What Role Does Personalization Play in Employee Wellness?
If everyone’s needs were the same then the world would be a very boring place. In fact, it’s very rare that any two people like exactly the same things all the time. The same can apply to employee wellness programs. While most companies will agreeing that implementing some sort of physical and mental wellbeing schemes to benefit their employee, chances are that they won’t be suitable for every single individual.
So how do you personalize your corporate wellness program so that it benefits everyone including the company? Here, our 10 corporate wellness experts tell us why personalization is important when it comes to an employee’s wellbeing.
Personalization is absolutely essential for a successful employee wellness program. Changing your behavior (and ultimately your health) means that you have to enjoy what you’re doing–and stick to it. At Fitspot, we send out a survey to clients’ employees before we start designing their wellness program. The survey gauges participants’ interest in a variety of wellness activities and services, such as fitness classes, workshops, mindfulness activities, massages, and more. For example, maybe your employees prefer high-intensity, like bootcamps or circuit training, or low-intensity workouts, such as yoga or Pilates. (Hint: we’ve found a mix of both works best!) The survey will also determine which day and time works best to host services and activities. This level of personalization helps ensure engagement, happiness, and the results you want you want from a wellness program.
Sammy Courtright, founder and CEO of Fitspot Wellness.
Employees want personalised experiences in their corporate wellness programs. Wellness isn’t a “one-size-fits-all” solution. Wellness initiatives that are important to one employee might not be as important to another. Every employee’s journey to a healthier lifestyle is unique and should be treated as such. To create a more personalised experience for employees, employers need to use digital platforms to host their wellness programmes. Using technology platforms will help employers determine specific wellness goals and activities for each employee based on their current health status, interests and preferences. The technology can also be used to help connect employees with similar health and wellness goals as well as support and reward individual progress. Employers can expect to see higher participation rates with a more personalised approach to employee wellness.
Joe Gaunt, CEO of Hero Wellbeing.
Personalisation is paramount to every employee wellness programme and essential with the view that each of our employees are different. We are all human and will have different wellbeing views and needs of what wellbeing means to us individually, the list is literally endless. This makes it very difficult when putting your strategy together. But the most important goal to keep in mind is that it must involve employee choice – create a strategy that allows your employees to choose what is right for them at the right time. Keep your options broad and varied and easily accessible to all employees.
Lucy Tallick, Head of Wellbeing at Reward Gateway.
There’s no one-size-fits-all to employee wellness programmes, so your strategies should reflect the specific needs of your staff. If you’re unsure where or how to start personalizing your wellness strategy, talk to your employees. Find out what’s on their minds and what keeps them up at night. For deeper insight, dig into your EAP data to find out what’s bothering your staff or what kind of practical support they need. You mind find the majority of callers need help with mental unwellness, so customizing your strategy to ensure you’re boosting awareness, resources and support can render stronger results than an off-the-shelf solution.
Liz Walker, HR Director, Unum UK.
No two employees are the same and neither are their health needs. A tailored approach is key to supporting a healthy workforce. Nuffield Health and Vitality Health have developed Healthy Workplace, a rewards-based platform with an easy to use app for the entire workforce. Through gamification, rewards and personalised messaging, employees have the ability to understand their own unique health needs and gain the motivation for sustained behaviour change. Employers are also empowered with the knowledge they need to shape their intervention programmes for maximum benefit.
Alaana Linney, Director of Business Development at Nuffield Health.
personalization is important as people have different levels of comfort when talking about wellness. Some people are comfortable to share their issue in person, others may be more willing to talk over the phone or via online chat or post to a forum. It might also depend on the issue or its seriousness. In terms of proactive wellness, personalization is also important. People want to follow their own path to wellness, great nutrition maybe important to some whilst mindfulness being key for others. Taking a ‘one-size-fits-all’ approach will not cover all the bases. Thankfully, the range of wellness opportunities is on the rise and technology to deliver it is evolving allowing us to personalize services in a better way.
Shaun Bradley, Director of People at Perkbox.
When it comes to improving overall wellbeing, employees’ goals are unique. The ideal scenario is thoroughly understanding employees, discovering their goals, and ultimately design an experience to support those goals. The program/platform should be tailored to change what they want to change, which often drives change across other areas, too. Delivering a personalized experience means meeting employees where they are on their wellbeing journey, by integrating and analysing employee data from multiple sources, including eligibility files, health assessments, biometrics, interests, platform usage, and more — all while maintaining the highest data privacy, security and compliance standards.
Jill King, Director of International Markets at VirginPulse.
Every person’s wellbeing needs are different, so the more companies personalise things to meet their people’s individual needs the more likely they are to positively change behaviours. But companies have to start somewhere, which is why a holistic approach to mental and physical wellbeing it’s often a good place to start. Initial engagement is key and that’s’ all about making the program easily accessible, regular and engaging communication and c-suite buy-in. If your people see both the Board and their peers buying into the program, they’re more likely to engage too. Once an individual is engaged, personalization is also a lot easier and more effective.
Sam Fromson, Co-founder of Yulife.
Research shows that in any area of health behaviour, making it truly relevant is essential for lasting change. As every business and its values are unique, it makes sense that their approach to wellbeing must be. For example, a company which prides itself on being dynamic, innovative and flexible must mirror this in its wellbeing offerings. As individuals now expect personalization in every area of their lives, there’s no reason why they wouldn’t expect their nutrition coaching, their resilience training or their mindfulness session to be.
Ruth Tongue, Co-founder of Elevate.
Each employee is unique so a one-size-fits-one approach will never be perfect for everyone. Through personalization, both employees and employers benefit. Employees receive relevant and timely guidance and programs to improve their health that has been uniquely catered to them. This results in better outcomes for those individuals participating in the program and makes it more compelling for individuals not participating to engage. Employers benefit from higher engagement and healthier, more productive employees. With leading technology, employers no longer need to worry about the administrative burdens of trying to personalize program.
Nick Patel, CEO of Wellable.