In the post-pandemic world, companies are actively exploring technology solutions as crucial elements to build a holistic employee wellness strategy.
Over the years, technology has increasingly become part of how we work; being largely aimed at improving performance, reducing employees’ workload, and boosting their creativity. This role of technology was catapulted to the forefront with the onset of remote work during the pandemic. In only a few years digital platforms have rapidly altered the landscape of how companies operate today.
The employee wellness landscape has seen a similar trajectory of change.
In the post-pandemic world, companies are actively exploring technology solutions as crucial elements to build a holistic employee wellness strategy. They know that the right wellness program can improve individual performance, build resilience, address mental and physical health issues, and provide job satisfaction. Properly designed well-being programs can complement efforts to build a strong employee experience by providing employees with a feeling of belonging and understanding, leading to enhanced organisational performance.
But that’s not all. Impactful wellness programs also help companies avoid health-related costs in the form of falling employee productivity. A study by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimated that businesses in the US lose over $225.8 billion per year to employee illness and injury.
Employees too demand greater attention to their well-being and health. In addition to general checkups, many demand a variety of health benefits in a manner that makes sense to them. A recent survey by Oracle, for example, found that 83% of employees want their organization to provide more mental well-being services that leverage technology. Issues such as mental health burnout have taken centre stage in employee conversations, pushing wellness concerns from solely being limited to addressing chronic, lifestyle-related diseases.
HR professionals as a result are have been tasked with not only building the right wellness programs that checks all boxes but also providing personalised offerings and ensuring employees adopt such wellness initiatives. Aspects that you stand to improve with the right use of digital technology.
On the road to digitalization
Digitalization has taken the business world by storm. Creating newer business models to significantly reduce costs and provide a superior customer experience, there is little that digital technology hasn’t provided companies. When it comes to wellness, HR professionals stand to accelerate their programs by using the right tech.
The renewed focus on employee well-being has allowed HR professionals to improve their employee wellness programs, make them holistic, and invest in well-being technology solutions to offer personalisation. With India being home to one of the largest populations of mobile users, it comes as a little surprise there remains an ever-growing dependency on technology among millennial and Gen Z employees.
By leveraging digital tech, companies stand to gain the following:
- Personalised offerings: Relevant tools and healthcare offerings can be provided to employees. These can be further supported by real-time on-call doctor checkups
- Coaching and engagement: digital platforms allow employees to interact and access healthcare easily. This helps motivate employees to stay on track in accomplishing their health and wellness goals.
- Easy tracking and incentivization: Providing an incentive and rewards program related to making healthy choices. Digital tools also enable tracking and showing employees their progress.
- Accessibility: digital tech and platforms provide an easy to use interface that is quick and accessible. It enables quicker adoption and can provide 24/7 access to wellness services, anywhere with an internet connection.
Embedding digital tools in your wellness programs can play a great role in improving your wellness program and broadening its reach. For many, it leads to better returns and with its ability to personalise offerings, ensure employees only get what they need. But do so, HR professionals need to understand what benefits a particular digital tech can bring in place and deploy tech strategically to make it impactful.
Adoption and personalisation
The increase in the adoption of personal health tracking devices and mobile apps by individuals to monitor their individual health goals shows that employees welcome well-being-linked technology. They feel more comfortable using technology to aid their health goals. The survey by Oracle points out that 68% of people would prefer to talk to a robot over their manager about mental health at work, and 82% of employees believe robots can support their mental health better than humans.
With much of the business world shifting to a remote work model, sustaining employee well-being is increasingly challenging for enterprises. Integrating technology into well-being strategies may hold the key—with tech leaders playing a pivotal role in driving the adoption of such tools.
Boost wellness communication
While exploring the role of technology in accelerating wellness programs, communication remains an important consideration. Everyone is constantly connected. This means wellness programs can be given a push if digital tech is strategically deployed.
Take the time to get some feedback and gauge what communication tools your employees use most, and how much they’d like to hear from you. Using different mediums, useful information can be shared directly with your employees or be hosted online for public access. By taking your wellness communication to a point where instant, real-time sharing of information is possible, wellness programs can be made more engaging and impactful. Simple notifications to get up out of your desk chair or an email or some new healthy recipes can ensure that employee wellness remains an important consideration for the company. Remember to reach people where they’re at with these encouragements so your employees feel empowered rather than overwhelmed.
Measurements made easier
While meeting employee needs and demand remains on the agenda of HR professionals, often the subjective nature of well-being makes progress difficult to track and measure. But not if you have the right digital technology running your wellness program. Depending on how your corporate wellness program is set up, tech can help you track wellness in a couple of different ways.
From maintaining a regular record of biometric data to usage information, tech can enable HR professionals better monitor the efficacy of their wellness programs and ensure they remain impactful. It helps HR professionals add components to their wellness offering that employees feel necessary and remove the ones they don’t. It also enables you to keep a track of your investments and ensure wellness programs are truly impacting employee well-being. Moving ahead, the introduction of AI/ML within wellness could help companies further fine-tune their wellness offering to make programs more impactful.
The pandemic witnessed employees face remote work, social isolation, and a blurred work-life balance. While employee wellness has often remained a key concern within companies, never before have HR professionals had to re-look their wellness programs, expanded their purview, and sought to provide employees with more real-time healthcare and well-being solutions. The apt use of tech can greatly improve how you accelerate the efficacy of wellness programs.