If you’re looking to reduce health care costs and improve employee engagement and productivity, then you should be thinking about investing in employee wellness software.
A top employee wellness platform will allow you to encourage employees to develop and maintain healthy habits while also creating a culture of employee health and well-being.
If your company is looking to partner with a top corporate wellness program – WellSteps is your answer.
SelectSoftware has conducted and published a study on the 5 best Employee Wellness Software for June 2020 and WellSteps was at the top of the list! SelectSoftware is a reliable source and often quoted in many different HR publications including Undercover Recruiter, RecruitingDaily, HR.com, RecruitingBlogs, Workology, Recruiter.com, HR-Gazette and many more.
Any study into the space of Corporate Wellness Programs must include the benefits, pitfalls, and ROI associated with employee wellness software, along with research into the best vendors in the space.
Benefits of Employee Wellness Software
The best employee wellness programs are not only advantageous for the employees who use them, but are also highly beneficial for both the HR team and bottom line of a business. Here are some key benefits to adding an employee wellness software solution to your HR tech stack.
- Reduced Health Care Costs: It’s no surprise that healthier employees lead to lower health care costs. By using an employee wellness solution to encourage employees to adopt a healthier lifestyle, businesses are able to lower costs associated with chronic disease as well as workers’ compensation and disability claims expenses.
- Increased Worker Productivity and Performance: When properly implemented, employee wellness platforms can help improve employee performance by reducing absenteeism. By providing them with the tools they need to manage stress, achieve emotional stability and feel connected to those around them, employee wellness platforms reduce workplace stressors and help employees perform at their peak.
- Better Employee Engagement and Retention: It’s rather intuitive that employees are more likely to stay with their employer longer if they feel happy and unstressed in their job. Thus, by increasing employee happiness, employee wellness solutions increase retention and engagement.
- Attract Top Talent: A robust employee health and wellness program shows potential employees that the company cares about them. As a wellness program is something that most job candidates consider when choosing an employer, offering an employee wellness solution gives your business a competitive edge in attracting and retaining top talent.
- Build Culture: Employee health and wellness software can help you promote a culture of health and brand your business as a company that truly cares about its employees.
Common Pitfalls and Misconceptions
Employee wellness software can be a great solution for increasing employee health, happiness, and productivity. However, there are several misconceptions and pitfalls that you should be aware when looking to buy corporate wellness software. Here’s where we people struggle when it comes to understanding and implementing these platforms.
- Communication is an area where many businesses can go wrong when implementing employee wellness software. A wellness program that is not communicated about early or accurately will result in low employee participation, rendering it ineffective.
- Make sure that your software solution is not limited to just a website with educational content. A program that informs your employees about how to live a healthy lifestyle, but doesn’t get them to actually adopt and maintain healthy habits will not be beneficial.
- Lack of social support can be a great barrier to a successful wellness program. Ensure the solution that you will be offering allows for plenty of social support and interaction whether it is among co-workers or with employees’ families.
- Health and wellness programs tend to fail when the technology involved is difficult to use. Make sure that you provide training or tutorials for any tricky tech involved and have your IT department prepared to handle any problems.
- Ultimately, a health and wellness solution only works if your employees actually engage with it. Make sure that the program is promoted in a way that is attractive and interesting to employees. A wellness program that is fun and incentivised will also serve to entice more employees. Using tools that involve games, challenges, or team competitions are more likely to get employees involved and excited about the program.
The main value of employee wellness software comes from a number of factors such as decreased health care costs, enhanced employee productivity, and increased ability to attract and retain top talent. Our spreadsheet will help guide you to a more concrete understanding of the financial gain from these factors so that you can build the business case to secure the budget you need for an employee health and wellness solution.
With most employee wellness solutions, you pay a flat rate per employee per year for the basic features. Most programs will charge additional fees for biometric fees, rewards and incentives, and personalised health coaching. The best solution will be a program that is fully integrated with minimal add-on costs.
Here are the features you can expect in an employee wellness solution like WellSteps:
- Nutrition and Exercise Tracking: if you’re looking to see real change in the health of your employees, choosing a solution with health and nutrition tracking is a must.
- Gamified Team and Personal Challenges: Gamification is a key feature of many successful wellness programs as it keeps users more engaged. Team challenges are also important as they encourage social support.
- Personalised Goal Setting: Wellness solutions often offer personalized goal setting to help keep your employees on track towards achieving their specific health goals.
- Rewards Tracking and Administration: An employee wellness solution should allow you to control the distribution of incentives so you can make sure that eligible employees are receiving the right rewards when they achieve certain milestones.
- Educational Materials: Your employees can’t develop healthy habits if they don’t know how, so make sure your wellness solution includes educational materials about health and nutrition.
- Integration with Wearable Devices: Your employees will be more likely to participate in your program if you make it convenient for them, so make sure your program integrates with popular wearable activity-tracking devices or be prepared to provide an activity tracker that does.
- Program Participation and Activity Reporting: custom reports on employees’ participation in the program will give you a better sense of which aspects of the program your employees engage with and which aspects you may need to change or eliminate. Records of employee activity and participation will also help you better understand the ROI from your wellness program.
- Health Risk Assessments and Biometric Screening: Providing health assessments and screenings helps alert your employees to any preventable health issues they may have.
Questions to Ask Vendors on Demos
- Does the software report on how frequently employees interact with the platform, what reasons they interact with it, what they like/dislike about it?
- How is impact measured/tracked?
- Program Features?
- Health assessments?
- Educational content?
- Personalized goals?
- Social network/support?
- Mobile access
- What is the im?plementation process?
- What are the goals of the platform and do they align with your business goals (i.e. is the platform actually proven to reduce health care costs/increase engagement and retention?)
- How are remote workers engaged?
What Type of Companies Need Employee Wellness Software and Why?
While wellness programs are more often found at larger companies, companies of all sizes and industries can benefit from a wellness solution. If any of the following characteristics apply to your company, then you should definitely be looking to implement a wellness program:
- You’re struggling to recruit top talent: If you don’t currently have a wellness program, your business may be losing out on talented candidates. With 87% of employees considering health and wellness when choosing an employer, it’s evident that a strong wellness program can impact your ability to recruit.
- Healthcare costs at your company are too high: Many businesses face high healthcare costs due to chronic disease among their employees, as chronic diseases tend to be the most costly. However, they are also the most preventable, so if you can get your employees to develop healthy habits through a wellness program, you can help reduce health care costs associated with chronic disease
- You want to increase employee engagement and productivity: Healthier employees are more engaged in their work and take fewer sick days. If your business wants to create a more efficient workforce, then a wellness program is right for you.
- Improving your company culture is important to you: If you want your company to be seen as a great place to work with a strong culture, you should definitely implement a wellness solution, as 77% of employees think a wellness program positively impacts culture.
Here are some best practices to follow in order to avoid the common obstacles that HR teams often struggle with when trying to start a wellness program:
- Secure sufficient funding: You should know how much your program will cost, including expenses from incentives, health screenings, and health coaching, and be sure to secure the budget you need before rolling out the program.
- Administer a baseline survey: Before you decide to implement a wellness program, you should survey your employees to get a better sense of their levels of physical activity, nutrition habits, health risks, and interest in participating in a wellness program.
- Focus on developing healthy habits: Many wellness solutions fail when only focus on improving employee health in the short term. The best way to gain from your program is to help your employees form healthy habits that will last throughout their lives.
- Collect data and evaluate outcomes: In order to understand if your program is actually worth what you’re paying, you need to collect data on your employees to see if the program is having an effect on their health company-wide.
- Communicate: If your employees don’t know about the program, they won’t be able to participate. Use including email, posters, signs, and social channels and other media to communicate about your program early and often. Be transparent about any data you are collecting and any changes to the company that the program will cause to make your employees feel more comfortable with participating.
- Ensure accessibility: You have a diverse corporate population so make sure your program caters to their diverse needs. Try to offer a variety of options that will reach all of your employees regardless of their abilities or schedules.
- Create a wellness team: A successful implementation of your program will be much easier if you have a wellness team to take responsibility for all aspects of your program. You should pull from all levels and departments when creating this team to make sure all employees feel their voice is heard. Having one team to take charge will help you stay organized and help you make sure that all responsibilities do not fall on your HR team.
- Involve senior leadership: When senior leaders of your company set an example by actively embracing a healthy lifestyle and sharing their own health journeys, employees will be more encouraged to participate in the program themselves. Having support from upper-management will also make it easier for you to secure the budget you need.
- Don’t limit your program to physical health: While improving physical health is an important driver for lowering healthcare costs, you should also try to consider financial, emotional, and mental health. All kinds of health contribute to an employee’s ability to perform so it’s important to keep the focus of your program broad.
WellSteps is mentioned as one of the 5 best Employee Wellness Software for June 2020 and the reason for that is because WellSteps ticks all the boxes required to be a proven corporate wellness solution. WellSteps is award-winning wellness platform and the only wellness vendor with proven scientific evidence that its programs work and it encourage employees to develop and maintain healthy habits while also creating a culture of employee health and well-being.