Workplace wellness – a catchphrase we may all have heard by now – is a fast-growing trend, and it all makes sense, right? A happy and healthy employee makes for a productive worker. Companies are suddenly implementing wellness aspects into their employee offerings and at the same time, making use of technology in brand new creative ways in order to track their success, promote their programs to their employees and to reward them for their participation.
Many have realized that these wellness programs are well worth it for the long run in all kinds of ways, like lowering healthcare costs to the company and reducing sick days. But another great side effect of the programs is that they seem to improve staff retention and engagement. Companies calculating their wellness ROI are not feeling disappointed and are becoming more willing to invest in these programs.
The programs get exciting for employees when friendly competition to achieve goals is introduced, along with rewards and bonuses for participation; and the best way to manage these is to make use of the latest platforms and technologies. But which technologies are being utilized to help keep employees healthy and engaged? Let’s have a look at a few.
Social Media Platforms
Well, social interaction is known to be the greatest technological growth area over the past ten years or so. So this basic trend can be utilized in many ways by an employer looking to implement wellness programs. Social media drives interaction better than any other tool employers have access to. There are all the elements deemed important for a corporate wellness program, like friendly competition, support from their peer group, accountability in a social sense and coaching aspects. There are forums, apps and Facebook groups for the employer to take advantage of.
Games To Reach Goals
Introducing games is an ideal way to engage employees and help them to reach their goals. Games are successful because they include aspects of social interaction, rewards, and rules – all great drivers of human behaviour. They are very successful at motivating people, encouraging them to try harder to win an immediate challenge like losing weight or achieving measurable fitness goals; rather than long term general payoffs like “improving health”. Gamification is, therefore, a really great way to create a long term wellness culture due to feedback and camaraderie providing immediate incentives to reach their wellness goals.
There are all kinds of fitness and wellness apps that already exist and can be incorporated into a wellness program in order to track and motivate employees. Some of these are mental health apps, offering meditation and mindfulness techniques; others are concerned with sleep health offering calming music and sound effects, and other apps are focussed on nutrition and food tracking. These apps can be recommended to the employees, based on the wellness goals of the company.
Wearables are a trend that is gaining traction fast and is an area that can only become more popular. The most popular brands like Fitbit, Garmin, and Apple allow their users to track various fitness activities, such as steps taken, flights of stairs that are climbed and calories burned. Because these are measurables that can be compared, they lend themselves perfectly to competitions in the office, where bragging rights and other motivators like prizes or trophies can be dangled as motivators for participation.