Dr. David Gregg, Chief Medical Officer
Investment in employee wellness continues to grow, and a significant number of companies are prioritizing it as part of their corporate strategy and work culture. There is also an increased diversification with the launch of different programs. Both employers and employees are changing their idea of wellness to something holistic, encompassing behavioral health, social connectedness, mental wellbeing.
This transition of the mindset creates several opportunities for employee wellness to evolve and successfully meet the specific needs of the people—enabling strategies to not only remain relevant but also be more engaging and effective. Employee wellness programs at present leverage most of the emerging technologies such as video conferencing, mobile access, digital content, and messaging support. These innovations have allowed for flexible participation of people in the employee wellness programs with 24/7 access.
Integrating data-tracking process using a variety of digital tools and platforms allows participants to engage over time at their own pace. Gamification elements and incentive strategies paired with group challenges and competitions increase the employers’ understanding of what motivates employees.
These programs can increase productivity, decrease absenteeism, and help make corporations stronger from a market/stockholders’ standpoint. A recent industry report indicated that 67 percent of employers currently offer employee wellness programs, while the other 13 percent intend to offer the service in the near future. However, employees are under more pressure than ever before, thanks to the modern lifestyle that bears the brunt of hectic pace. Savvy HR and wellness professionals need to evaluate their strategies and take note of the latest industry trends to stay on top of emerging trends and ensure their employee wellness program continues to advance. Also, as millennials increase in numbers to be the largest percentage of the American workforce, employers are trying to balance the health and well-being needs of an increasingly diverse population. That said, delivering solutions to people of differing ages and health status with different expectations for employers in terms of benefits strategies and talent retention can be challenging.
StayWell is an innovative health engagement company with a 40-year history in conducting health promotion research, program development, and participant engagement. The company brings decades of experience in working across the healthcare industry to design solutions for improving individual and organizational health outcomes, managing the health of targeted populations, and creating brand engagement for employers and healthcare organizations.
StayWell has remained an industry leader since its founders published first-of-its-kind research identifying the link between health behaviors and healthcare costs, as well as establishing the connection between health risk factors and worker productivity. The firm’s employee wellness programs have received numerous top industry honors, including the C. Everett Koop National Health Award and the Web Health Award for health engagement programs. StayWell also has received URAC and NCQA accreditation for several of its programs. “We deliver health solutions that are based on industry-leading research and real-life experiences,” explains Dr. David Gregg, chief medical officer at StayWell. “This accreditation underscores our long-standing belief and position that comprehensive, best-practice programs can help people better manages challenging health conditions.”
StayWell pioneered several new products that leverage technology to champion specific challenges faced by employers and health systems across the country. The firm aims to help clients drive participation and increase engagement with personalized technology, the support of on-site staff, convenient on-site wellness programs, active coaching, and performance-tracked challenges. The company’s omni-channel, mobile-first technology platform, “StayWell Platform,” integrated into the individual employee’s lifestyle using voice recognition, virtual reality, and a comprehensive suite of apps and devices allows users to customize their own experience to what’s most relevant to them. The StayWell Platform is a digital curriculum that includes real-time data feeds and advanced activity tracking from labs, pharmacies, wearable devices and is clinically validated by the HRA. The support system provided for the platform consists of a network of 80,000 licensed US physicians and allows real-time chat with experienced health coaches and team members.
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Staywell designs an on-site program specifically for the client’s unique demographics and wellness profile. The company’s boots-on-the-ground approach helps identify various factors of employee wellbeing and sends a powerful message about the commitment of the organization towards its workforce’s welfare. StayWell’s account managers and on-site staff build grassroots strategic support for wellness programs in every step along the way. This encourages the building of a healthy and balanced work culture. The firm’s digital toolkits provide an easy-to-use online resource to help gain grassroots support for the organization’s health and well-being efforts with local worksite events promotion and awareness material with simple guides for implementation.
StayWell’s science-based coaching strategies and techniques are applied by providing individuals with the information and the support they need to successfully manage their health risks while also assisting them with health behavior change. The company’s approach to coaching follows established behavior-change science to address the individual’s goals, emotional triggers, barriers, willpower, beliefs, and current readiness to change.
StayWell’s research shows that different forms of health coaching appeal to different people and that choice of modality plays a positive role in helping them change their health behaviors. Furthermore, the evolution of technology has enabled the advancement of StayWell’s health coaching solution that includes individual, supported, and group coaching. Individual coaching is a self-paced digital coaching program that guides individuals to achieve and sustain healthy lifestyle changes. Supported coaching is a one-on-one or in-person (onsite) coaching program based on personalized and tailored needs, preferences, and interests. The participant is connected to online dashboards for ongoing monitoring and has access to an experienced behavior change expert. Group coaching is coach-led programs that utilize video conferencing to connect groups of people all dealing with a specific health risk factor.
To drive beneficial outcomes from data, it is important for organizations that their solutions help them derive the most relevant data and be able to help them towards a positive conclusion. The StayWell Platform’s algorithms identify improvement areas for potential courses of action for both lifestyle and chronic conditions. The company coordinates all kinds of screening and consultations for the clients, providing an informative picture of each individual’s health in real-time. The collected data can create meaningful engagement and measure potential outcomes. Employees, on the other hand, can customize and measure their key point indicators specific to their organization’s programs.
Having carved a strong leadership position for itself in the employee wellness market, StayWell’s strength include customer fulfillment, team expertise, and innovative technology solutions that deliver exceptional results. For instance, one of the nation’s largest producers and transporters of energy with more than 14,000 employees in 16 states, worked with StayWell to create a culture of a healthier lifestyle and to reduce employee health risks. StayWell worked with the client to develop a comprehensive program that changed behaviors and improved employee health throughout their diverse workforce using tailored communications, digital behavioral change programs, and high-touch on-site services such as support coaching, wearable tracking devices, free-doctor consultations, and more. StayWell’s approach helped the client gain higher productivity, lower absences, higher employee retention, lower healthcare costs, improved overall job satisfaction, and decrease in health risks.
StayWell aims to expand into new markets and pioneer the latest technology and connect with individuals to transform healthcare and well-being market. The company recently launched a new application called “Care Connector,” a personalized member education application for payers. The application complements other health and wellness innovations from StayWell and integrates directly into member management systems and empowers care managers to deliver timely, trusted patient education content within the existing workflow, including topics on wellness and disease management. Looking ahead, StayWell is primarily focused on enhancing its digital strategies, research techniques, and taking its platform solution to the next level. The firm intends to be at the forefront of employee wellness and patient education solutions, acting as a catalyst for the paradigm shift that resulted in the idea of “embracing health and welfare in a broader sense.”