Three Strategies to Get Ahead of Wellness Trends

Employers are eager to increase employee health engagement to drive value for employees while improving the bottom line. But of course, not all health engagement initiatives are worth the effort or investment. Employers who develop good engagement strategies are leveraging cutting-edge technology, expanding the meaning of well-being, and utilizing analytics to break the mold and drive substantial financial value.

The Multi-million-dollar Financial Value

A new report, The Business Case for Employee Health Engagement by Welltok, a consumer health SaaS company, revealed that businesses could produce almost $300 per employee in new value by increasing employee health engagement rates by ten percent. This value is made up of reductions in medical and direct HR costs as well as improvements in workplace productivity. The value proposition, in combination with the positive impact on employees, makes the business case for increasing engagement very strong. However, employers struggle with how to strategically gain significant improvements in engagement. It takes a thoughtful, evidence-based strategy.

Strategies to Increase Engagement

To dramatically increase employee health engagement, employers should focus on four specific enterprise-wide strategies:

1. Focus on Impact: Employers who try to engage employees in every aspect of health become disorganized, unfocused and are not likely to succeed. Employers need to build a plan that emphasizes the programs, services, and activities that are both important and interesting to employees, and have the largest potential financial benefit to the employer. In almost every case, this requires applying analytics to help you determine where to start first.

2. Build Employee Trust: Like any relationship, trust and transparency are key. If employees truly believe that employers want them to be happy, healthy and resilient, they are more likely to participate and stay engaged in initiatives.

3. Personalization is Key: The more personalized and tailored an initiative is, the more likely an employee will remain engaged. The best approach leverages advanced analytics that integrate a wide variety of consumer and clinical data. By utilizing such advanced capabilities, employers can create programs that resonate with each individual’s experience, needs and wants.

4. Make it Easy: Living less out of habit and more out of intent is understandably difficult. It is essential for employers to do whatever they can to make it easier for employees to make changes. Among other things, they must take into consideration the user experience and make sure that programs are straightforward, intuitive and built with the end-user in mind.

 Key Trends Worth Leveraging

The design and implementation of well-being programs are rapidly changing. Employers are leveraging a range of new capabilities in their efforts to improve employee health engagement, including:
  •  Utilizing advanced analytics: Employers are capitalizing on advanced analytics to understand their population at the deepest level. They are integrating consumer data with clinical information to enable a rich understanding of each employee. 
  • Rethinking the definition of well-being: Employers are broadening their well-being focus to include financial well-being, emotional health and integration of devices to create holistic strategies. 
  •  Increased understanding of health literacy and consumerism: Employers are providing new tools and resources to help employees gain an understanding of the financial and health implications of the providers they use and the choices they make about treatments. These efforts are being driven by the imperative of increased financial responsibility that employees have for health services and insurance coverage.

The Effort and Investment are Worth it

Increasing employee health engagement is not only beneficial for employees, but it is also good for business.

Meaningful employee health engagement requires more than just participating in a single activity or going to a website. It is important for employers to focus on what matters and what works. To achieve this, employers need to be dedicated, intentional and focused on effective strategies while keeping current with key trends shaping the well-being industry.

Get a full view of the value of engaging employees in key health decisions and action by downloading the comprehensive report, The Business Case for Employee Health Engagement.

 —David Veroff, senior vice president, evidence and value science, Welltok


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