Creating personalized corporate wellness plans is a key element for employee engagement. A Harvard Business Review survey found that 75% of employees surveyed wanted a personalized, customized approach in their wellness program. If wellness fits their lifestyle goals, they are more likely to participate. For your program to be most effective, the new mantra is “One size fits one.”
Corporate America has embraced the personalization trend with a variety of tactics. Cost-effective digital resources, in particular, have been helpful in scaling up efforts. So, how do you personalize your corporate wellness program for employees? We’ve gathered a few insights on effective old standbys and some new additions.
1. Biometric Screenings
This is the tried-and-true cornerstone of wellness programs. Weight, body mass index, blood pressure, cholesterol levels, and blood sugar levels are commonly captured in this process. Self reporting on exercise frequency, diet, and smoking are often included. From here health risks are assessed and each employee can set their own personal goals.
Biometric screenings may be conducted in a variety of ways. They may be done at the employer’s site, at a commercial laboratory, at a provider’s office, or at home using a kit. Some companies include spouses, so that wellness efforts include the family, not just the individual.
Research shows these screenings have impact. A Health Advocate study published in the Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine in 2015 found that employees identified as having hypertension during a workplace screening were twice as likely to to fill a prescription for medication in the month following the event.
The next opportunity is to personalize outreach. The health risk assessment and biometric screening help identify employees who need immediate intervention. This follow-up is generally done by a wellness coach or registered nurse, who contacts the employee to discuss options.
Other employees may be effectively reached digitally. Data from the risk assessment and biometric screenings can be run through algorithms that automate and personalize much of this communication. Digital outreach could be through online coaching, emails, interactive educational resources, voicemails, and invitations to webinars or live events.
Live telephonic coaching is another option for personalizing outreach, as is email or text messages from coaches. Having information available on demand in recorded webinars, videos, and educational sessions, empowers employees to access features any time. Apps and mobile-friendly websites make it easier to access information, and more likely that employees will take advantage of the resources.
3. Personalized Wellness Microsites
An organization can set up a company microsite for its wellness program, where employees can find news and resources. Some take it one step further and empower each employee with a personal wellness microsite that includes features like educational videos, downloadable brochures, goal tracking, and the ability to opt-in for customized text messages and email communications. Unlike a wellness portal, content can be tailored to employees’ specific health concerns, preferences, and goals based on their demographic, biometric, and health assessment data. Employees also can edit their settings and microsite content.
4. Nutritional Support
Nutritional guidance can be personalized at scale through technology. With intelligent software each person’s biometrics, dietary needs, and preferences can be transformed into individualized recommendations for recipes and meal plans.
Convenience plays a big part in what people eat. Armed with an automated personal grocery list pulled from the personalized meal plan, employees can be better prepared to skip the chips aisle as they load up on fresh fruit and vegetables. Even better, nutrition platforms can enable employees to skip the store altogether and have their groceries delivered directly to their home.
Calling ahead for takeout on the way home? A mobile app could identify healthy options so that order includes a Southwest chicken salad instead of burritos.
Employees have heard that they need to eat healthier, but eating habits are hard to break. With the right nutrition component, however, choosing a salmon filet could be as easy as ordering a burger with the works. And that could be the first step toward breaking the cycle of diet-related chronic disease.
The one-size-fits-all corporate wellness plan is a thing of the past. Personalization keeps wellness programs relevant for employees and can be done in a number of different ways. Whether wellness coaching is done by a computer or a person may not matter if employees find the results are relevant. A computer-generated exercise plan, mobile nutrition app, or a personal wellness microsite may be all that’s needed to deliver a one-size-fits-one wellness program.
Zipongo is a digital nutrition platform that makes it simple to promote healthy eating habits. To more effectively improve employees’ health and wellbeing, discover what employees’ care about the most with this gated whitepaper, “New Survey: What’s on the Minds of Healthcare Consumers.”