As the CEO of a corporate wellness tech company, I keep a pulse on the evolution of workplace wellness.
It’s come a long way from the early days of salad bars and smoking cessation to today’s whole-person well-being approach. Ten years ago, investors laughed when I brought up concepts like mindfulness, resilience, and sense of purpose in the workplace.
Today, these terms are making headlines, and great companies are investing in their people. Leaders are recognizing that when they invest in the well-being of their people, they’ll get great results. Here’s a simple example of this: According to our research, employees with higher well-being feel 88% more engaged at work and 83% enjoy their work more.
The well-being (r)evolution continues; here’s what I think we’ll see in 2017:
1. Wellness ROI can and will be measured
The ROI of wellness is hotly debated. But I know it’s totally possible to measure the impact. More companies will start exploring how well-being impacts their business results. They’ll look beyond reducing healthcare costs and invest in advanced analytics to make that connection clear.
Smart analytics can show how well-being programs impact HR goals like retention, productivity, performance, and real employee engagement (and healthcare costs, too).
Did your CEO’s ears just perk up?
2. Consumer tech will further infiltrate HR tech
Tech is already part of most employees’ everyday lives. HR tools need to find their way into the daily routine. This means more social interactions, mobile-first capability, more choice, and gamification in traditional HR software. You’ll see slicker interfaces, crisper calls to action, real-time employee feedback, and streamlining torturous HR processes into year-round, immediate interactions.
Wearables also demonstrate this trend – and they’re not going anywhere. According to Gartner, researchers predict that in 2019 “99% of multinational corporations will sponsor the use of wearable fitness tracking devices to improve corporate performance.” These devices, coupled with consumer-friendly features, will elevate corporate wellness technology from stale disease-management programs into inspiring programs that will improve people’s lives.
3. Mass personalization
One size doesn’t fit all – especially when it comes to employee well-being. The more personal a program feels, the more effective it will be. And for HR technology vying for users, personalization is key.
For wellness technology, we’ll see more digital marketing techniques to ensure that the right people are getting the right content at the right time. A rise in advanced analytics coupled with machine learning will automatically deliver relevant, personalized content that resonates.
4. Worker engagement platforms will rise
There’s a race to build fully integrated, user-friendly HR platforms that pull disparate tools into a single experience. In 2017, we’ll see more connections between HR systems, tools, and resources – all in the name of creating an experience people will love with tools they’ll actually use.
Creating an integrated experience with curated partners is great for employees, employers, and the vendors contending for prime billing in the platforms. Gartner research director Helen Poitevin writes, “Worker engagement platforms … can help increase worker motivation and engagement, thereby increasing business performance.”
With the rise of individual well-being offerings, the opportunity for curated integration is ripe for wellness platforms.
My biggest hope for 2017 is that employers stop treating their employees as health risks, and start genuinely caring about their well-being. We know that when employees feel their employer cares about their well-being, they’re 38% more engaged. And that’s better for everyone.
Learn more about How to Design a Flexible, Connected Workspace.