Over the last several months, we’ve explored why wellness programs are not effective at mitigating rising health care costs and improving individual members’ health. We’ve delved into topics such as “Are Wellness Programs Failing?,” “Defining a Wellness Program Can Be Harder Than You Think,” “Where Wellness Gets an 'A' for Effort But Fails the Final Test,” “Stratification and Personalization are Key for Successful Condition Management Solutions,” and “Perfect Your Corporate Wellness Initiative with Strong Internal Marketing.”
But how do you actually implement a wellness program that works and delivers a justifiable return on your corporate investment if that is your intent?
At Zillion, we believe that if you do the following, you can deliver a sound wellness solution. You must stratify your employee population, deliver an easy to use personalized experience based on each member’s unique needs, and focus on marketing and enrollment to drive engagement.
Now, let’s explore each of these in detail and see how an easy-to-implement and use wellness program can bend the health care cost curve and truly help members live healthier lives.
Stratify, target, and deliver unique programs
Generic wellness programs fail because they focus on a one-size-fits-all approach that effectively targets the healthiest employees who are already taking the initiative in their health and might just be looking for an easy incentive or reward. These programs also fail because they typically offer generic material, like a standard set of nutrition recommendations or exercise programs, with no differentiation between what’s offered from one individual to the next.
By targeting all employees with generic material, corporate programs will miss the opportunity to help their most at-risk employees truly benefit from a targeted corporate wellness program.
One-size-fits-all programs are not the way to generate ROI or affect claims costs. Employers must deliver solutions focused on risk categories that are enhanced by behavior modification and tailored to individual participant needs.
For example, employees who have Metabolic Syndrome (MetS), a combination of risk factors (like obesity and high blood pressure), have an increased likelihood of getting costly chronic conditions, including diabetes, heart disease, and cancer. Those are a specific group of employees who must be properly targeted with a personalized and holistic wellness program – not just the standard calorie counting material!
Employers must deliver different types of programs to different people. This is where our proven condition management program, Restore, shines. By combining risk stratification done through biometric screenings or our own Yi assessment with lifestyle programming (sleep, stress, nutrition, exercise), Restore ensures that organizations are helping employees do more than simply manage their conditions. These focused programs teach real-life skills, whereby incurring long-lasting change and help businesses achieve higher ROI.
A personalized program
In addition to stratifying your population so that you can deliver the right solution to the right people, you should also personalize the solution to each individual.
Let’s say an organization has an employee with high triglycerides. A generic wellness program would likely try and put the employee on a new diet and exercise regime. What it doesn’t account for is that she has already tried various diets. She works long hours, takes care of her kids, and never sleeps for more than five hours each night. A standard suggestion of doing 10,000 steps per day, 30 minutes of exercise, and getting seven hours of sleep is not realistic for this employee.
Instead, employees should continually receive personalized choice plans to drive unprecedented program outcomes. The Zillion Cube uses predictive and streaming analytics to ensure that individuals receive those personalized plans. Employees will make smarter, healthier choices that work for their own lifestyles with help from the right technology, data insights, and human expertise. This is a seamless and simple option: employees are not in charge of creating their own program and hoping that it works. Instead, the program is tailored to the individual needs of each employee and evolves as employee wellness needs evolve.
Focus on marketing and enrollment to drive engagement
Even with all the right tools in place to offer personalized programs, companies have to effectively market those wellbeing programs to the right employees. Outlining a wellness program in the benefits package is not enough because employees don’t always read what their benefits actually are – if they even know where to find that information in the first place!
This is where Zillion is different. We provide strategic marketing input as part of our Restore program delivery. Whether you need posters, digital displays, email templates, on-site signage, custom enrollment websites, or an on-site presence at health fairs, we work with organizations to make it easy to raise awareness around their program’s availability and how eligible employees can get involved. We know that a proactive marketing effort drives engagement, but organizations must ensure that employees know how a program’s value proposition connects to their personal health needs.
Restore your wellness program
At Zillion, we understand that focusing on behavior change gives employees the assistance they need in making small and gradual adjustments that fit into their current lifestyles. This helps keep individuals motivated and leads them to make larger, permanent life changes. Restore helps organizations pivot their approach to wellness to keep employees healthy while also generating real ROI.
It’s time to stop dreaming about the possibility of a successful wellness program and make it into a reality. Reach out to our team to see how Restore can fit into your company.