Employee wellness programs are trending. Almost every organization is looking to offer some kind of workplace wellbeing initiative to ensure employee health and wellbeing.
While most employee wellness programs implement corporate wellness challenge ideas that focus on holistic health. However, to evaluate the progress, the right measurable metrics are checked. Some of these metrics may involve physical health parameters like step count, distance traveled, calories burnt, and likewise.
Also, for disease management programs, employees need to keep a check on their heart rate, oxygen saturation levels, body temperature, and more.
Fitness trackers have become increasingly popular as they help in monitoring most or all of these health parameters, in real-time. And so, they have made their way to the employee wellbeing programs as a part of its implemented corporate wellness technology.
However, many employers are at a fix about the ‘hows’ and ‘whens’ to launch the fitness trackers into the employee wellbeing programs that can boost employee engagement and workplace wellness. One of the best ways to include fitness trackers is by its use in the corporate wellness challenges.
Here are simple ways that guide you to initiate corporate wellness challenges using fitness trackers.
Step 1 – Make a Solid Plan
Even before the employees are involved in the corporate wellbeing programs, the company’s wellness committee must have a solid plan in place. Make sure the latest employee health and wellbeing trends are considered while making the plan.
- Identify the business and wellness goals for implementing of corporate wellbeing program. Decide on the evaluation metrics and workplace health indicators that need to be focused on through the wellness program. For example, what is it you are looking for – lower absenteeism rates, lower healthcare costs, more participation in corporate wellness challenges, and likewise. While the lagging indicators like ROI and VOI are easy to measure, the leading indicators like workplace culture cannot be measured. So make sure the right measurable metrics are outlined.
- An employee wellness program comes with many responsibilities and tasks, which a wellness expert can handle well. Check if the wellness expert is from within your company, or do you have to outsource the wellness program from a vendor. Put together a wellness committee within the workplace that includes representatives from the management, administration, and employee groups.
- Figure out the total budget that you are willing to spend as wellness dollars for the employee wellness program. Plan on the different modules and incentives – gym memberships, activity trackers, paid vacations, premium discounts, and more. Can you get the activity trackers at a discount for a bulk purchase?
- Plan the employee engagement strategies – will the activity trackers increase participation?
- Decide on the total length of the wellbeing program. Most wellness programs will be effective in the long run. Plan the duration depending on the type of modules offered.
Step 2 – Effective Communication
The positive news is that 4 out of every 5 organizations are now implementing some kind of corporate wellness program. However, only 41% of the workforce is aware of them. This lack of communication and awareness can impact employee participation and engagement.
Get the word out about your corporate wellness program and the fitness tracking modules through various effective communication modes. Spread the message about the company’s wellness goals, plans, and benefits, emphasizing the fitness trackers. Outline the corporate wellness challenge ideas and incentives. Make it clear about the privacy concerns and usage of the fitness tracker data. If the fitness tracking program includes health screenings and assessments, inform the employees about the schedule, importance, and usage of the data.
Step 3 – Comprehensive Implementation
Every employee has a different health and wellness requirement, and so, the need for corporate wellness challenge ideas and program modules will be different for each. While some may want to track step count to improve physical activity, some may want to keep a check on their heart rate for a healthy heart. To ensure all employees get what they need for their health and wellbeing, the wellness program platform must be compatible with different types of fitness trackers. This way, employees can continue with their old trackers, or choose the tracker that best suits their wellness needs. Ensure all the compatibility and syncing issues are resolved, so it does not hamper participation.
Step 4 – Measure Outcomes
The success of any corporate wellness program, or for that matter, the effect of any investment is measured by its outcomes. To understand the efficiency of the employee wellness program and the use of the fitness trackers, gather data from time to time in the program. Collect data about steps count, miles traveled, pounds lost, and likewise. Setting weekly workplace wellness challenges is a good way to keep them excited about achieving their goals and motivating them. Reward employees with the right incentives upon achieving their goals to keep them motivated and engaged for the next wellness challenges. Once all the data is collected over a period of time, measure the ROI and VOI with the right metrics to understand the success of the employee wellness program.
Make sure the employee wellness program participation is voluntary, as it will boost the chances of better employee engagement and achieving the wellness goals. If forced upon the workforce, they might not give their best. Conduct a quick employee poll or pulse survey to know if they need the fitness trackers, and what kind of devices will they prefer.
The corporate wellness programs are a work in progress, and it can take a long time for the accurate results to be out. And so, patience, consistency, and staying in line with the employee health and wellbeing trends and needs is essential.