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The ABCs Of New Corporate Wellness Programs

Human Resources

The ABCs Of New Corporate Wellness Programs

As new and emerging technologies continue to bring concepts to life, businesses, industries, and society are together accelerating towards a sustainable future. Healthcare today is thriving due to an ecosystem of connected devices that have completely revolutionized the sector, redefining practices and delivering more value than ever before.

Companies and healthcare payers have seen the opportunity to build on this transformation to strengthen their interest in the health and well-being of people, solidified through the influence, impact and practicability of comprehensive strategies such as Health Engagement Programs.

Health Engagement Programs explained

Since the outbreak of COVID-19, people are more health-conscious and have a greater desire to engage in healthy activities. Many organizations around the world, no matter how large or small, have evolved their respective corporate wellness programs into digitized Health Engagement Programs, which leverage modern technology capabilities with gamified experiences – enabling unprecedented success within organizations as a behavioral change tool. With this in mind, it is understandable why the healthcare gamification market is expected to reach USD 13.5 billion by 2025.

Smart devices, mobile applications, and analytics are the winning combination behind Health Engagement Programs popularity and practicality, facilitating programs implementation, enhancing experiences and engagement, developing robust relationships between concerned parties, all while enabling an objective measurement of the program’s ROI.

INGO Health, the brainchild of CME, is an example of health engagement programs that drive healthier habits with tangible rewards and social interactions. It is offered by companies as part of their corporate wellness programs, and by insurers and healthcare payers as part of their medical or life insurance plans.

INGO Health amplifies the motivational aspect by integrating multiple gamification layers, points earning and tangible rewards, with personalized daily and weekly goals, in a highly interactive and human-centric experience. Furthermore, in addition to tracking training, steps, calories, and sleep, it monitors water consumption, a key metric that regular apps are unable to accurately measure, thanks to a uniquely designed Smart Water Bottle that precisely captures water intake. The multi-stream of data gathered from the app enables the organization to build new capabilities in data-drive care management, as well as unveiling prevention-centric insights that can help both organizations and end users mitigate any potential health risks.

A powerful vector of change for HR and finance departments

With Health Engagement Programs, organizations ensure that their people are committing to greater health and well-being goals, resulting in reducing sicknesses and medical bills, improving staff engagement, and creating social interactions between employees leading to strengthening the company’s culture. These programs are great way for businesses to achieve their aspirations, reduce cost and enhance the well-being of employees–with technology and gamification coming together.

Another aspect of Health Engagement Programs is the ability to extract new type of insights based on aggregated users’ behaviors, monitoring the program adoption and evolution, and measuring its financial and social impact. Organizations can for example track the evolution of the percentage of staff with a “sedentary” lifestyle, or the portion of their workforce that does not drink enough water. They can implement targeted initiatives to improve the status-quo, welcoming a new chapter of sustainability in the health and well-being area.

Organizations can also cross data of sick leaves, medical claims or work practices with lifestyle indicators, and derive actionable insights to efficiently reduce illnesses, increase employee productivity and, as an overarching effect, boost the company’s work environment and business results. This helps organizations foster a culture that values and celebrates its employees, by supporting them and amplifying collective impact and shared culture of purpose.

Technologies and mechanics

Organizations have identified that their corporate wellness programs objectives can be met by harnessing the vast power of the Internet of Things (IoT). Due to their proven capabilities and ever-increasing market penetration, smart devices and wearables are now universally acknowledged as the gateway to widespread claims prevention and health and well-being enhancement.

Backed by IoT and next-generation features, they precisely collect essential data, evaluate overall health, and monitor physical performance. Users then receive notifications regarding their performance and reminders to, for example, exercise and drink water. This new data stream enables organizations to plan data-driven care management with new insights that benefit both businesses and end-users.

Gamification techniques – including challenges, motivational messages, badges, rewards, and leaderboards to stimulate positive group influence – are the basis for ensuring sustained engagement, with points earned and rewards catalog gifts acquired whenever daily or weekly goals are accomplished.  Rewards are one such method, which is an effective way to magnify proactive lifestyle benefits and motivate participants to continue with their newfound health-centric habits.  

Furthermore, it is important that organizations do not neglect the advantages that rewards can provide them. In addition to acquiring valuable feedback, catalogues can also include options that boost an organization’s profile and engagement level through social interactions, providing opportunities to become involved with bonus schemes or other human-centric initiatives.

Considerations for organizations

Although Health Engagement Programs come with transformative impacts and results, organizations must first select the most efficient solution to meet their goals. As such, they must take several factors into consideration during the selection process, and the following steps will boost efforts in this direction:

  • Organizations must ensure their solutions meet personalization requirements. Customization is a vital element for users to accomplish their objectives not only because they can receive rewards based on their performance, but also tailor their profiles and track their progress, helping to maintain interest and engagement.
  • Excellent user experiences are essential for wellness programs to succeed. Therefore, organizations should ensure apps and devices provide engagement, simplicity, and accuracy to facilitate improved health and well-being efforts. 
  • Numerous organizations have brought upon themselves unnecessary complexity when building their respective rewards catalogue. Those starting out on their Health Engagement journeys should pursue a different route and consider solutions that already boast such a catalogue.
  • The ability to track the program adoption and the evolution of the participants aggregated key health and well-being indicators over time, to create segments and groups, and to measure the program impact on social and financial levels.

Backed by new technologies, smart devices, and comprehensive engagement capabilities, Health Engagement Programs are – when implemented correctly – a certain formula for improved health and well-being. For companies, gamification of wellness programs goes beyond engagement to enable sustaining behavior changes, especially with the help of technology.

This article was published in the Sustainabilist Q2, July 2021.

Expert Opinion

Georges Rehbane
Georges Rehbane


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