As corporate wellness programs become increasingly expected in the business world, employers have learned to leverage technology to fit their workforces’ needs and control costs.
The most effective way to improve employee wellbeing is to pull wellness programs, workers’ comp, benefits, absenteeism together in a proactive way.
Collecting this data gives you meaningful insights as to how your team needs and uses benefits, every effort helps improve health at your organization. This is the reason we created In-Sight 360° – to help employers not only improve their bottom line but also make a real, positive impact on the wellbeing of their workforce.
If you’re looking to take the first step in leveraging technology to help your employees before you’re ready to transition to a more comprehensive approach, let’s explore some cost-efficient and accessible options you can introduce to your team and supplement your wellness programs.
Technology to Supplement Your Wellness Program
The advent of the smartphone and its evolution to serve health and wellness has introduced a variety of technologies at a free or cost-effective basis for users to assume more awareness and education over their physical and mental health. From reminders to stand up, drink water or go to bed on time, apps and wellness technology can work together to help achieve your organizational goals.
Fitness trackers and smartwatches continue to gain traction among individuals and employers, making it easy for employees to receive real-time feedback on their health. Wearables such as the Apple Watch monitor heart rates, breathing patterns and exercise while also offering helpful health reminders.
With a simple watch, users can program reminders to drink 8 glasses of water per day, to stand up each hour and set calorie goals to challenge themselves to exercise.
Digital technology is especially powerful when it comes to mental health because it offers employees complete privacy and anonymity.
Employers are using podcasts and apps to help workers with stress, anxiety, depression and other mental health conditions. Apps such as Calm and Headspace allow users to select how they’re feeling, how long they would like to meditate and even what their goals for meditation are – and they provide tailored guided courses to help achieve results.
For proactive mindfulness, apps such as Gratitude: Personal Growth & Affirmations Journal let users make positive choices about their day and mental health.
More than anything, doctors recommend a good night’s sleep to stay healthy and happy. Many smartphones now offer sleep reminders based on when a user’s morning alarms are set to remind them when to go to bed in order to achieve a full night’s rest.
But more so, sleep apps such as Sleep Cycle track metrics like amount and quality of sleep can offer insights into better rest and greater alertness in the office and they’ll even wake you up at the optimal point in your sleep cycle as to encourage a spritely morning.
The leading school of thought is that happiness is maintained through positive social relationships. However, stressors from life or work events can diminish employees’ ability to connect on a meaningful level at work.
In the workplace, the social aspect of a well-being program can lead to better health outcomes through increased engagement and camaraderie, and more apps are connecting staff to wellness solutions and to each other.
Opportunities to increase wellness are plentiful with smartphones. Consider Nextdoor, a private social network exclusively for a user’s neighborhood. This app encourages neighbors to recommend, sell and score quality household items they list for sale like a virtual yard sale to connect neighborhoods in organic ways.
The Meetup app helps users make a bunch of new friends depending on interests or events. Users can find organized groups ranging from recreational sports meetups to knitting or pet-based groups. You can also search for groups that are working towards the same goal, like running a marathon or learning to cook.
Make Lasting Impact
Health and wellness programs are only as effective as the amount they are used by employees. In order to institute successful programs that employees will get properly utilize, businesses need to approach corporate wellness with the same appreciation of community as any other initiative. To encourage buy in, poll your team about which apps they’re most interested in and make a club who meets weekly to compare results. Incentivizing positive health outcomes is a surefire way to gain traction.
However, comfort with technology can be an obstacle for employees. Some people may need introductions to social apps or tips on how to form habits for sleep tracking apps.
Employers that harness digital wellness technology trends may be able to improve employee well-being, engagement and productivity while reducing organizational turnover and absenteeism.
As a prerequisite to complete employee health, wellness and benefits management, the introduction of wellness-based apps can make small and large impacts on your employee health and their attitudes. Best of all, there’s no way to fail when using these apps, simply introduce the technology and let your team work towards your company health goals together.