On the streets, at our desk, sitting around the house – we are face down on a device using apps and technology, and everywhere we go we are “connected.”
A lot of our behaviors are driven by emotion, however. In these scenarios, I find employers can best support their employees’ wellness journey with training and activities that allow us to interact with each other (and put the technology aside for a moment); learning, teaching and sharing emotional outcomes of successes and setbacks. This includes activities like:
- Wellness ambassador programs
- Employee lead mentorship and coaching programs
- Educational seminars and workshops
Individuals are also easily influenced by surrounding environments. What does your physical working environment promote? Are you tobacco-free with ashtrays around your building? Do you promote healthy nutrition but have vending machines or a cafeteria with processed, high-sugar, high-fat, low-nutrient-dense options?
Technology has its benefits and its place. It can provide guidance on specific health topics, aid with accountability, relay motivation from peers and your company, and offer quick and simple access to support when needed. For me, the question isn’t whether health and wellness technology is good or bad, but are we using it correctly? Ask yourself the following:
- Does the technology allow for customization to the company culture and brand?
- What will the employees’ interaction with the technology be: personalized and unique or will everyone have the same experience?
- Are there communication features; what are they and who manages the communications?
- Can the technology easily (and economically) integrate with services and technology you already provide?
- Is it gamification technology (challenges, avatars, virtual trophies and rewards)?
- Is the program going to be burdensome to manage or will it be simplistic and come with management and support?
- Last but not least, does the technology report back to you on the specific metrics you are looking to impact?
Wellness is a journey not just for employees, but for those charged with creating wellness programs. We’re here to help you navigate every step of the way.