A large majority (88%) of U.S. employers plan to make changes to their health and wellbeing program partnerships in the coming year, according to a study by WTW (Willis Towers Watson). Citing the need to meet a broader range of employee needs, study participants said changes could include switching vendors completely or enhancing or ending existing solutions. Wellbeing programs and services topped their list of priorities. Of those planning to make changes in 2023 or 2024, 23% said they will change vendors, and 84% said they would add or enhance their existing programs.

Part of a Workforce Culture Shift

The data backs a larger U.S. workplace trend focused on reducing employee stress and burnout, and increasing wellbeing more holistically. Workplace culture in the U.S. has long valued long hours and high productivity over taking time off to recharge. In 2021, the average U.S. employee left 9.5 days of vacation unused – that’s business as usual.

Now, employers are encouraging employees to feel good about taking time away from work with a wider array of health and well-being benefits. Richer health and wellbeing programs also help employees feel valued and appreciated at work.

Travel Rewards Jump in Popularity

Travel rewards have become a popular addition to corporate wellbeing programs in recent months. Switchfly saw record growth in travel bookings through its direct-to-book, end-to-end travel platform in 2022, and January bookings in 2023 were up 100% over the same time in 2022. 

Vacation travel is an easy reward for employers to offer, with high ROI. Travel rewards encourage employees to take time away from their work and home responsibilities. Travel helps employees step back from stress and return to work refreshed. In fact, the benefits of travel for health and wellbeing are well documented.

Boosting Employee Engagement

Another goal employers hope to accomplish with enhanced health and wellbeing programs, and travel rewards in particular, is increasing employee engagement.

More than eight in ten (85%) of employees say they are either unengaged or actively disengaged at work.

Travel rewards are being offered to support a more meaningful employee experience. Travel is a non-cash tangible benefit that employees value over many other types of rewards. And, rather than a one-size-fits-all benefit, travel is customized for individual employee interests. Fulfilling travel experiences has the potential to deepen employees’ connection with their employers and build employee engagement.

According to the TWT study, nine of ten employers use their health and wellbeing programs to enhance their employee experience and support retention goals. To find out more about the ROI on travel rewards, download Switchfly’s 2023 Trend Guide.

Switchfly is the leader in helping companies offer travel benefits that employees are excited to use. To discover what’s possible with Switchfly, connect with us today.

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