Tips for Improving Employee Wellness Programs

MediKeeper suggests using available data to better personalize programs, using social interaction to encourage wellness program participation and making virtual programs available to reach more of the workforce.

Seventy-one percent of employers see a positive impact on company health benefit costs from wellness programs, the Transamerica Center for Health Studies found.

MediKeeper, a provider of population health management tools, says continual advances in wellness technology mean that plan sponsors need to stay on top of the trends and adjust frequently in order to remain relevant in an increasingly competitive workplace environment. It has reported four trends to improve on health wellness programs.

The firm recommends using intelligent personalization. Adding business intelligence/data mining capabilities delivers the ability to take data captured within the portal, manipulate it, segment it, and merge with other sets of data to perform complex associations all within each population groups’ administration portal. Generating reports targeted specifically to the information that plan sponsors are seeking, as well as layering various reports including biometrics, incentives, health risk assessments and challenges, will help them see what is working and what is not. MediKeeper says plan sponsors can use these results to inform and better customize the intelligent personalization side of your wellness program, and send messages to targeted groups from the reports, making them actionable instead of just informative.

Along the same lines, MediKeeper suggests using these high-tech smart analytics to get a better understanding of how effective wellness programs have been, and to highlight the areas that may need improvement in the future.

Online social interaction is becoming an increasingly important part of wellness platforms as well, according to MediKeeper. Through social recognition, which can include posting, sharing, commenting and other virtual interactions, employees can help motivate each other to reach their goals. Social recognition gives people a built-in cheering section and offers them the ability to provide support for their fellow co-workers through words of encouragement, gifts, and virtual high fives.

In addition, MediKeeper says, managers can promote their employees’ achievements by offering praise in an online public forum, or even further boost morale by handing out incentive points that can be redeemed for tangible rewards. “Ultimately, the more people feel appreciated and recognized for their efforts, the more likely they are to continually engage with a wellness program and portal,” the firm says.

Finally, MediKeeper says, the importance of a digital strategy and a virtual wellness program continues to grow. Since employees may work variable hours or work in several locations around the world, it simply doesn’t make sense to solely rely on lunch time health seminars that may not be accessible to much of the workforce. Instead of providing physical classes, consider hosting virtual programs that can be viewed at any time or any place. By making the wellness program available online, plan sponsors are able to reach a broader audience and make more of an impact within the entire working population.

“In order to maximize participation, make sure that your program is accessible via computer, phone, tablet and even a mobile app. The more convenient it is to use, the higher the participation will be, which is—or should be—one of the primary goals of your wellness program,” MediKeeper says.

MediKeeper’s white paper, “Four Emerging Employee Wellness Trends for 2019,” may be downloaded from here.