The week in wellness: Encouraging workers amid turbulent times, hot trends for 2021, and more

The week’s essential content and fresh industry pickings for those dedicated to employee well-being.

By Robby Brumberg      @robbybrumberg      
Crucial wellness and HR trends for 2021

Greetings to you, our friends, readers and industry leaders!

As we continue to navigate historic upheaval, lingering election tension and ongoing pandemic fallout, we hope you’ll find this batch of links invigorating, empowering and helpful.

As always, please get in touch with any ideas, suggestions or feedback on how we can serve you better. Our chief aim is to help make your job easier and more enriching.

Here’s the week’s top links on workplace wellness, HR and employee engagement:

Rating U.S. employees’ mental health. Morneau Sheppell has released its latest Mental Health Index report, which finds that43% percent of respondents are “needing some form of mental health support” right now. And you might be surprised how much of that support is coming via the workplace. The reports states, “The most commonly reported source of mental health support is from family members (22%), followed by support from friends or co-workers (19%), and support from a mental health professional (8%).”

How to help employees cope with ongoing election stress and global turmoil. UC Berkeley is offering a wealth of mental wellness resources to help its students navigate this tense season, including practical self-care tips, free consultations with counselors, wellness “circles” for group discussions, and support for minority groups. Are your offerings as comprehensive?

Hot wellness trends for 2021. Discovery Benefits foresees a big increase “active meetings,” activity-based HSA contributions, and “lifestyle spending accounts.”

What’s next for HR and employee benefits? Best Money Moves lists the top 2021 benefits as financial wellness programs, flexible work arrangements and comprehensive health benefits. On the HR side of things, consider the use of AI-driven engagement and recruiting, as well as the continued rise of telehealth

Tying well-being to productivity. SHRM suggests improving employee well-being by prioritizing mental-health services, supporting financial security, and helping to build resilience. (Offering financial incentives for participation in wellness programs always helps, too.)

Engagement continues to flag and sag. Gallup finds that just 36% of U.S. workers consider themselves “engaged” on the job right now. Perhaps of more concern, 13% are “actively disengaged” and are in danger of spreading that malaise to colleagues.

How Amazon is preserving its culture amid COVID. Read how Beth Galetti, Amazon’s top HR exec, is helping Amazon maintain its culture of “innovators and builders.”

Keeping close tabs on employee sentiment. For those keen on enhancing their pulse survey efforts, WELCOA offers a slew of survey templates, questions and tools to spark creativity.

Fresh considerations for the year ahead. If you’re running low on inspiration, Snack Nation lists 121 wellness ideas to keep staffers feeling healthy, upbeat and encouraged.