Gympass: The Next Frontier in Employee Wellness

Sean Flynn, U.S. CEO, GympassSean Flynn, U.S. CEO “An object at rest stays at rest. An object in motion stays in motion”

It is just as true in Newtonian physics as it is come New Year’s resolution time. Of course, there are often barriers that challenge the best of intentions when it comes to fitness. These can include cost, location, limited options, or not having friends and family to share the journey with. With an innovative new solution, corporations are in a unique position to help employees overcome these barriers.

Gympass is a platform that allows employers to enable to the workforce to be active by providing access to a global network of nearly 40,000 gyms, boutiques and fitness studios offering over 800 different activities. With its myriad options and attractive pricing, Gympass eliminates many of the barriers that traditionally prohibit fitness programs.

But, what really gets people moving and keeps employees happy, healthy, and engaged at work? Gympass believes it is helping people find a physical activity they truly enjoy. Setting this as the founding principle of his venture, Gympass’ Co-Founder and CEO, Cesar Carvalho set out to prove that ‘pleasure beats pressure,’ when it comes to physical activity.

The concept of a connected health and wellness network came to Carvalho when he ended up with multiple gym memberships after travel for three consecutive consulting engagements. Convinced that there was a better way to bring companies, employees, and gyms together for mutual benefit, Carvalho set out to lay the foundation of Gympass. But, it was not just about the business model for Carvalho. He was equally determined to build a brand that was joyful, and inclusive. Through Gympass, Carvalho wanted to provide a sense of community that increased employee engagement and productivity in the workforce.

“We are a mission-driven organization; our mission is to defeat inactivity by enabling people to find an activity they love,” explains Sean Flynn, U.S. CEO at Gympass.

We are a mission-driven organization; the mission is to defeat inactivity by enabling people to find an activity they love

More Active, More Productive

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), inactivity is the fourth leading factor of mortality worldwide. Understanding that ‘sitting is the new smoking,’ Gympass enables organizations to empower employees to lead an active lifestyle. “Employees respond unbelievably well to an employer sponsored fitness benefit. Gympass’ members are twice as likely to stay with a company, and organizations can save as much as 30 percent on their health care costs,” extols Flynn.

Over the last 6 years, the Gympass team has learned to tailor its model of employee engagement to each corporation’s specific requirements, industry, and workforce. “We work with every customer to understand the needs of their employees,” says Flynn. The Gympass team works closely with HR teams to define objectives and design an onboarding process that engages employees where they work. Gympass strives to make all their launch efforts as joyful as possible. As Flynn puts it, “We see every customer interaction as the start of a long-term relationship.”

Additionally, Gympass has learned that employee engagement significantly increases when actively sponsored by corporate leaders. “If senior leadership is engaged in the program, then their employees are more likely to become active,” he adds.

"Gympass enables organizations to empower employees to actively lead a healthy and happy life"

In addition, Gympass works with each firm’s HR department to understand the benefit’s impact on their company’s overall healthcare costs and productivity. “We have regular checkpoints with HR leadership to ensure we deliver on all expectations,” Flynn reinforces.

A Results-Driven Wellness Initiative

Highlighting the impact Gympass can have, Flynn cites the work Gympass did with Unilever Brazil—one of the country’s main producers of consumer goods. Unilever chose Gympass to help alleviate risks associated with chronic health conditions like heart disease, high cholesterol, or diabetes. Unilever launched an innovative life quality program—FeelGood, addressing physical, emotional, and mental health benefits.
The new program included access to Gympass’ network of thousands of gyms, boutique studios, and fitness at significant discount from list price. Two years after implementing the solution, the employee health improvements enabled Unilever Brazil to obtain international recognition through the 2015 Global Healthy Workplace Award.

Beyond the network of gyms, studios and workouts that Gympass provides on the platform, Flynn and the team know that it takes more than just the right workouts to become active. That’s why Gympass provides ongoing support and encouragement through marketing and events. This has proven very successful, with companies boasting high engagement rates. Levee, a technology firm that automates workforce management solutions, has seen a 56% enrollment rate. Not only are their employees more active, but they have something in common to discuss outside of their work, a factor that the CEO believes has led to a more productive, happier workplace environment.

Building a New Culture of Wellness

Headquarted in New York, Gympass has more than 30 offices, spanning across 14 countries, helping clients across North America, Europe, and Latin America. Gympass employees also benefit through their employee wellness programs and offerings. The company’s culture is aligned with their business solutions. Gympass works to bring a sense of joy to physical activity. Encouraging employees with team events or contests like a “check-in” challenge where employees win prizes for trying new activities or being active in the network. This includes team awards that foster connection with other team members as they work together (and sweat together) towards a team goal.

"Employees respond unbelievably well to an employer sponsored benefit. Gympass’ members are twice as likely to stay with a company, and organizations can save as much as 30 percent on their health care costs"

The Gympass team is committed to its mission to defeat inactivity. The team’s passion toward helping people lead happier and healthier lives drives their commitment to their corporate clients and members around the world. “Gympass is laser-focused on the delivery of the platform to B2B clients so that all their team members have an opportunity to find the activity they love,” concludes Flynn.
- Vishnu Santosh
    September 19, 2018