Study Shows Discrepancy Between Wellness Programs Offered and Desired

In a survey conducted by Principal Financial Group, The 2011 Principal Financial Well-Being Index results showed a discrepancy between the most commonly offered wellness programs and wellness programs employees wish were offered. This study, conducted on a quarterly basis, showed results from the fourth quarter of 2011, as compared to the fourth quarters of previous years. Since 2007, there has been a relative increase in both wellness benefits offered and those employees wish were offered; however, the discrepancy between both sets of data has remained constant.

 Survey participants indicated three primary wellness benefits offered by their employers: online wellness (19 percent), educational tools and resources (18 percent), and fitness center discounts (17 percent). With the exception of fitness center discounts, the top three benefits being offered were in direct contrast to what participants indicated they would like to have offered: fitness center discounts (25 percent), on-site preventative screenings (22 percent), and access to wellness experts such as nutritionists (19 percent).

 While the survey results show, year over year, a slight increase in the benefits employees would prefer as opposed to those they’re actually offered, there remains a discrepancy between the two.  The study does not specify how organizations determine their benefit offerings; however, it does indicate that employers and employees do not always agree about the highest priority offerings.

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