Employee wellness platforms provide tools to run comprehensive health and financial wellness programs in organizations. Variants of this business model have components of gamification and discussion forums for managing health, stress and finances etc.
It should be noted that wellness programs can use web-based tools to help administer wellness programs, historically, they were only web based but current platforms now contain health library, program delivery and management systems. Published wellness studies show that the effective wellness program focus on helping employees adopt and maintain healthy behaviors, in order words they help employees establish healthy lifestyle habits. According to a survey, the best wellness platforms should be able to conduct confidential personal health assessment, provide the tools needed to be healthy, track and administer incentives and rewards, deliver behavior change campaigns, demonstrate how to be healthy and create a health promoting culture.
It is also be noted that having an employee wellness website is not the same as having a wellness program A wellness website is always a wellness program. Research has shown that although 75% of employees have access to an employer sponsored wellness program, participation remains low. Organizations record money losses in preventing health expenses hence stressing upon the importance of health and wellness programs Some of the benefits according to statistical analysis include: 28% reduction in sick leave absenteeism, 26 reduction in health-related costs, 30% reduction in workers’ compensation and disability claims, 67% of employees engaged in workplace wellness believe that their employers care about health.
Employee wellness programs have helped reduce healthcare costs and increases work productivity. More companies are reaping the benefits of embracing these platforms as they also help increase employee engagement and participation. Wellness programs makes happier employees and save organization’s expenditure. Some of the characteristics of some of the best wellness programs include: health assessment, social network support, educational content, coaching, wearables integration etc.
Recently, gamification has helped improve employee engagement in employee wellness programs. In organizations, gamified wellness platforms have social wellness platforms that allow employees connect, assess their health and integrate fitness trackers. In midsized organizations, the wellness programs offer the same functionality but reduce the features a bit. For small businesses, their wellness programs are less complex to those of enterprises and midsized functionality.
An example of a company is WellTok, Inc founded in 2009, with funding amounts of $176M.They design and develop a technology that drives employee engagement through a combination of social gaming and personalization technologies in the healthcare industry. They offer a health optimization platform that helps employees connect with their members and reward them for maintaining healthy physical, emotional and financial behaviors. In the June AI report seminar, WellTok, Inc was reported to be among the wellness organization making it into the late stage seeding period of 2016 alongside Pathway Genomics, Inc and Apixio.
This sector cannot be underestimated as the benefits not only apply to the employees, but it also seeps into maintaining and boosting organizational productivity. It has been maintained by many social scientists that human workforce are more important than other factors of production when it comes to maintaining a healthy work environment and increase productivity.