Yoga, not cash

Leadership + Management


It’s been a great year and the company is preparing to offer workers a range of new benefits. Instead of more vacation or a nicer retirement plan it might well be a stress reduction programme, according to a recent joint study by Korn Ferry and the human resources organization WorldatWork.

Companies are aiming to help workers lead healthier lives, write the authors. Two out of three employers offer stress reduction programmes that include yoga and massage, a jump from just over half in the year before. Telemedicine is making inroads, too: Three-quarters of those companies offer the service, allowing workers to access healthcare professionals by phone. Four-fifths of firms now have a 24-hour nurse hotline, and two-thirds of those will give you nutrition advice. “Companies are trying to keep up the pace and offer health plans suited for the hyper-connected, lightning-quick pace of today’s global workforce,” says Korn Ferry senior principal Robert Swatland.

The changes reflect an even broader trend in the perception of health care, stressing the well-being more than actual medical treatment options. “Every health plan has moved away from calling itself health insurance; they are now ‘health and well-being’ plans and are trying to look at the holistic picture of the members,” says Heidi Leeds, global sector leader for health insurance at Korn Ferry. Hence the inclusion of yoga, weight management and lactation support for mothers in an increasing number of firms.

“With a tight labour market and fierce competition for qualified talent, organisations are becoming more creative in offering unique health and wellness benefits to help them enhance talent attraction and retention efforts,” says Alison Avalos, director of research and certification for WorldatWork.



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