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How to Ensure a Successful Wellness Program with Wearable Tech

Jun 24, 2020 | Organization Effectiveness

Mobile devices and apps let employees wear the condition of their hearts—and other vital organs—on their sleeves.

Over the last few years, employee workplace wearable technology  programs have gained tremendous popularity. The addition of wearable  tech is teaching employers that their greatest asset and investment is  their team. Workplaces with employees who are healthy and happy  typically result in more production, engagement and employees taking  fewer sick days, leading to greater business success.

Companies that integrate wearable technology into their workplace  wellness program are actively trying to engage their employees in  improving their wellbeing. ABI Research forecasts  that enterprise wearables will surpass $60 billion in revenue in 2022.  The driving force behind this booming industry is companies seeking to  improve productivity.

Employers are searching for solutions that provide tangible  statistics about performance, in a secure and meaningful manner.  However, many of these employers are primarily focused on ROI and  struggling to connect their team to the benefits of a workplace wearable  wellness  program. Building the bridge between their wellness program, employee participation and engagement is their biggest challenge.

Employee Benefits of Wearable Wellness Programs

The health and well-being of a company’s employees has a direct  impact on the health of a business. Research shows that 21% of male  employees and 32% of female employees who struggle with health and  wellness also suffer from chronic disease.  However, employees utilizing wearable technology are actively engaged  in enhancing and improving their health. They find consistent and  constant motivation to stay active and be healthy.

In the past, employees have resisted using wearable technology  because the technology has been viewed as heavy, cumbersome, intrusive  and expensive, while requiring a lot of attention and charging. However,  like most technology, wearable technology is constantly improving.  Today’s wearables are getting smaller and smarter, and employees have  shown that they are more willing to use wearable tech because they are  simpler and less intrusive.

Creating an effective workplace wellness program with wearables  relies on engaging the entire workplace, while collecting substantial  data. In the past, smart watches have been commonly used to count steps  and measure distance. However, their inaccuracy caused by wrist motion  and movement often makes them undesirable and ineffective.

The progression of technology and wearables now allows people to do  everything from count their steps to track movement and their risk of  injury. For example, utilizing sensors within a dual layer memory foam  insole, footwear insoles can generate performance data and step-by-step  analysis in real-time to empower users to improve their daily walking  and other fitness activities. This technology allows teams, employees  and employers to engage and compete through an app on their smart phone.

Beyond their ability to increase employee engagement and  productivity, wearables in the workplace provide workers with the  ability to immediately and effectively capture, share and collaborate on  job sites, in real-time, without having to use their hands.

Employer Benefits of Wearable Wellness Programs

Employers have experienced a positive ROI due to implementing  workplace wearable programs. However, these benefits extend well beyond  dollars and cents. Wearable-based wellness programs increase  productivity, employee loyalty and time spent on the job. Effective  wellness programs have shown that they reduce absenteeism while  simultaneously promoting productivity, increasing the efficiency of employees from an economic perspective. On the other hand, unhealthy employees are more likely to disengage and are 43% more likely to have increased stress and anxiety.

The gap between a poor and a successful wellness program can be  bridged through discussion and encouraging well-being, self-care and  healthfulness. Eighty percent of employees at companies with robust  health and wellness programs feel engaged in their workplace and cared  for by their employers, creating an environment that can nurture emotional health.

Employers have an obligation to hire employees to improve safety and  invest in their well-being and safety. Workplaces that invest in their  employees’ wellness and health upfront through workplace wearable  initiatives and programs reduce the likelihood of costly illness and  injury. Instead of being reactive it pays for employers to be proactive with their workplace wellness programs.

Successfully Implementing a Workplace Wearable Wellness Program

Before a problem can be solved it has to be identified. If your  workplace has not started a conversation about workplace wellness then  now is the time to open the discussion. Optimal health allows each of us  to be personally successful. The same is true for a workplace. If we do  not talk about increasing health and wellness in the workplace, then we  are doing our company, team and ourselves a tremendous disservice.  Engaging in an open discussion about work-life wellness might be what  your company needs to pinpoint solutions that improve health, wellness  and productivity for people through the entire workplace.

Before you can implement any workplace wearable wellness program, it  is vital to evaluate the current needs of your business and employees.  If your company wants to positively impact productivity, morale and  healthfulness, then it is time to develop, grow and build your wellness  program. Once these decisions have been made you can make a plan for  implementing a successful workplace wearable technology program.

After a plan is set in motion, communicating the mutual benefits of  the wearable tech wellness program to all employees is critical to the  program’s success. Everyone must be on the same page to be able to  accomplish the same goals. Communication leads to collaboration. When  the entire team is engaged in the process, and feels safe contributing  their individual ideas and experiences, it is easier to create an  engaging and successful workplace wellness program.

Stepping into the Wearable Future

Workplace  wellness wearable technology programs have the unique ability to  simplify current wellness programs while simultaneously providing  companies with tremendous data about their employees and workplace.  Employees are already interested and willing to use technology to better  themselves, their lives and their health. Bringing wearable technology  into the workplace not only can create an engaging environment for the  entire team and office but it can help maximize healthcare budgets,  reduce safety hazards, and monitor health and wellness.

When employers are committed to workplace wellness initiatives and  put the needs, health and wellness of employees first, they create a  workplace culture of care, productivity and engagement.

 

 

 

 

Original Article by EHS Today/ Kevan Orvitz/2018

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