With all the progress being madein corporate wellness programs, human resources departments areincreasingly partnering with wellness companies to further theirbenefits packages. (Photo: Shutterstock)

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Human resource departments are crucial when it comes topromoting healthier work cultures and providing programsthat encourage a friendlier work-life balance for employees. Today,many companies are dramatically expanding their vision of wellnesswhen it comes to physical and mental health in the workplace.Fifty-one percent of employers with 50 withmore employees offer a wellness program.

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With all the progress being made in corporate wellness programs,human resources departments are increasingly partnering withwellness companies to further their benefits packages. Theincreased stress on fitness, wellness and activity has moved healthto the forefront of workplace culture.

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Here are three shifts driving the collaborationbetween fitness companies and employee wellnessprograms.

1. The talent gap

One of the most important issues facing employers is thetalent gap. As the talent gap widens, manyemployers are offering flexible and remote working options in orderto onboard and retain true talent.

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Some of the world's largest HR departments have started torealize that a bare minimum, or one size-fits-all, corporatewellness package is no longer an option if they want to appeal totheir entire workforce and keep their employees happy.

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To help in revamping their wellness packages, employers arepartnering with companies that offer more attractive packages toemployees. These services offer more flexible, accessible and avariety of options for their employees. As the workforce isshifting away from traditional benefits packages, HR departmentsare being forced to evolve in order to retain and attractemployees. It's important for HR departments to adapt theirprograms and structures to meet the talent demand. Benefitspackages help bring employees through the door and have become evenmore important than negotiations with salary in some cases.

2. Importance of work/life balance

Randstad's Benefits and Perks in the Workplace reportconfirms what most employers are starting to figure out: that avast majority of employees want more benefits that will improvetheir work-life balance. Of those surveyed, 66 percent said that astrong benefits and perks package is the largest determining factorwhen considering job offers, and 61 percent would be willing toaccept a lower salary if a company offered a great benefitspackage.

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Fitness companies are recognizing their newly solidified role inthe corporate world and are finding new ways to appeal toemployers. For example, AAPTIV, an on-demand fitness app,introduced their employee wellness program, which is specificallydesigned for an employee's lifestyle. Leading by example, companiesare striving to be creative when it comes to their fitnesspackages, and wellness companies will surely follow in theirpursuit to win over HR representatives.

3. The evolving fitness landscape

With the emergence of boutique fitness studios, which don'trequire cumbersome memberships, long-term commitments oradministrative fees, traditional gyms and fitness facilities arerecognizing the need to adapt to this landscape. Sometimestraditional gyms lose their allure because of the current aversionto contractual agreements and initiation fees, and member retentionremains one of the primary goals for most gym owners.

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This is where a partnership with an employer can be extremelybeneficial. Traditional gyms are finding an ally in employersbecause in the gig economy, many employees would rather makedecisions on the fly instead of plunging into long-term contracts.Health clubs are welcoming relationships with HR departmentsbecause it increases their membership numbers and revenue –welcoming a win-win situation for both parties.

The corporate wellness solution

As the corporate benefits model changes, the trifecta of fitnesscompanies, corporations and consumers are all beginning to align onthe importance of wellness. Catering to today's professionals isall about flexibility and freedom. As more gyms andfitness centers agree to work with more employers, this givesemployees the flexibility that they need and demand. As theindustry evolves, fitness facilities and human resource departmentswill continue building stronger corporate wellness packagestogether.


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Paul O'Reilly-Hyland is founder and CEO ofZeamo, a platform that partners with corporate HR/benefitdepartments to allow employees explore to over 25,000 gyms aroundthe world.

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