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Creating an Effective Employee Wellness Program for Millennials

Updated: Sep 19, 2023

Written by: Dana Wisniewski, MS | Health Promotion Manager | AdvantageHealth Corporation

Currently, Millennials are the largest working generation. Born between 1981 and 1996, millennials bring unique expectations and needs to the workplace. One area where their expectations differ from previous generations is employee wellness.

Millennials prioritize work-life balance, flexibility, diversity and inclusion, making a true impact, mental health, and overall wellbeing. Therefore, designing an employee wellness program tailored to their needs can be a strategic advantage for your organization. AdvantageHealth can help with consulting and creating tailored programs for your workplace based on these demographics.

Understanding Millennials and Their Needs

1. Work-Life Balance: Millennials value work-life balance more than previous generations. They seek opportunities to integrate work and personal life seamlessly.

2. Mental Health: Millennials are more open about mental health issues. They appreciate employers who prioritize mental wellness and provide resources for coping with stress and anxiety.

3. Technology Integration: As the most tech-savvy generation, millennials expect wellness programs to leverage technology for convenience and accessibility.

4. Holistic Wellness: Millennials see wellness as a holistic concept, encompassing physical, mental, and emotional well-being. They want programs that address all these aspects.

5. Customization: One size doesn't fit all for Millennials. They appreciate programs that allow for customization based on individual preferences and needs.

6. Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI): DEI extends beyond ethnicity – they advocate for the freedom to express gender identity.

7. Flexibility: They prioritize their identity beyond their job titles, and they expect their employers to recognize this.

8. Ethics and Social Awareness: Millennials and Gen Z no longer form opinions of a company based solely on the quality of their products/services, but also on their ethics, practices and social impact.

9. Higher levels of stress that hamper work performance: Compared to prior generations, younger workers report higher levels of general stress and burnout at work.

"According to Gallup 68% of Gen Z and younger Millennials report feeling stressed out most of the time at work." (Johns Hopkins University)

Designing an Employee Wellness Program

Now that we understand millennials' unique characteristics and preferences, let's outline the steps to design an effective employee wellness program for them:

Needs Assessment:

  • Conduct surveys or focus groups to understand what specific wellness initiatives and benefits Millennials desire.

  • Analyze data on stress levels, work hours, and health issues to identify key areas for improvement.

Holistic Approach:

  • Develop a program that addresses physical, mental, and emotional wellbeing.

  • Include initiatives like yoga or mindfulness classes, mental health resources, and fitness programs.

Tech Integration:

  • Use technology to make wellness programs easily accessible. Develop a wellness app or website where employees can access resources, track progress, and receive personalized recommendations.

Flexibility and Customization:

  • Offer flexibility in program participation. Allow employees to choose from a variety of wellness activities that suit their preferences.

  • Provide wellness stipends or subsidies, allowing employees to spend on activities or services that contribute to their well-being.

Promotion and Engagement:

  • Use social media, internal communications, and company events to promote the wellness program.

  • Create challenges, competitions, or incentives to boost engagement and participation.

Mental Health Support:

  • Partner with mental health professionals to offer counseling services or mental health workshops.

  • Create a stigma-free environment where employees feel comfortable discussing mental health.

Feedback and Adaptation:

  • Regularly gather feedback from employees to assess the program's effectiveness.

  • Adapt and refine the program based on employee input and changing needs.

Leadership Involvement:

  • Encourage leaders to lead by example and actively participate in wellness initiatives.

  • Highlight wellness success stories within the organization to inspire others.

Evaluation Metrics:

  • Define clear metrics to measure the program's impact, such as reduced absenteeism, increased productivity, or improved employee retention.

Designing an employee wellness program tailored to Millennials is a strategic investment that can lead to a happier, healthier, and more engaged workforce. By understanding their unique needs and preferences, incorporating technology, and promoting a holistic approach to wellness, your organization can create a program that resonates with millennials and contributes to the overall success of your business.

Email Kristine Keykal at to get started or call 612.823.4470 (select option “1”) for more information or pricing.

Dana Wisniewski, MS, has worked with AdvantageHealth for 12 years. From designing wellness programs for CO's largest school district with over 12,000 employees to health coaching one-on-one, she specializes in cultivating a healthy, thriving workplace. She holds certifications in yoga teacher training, mediation teacher training, personal training and wellness coaching and has published three books.

Since 2001, Minnesota-based AdvantageHealth has been delivering award-winning employee wellbeing programs and fitness center design & management throughout the U.S.

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