellness of your employees and organization are at stake. 

Why Is Employee Wellness So Important?

Employee wellness is one of the biggest challenges for employers. Strong wellness programs can help your company thrive and achieve great things. But lack of a culture rooted in wellness can lead to decreased productivity, more issues, and greater turnover. Research from AugmentHR found 1 in 3 people will take time off from work and 38% of people have taken time off because of their mental health. 

If you need human resources support, connect with our HR services division, AugmentHR. AugmentHR provides tailored HR services to businesses of all sizes. They offer flexible HR solutions, partnering with clients to deliver HR consulting and hands-on support as needed. Services are customized to meet each client’s short-, mid-, or long-term needs. They operate as standalone HR consultants or collaborate with your existing HR team, either remotely or onsite. These tailored HR services deliver meaningful results for a wide range of organizational needs.

Does Your Company Get Employee Wellness? Or Do They Miss The Mark?

We’ve spoken to thousands of job candidates and employees in recent years. They consistently cite wellness as one of the most important things they look for in employers. They want to feel valued, be part of a great culture, and have access to wellness resources. While most companies think they are offering great perks, our recent survey says otherwise. We asked LinkedIn users if their company “gets” employee wellness/wellbeing. 

  • 58% percent of respondents said no. 
  • Only 38% of people said yes

This is a clear indication that employers need to re-think employee wellness and take steps to better understand what their people want and expect. 

What Are Companies Still Getting Wrong About Employee Wellness Programs?

Our poll results are clear that companies are getting employee wellness programs wrong. It’s not that companies are not investing in this area. Many organizations are making significant investments in wellness programs. But, what specifically are they getting wrong?

“Free meditation apps, discounted gym memberships, and health coaching programs are among the wellness offerings companies are touting to lure and retain employees. The problem? Though about 80 percent of large U.S. employers offering workplace wellness programs as of 2019, many companies are pouring money into offerings that miss the mark, says Kells McPhillips from

This highlights one of the biggest programs with these programs. They aren’t focused and companies are offering what they think people want, not what they actually value and find important. 

Kells curates a great list of three things that companies are getting wrong about wellness programs:

  • Wellness perks that only address employee health outside of work: Programs need to be woven into the fabric of company culture. They should be accessible at all times and in a way that’s simple for employees. 
  • Benefits don’t match employee needs: I think this is one of the biggest mistakes made by wellness program administrators. Every company is different. Before offering programs to employees, you first need to understand what they need. It doesn’t matter how much you invest if you are completely off base in your offerings. 
  • Leadership doesn’t have the tools to promote well-being at work: All successful programs need buy-in from the top. Company leaders need to communicate the importance of the wellness programs being offered. Leaders also need to give managers the autonomy to executive wellness initiatives as they see fit to help individual team members. 

A Final Word On Employee Wellness Programs

Offering employee wellness programs is an expected perk. Top industry talent are looking for programs when considering working for you and your top employees expect wellness support if they are going to stay with your company for the long term. The key is to get your wellness program right. Are you getting wellness right? If not, its time to make some changes to your existing program. 

More About Employee Wellness Programs By Our Recruiters

The 10 Best Companies for Raises, Promotions & Culture

6 Reasons Why Employee Well-being Should Be Your Main Goal as a Manager

Are You Doing These 3 Fundamental Things to Support Your Workers’ Mental Health?

Peter Zukow Executive Search

Peter Zukow

Peter is a Partner at IQ PARTNERS, leading our strategic growth & geographic expansion. As an executive search leader he is a trusted advisor to clients, colleagues, and business partners. As a business leader he thrives on challenge, inspires those around him to achieve their full potential, and has led many high performing teams to success.

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