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Why You Need To Adapt Your Employee Wellness Program for Digital Health

Posted, by Rachel (Merkin) Welt on 10/22/2020
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The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic has changed almost everything about how we live and in some respects, how we keep ourselves healthy. As a result, employee wellness programs also must adjust to the current times to account for shifts in employees’ habits, including their work/life dynamics, as 62% of U.S. employees continue to work from home due to the pandemic (according to talentlyft).

Employer focus has to not only shift wellness programs online, but they have to employ the right technology to keep employees engaged, achieve program goals and effectively incentivize active program participants.

Driving Wellness Program Engagement and Digital Rewards

Bringing employee wellness online can be challenging, but it is critical in a year where adaptation has become the key to survival. Using the right digital rewards to encourage the adoption of digital health technology can help employees reach and achieve their wellness goals seamlessly.

Employee wellness technology should be easy to use and a natural point of engagement for employees. In some cases, this means selecting tech based on the main goals of the program whether that be fitness, stress management, sleep quality or specific biometric data.

However, in all cases, your wellness program needs to be focused on engagement and easy rewards. Engagement can come through community message boards or communication channels for employees focused on certain goals. Rewards, like eGift cards, should be focused on seamless integration into your program, timely delivery and with products and brands that will continuously support a healthy lifestyle.

When incorporated correctly, the right technology can drive adoption, which is critical as workforces remain dispersed.

Using the Right Incentives for Remote Work

Many wellness program admins are asking, "how do I keep remote employees engaged in wellness now that we're six months into a pandemic?" The answer lies in how incentives are incorporated into your wellness program and how much flexibility it has built in for employee feedback.

As your wellness program evolves into a digital environment, integrating employee feedback into the structure of your program will help ensure it works for your unique workforce. In order for your program to truly succeed, it must be dynamic and open to change as your workforce moves through different circumstances.

Digital wellness initiatives also need to incorporate digital incentives that are naturally unified with the program. As employees hit goals, incentives need to be available instantly and provide choice, while also staying within budget. eGift cards provide flexibility and ease of delivery that a digital wellness program demands. They can be sent and received immediately, making them ideal digital wellness incentives. And with hundreds of brands to choose from, it's easy to personalize gift card incentives to individual employee preferences.

Supporting Health Through a Pandemic

COVID-19 has changed everyone’s rhythms. Whether it’s your daily routine or your long-term outlook. As companies shift their culture to accommodate remote work, employee wellness programs need to make the same shift. Here are some tactical ideas to help your wellness program make the shift to digital:

  • Provide employees with an allowance to set up their home offices with ergonomic furniture and an appropriate workspace.
  • Ensure flu shots are received on time- just because there can’t be an office flu clinic, doesn’t mean you can’t encourage employees to get vaccinated in a timely manner.
  • COVID-19 has changed our rhythms. If your wellness program was part of your company culture it needs to shift as the rest of your culture shifts.
  • Provide online opportunities for employees to socialize. Whether it’s a virtual coffee break on Zoom, or a group meeting focused on a specific fitness goal, employees still need to socialize to maintain workplace culture.
  • Focus on mental health. Every employee is going through something different as the pandemic progresses, so make sure mental health resources are confidential and available, and that some digital wellness rewards focus on self-care like gift cards for Soothe or Spa Week.
  • Since free gym memberships and other company benefits have become impracticable, make sure employees have access to digital health technology - give an Apple gift card to purchase items like an Apple Watch to keep them motivated and accountable for their wellness.

The COVID-19 pandemic has taken a toll on how we live, how we work and how we foster company culture. Our workplaces have shifted online, let’s make sure your employee wellness initiatives do too.


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