Well-being programs today tend to treat all people the same—but this approach isn’t working. Only 32 percent of employees believe their well-being program has encouraged them to live a healthier lifestyle and only 56 percent of employers believe their well-being program is effective. That’s why I’m excited that we’ve announced the launch of WebMD ONE, a person-first well-being experience.
In order to better engage employees and members, we need to understand that well-being is personal. We need to realize that it means something a little different to everyone and we all have our well-being routines—something we’re working on, or would like to work on if we had the time. But unfortunately, sometimes our industry overlooks the needs of the people that we’re all trying to serve.
Where did well-being programs go wrong?
Over the years, organizations have focused their well-being programs on driving business needs. Too many companies have measured the success of their program based on enrollment numbers, screening completion rates, health coaching sessions completed and other metrics. Instead, they should be focusing on how to better serve the individual needs of their populations.
In addition, organizations are overwhelming their employees and members with resources. In an attempt to boost engagement, companies are offering more programs, tools and incentives. In fact, the average U.S. business offers a whopping 15 programs to support the health and emotional well-being of their employees! But, instead of helping employees work toward their health goals, wide-ranging programs like these often lead to a confusing and impersonal experience—which can be less engaging and unsuccessful.
Moving forward, organizations need to offer a person-first experience. They need to offer a streamlined program and measure success based on the experience and value individuals receive from their well-being program.
How to create a person-first experience.
The need for personalization must be a top priority. In fact, we need to take personalization to the next level. As consumers continue to adopt new and emerging health technologies, they now expect a basic level of personalization. In order to keep people engaged, we must move beyond personalization to deliver relevant experiences. Programs need to be designed based on the individual’s needs and what’s important to them—not driving a bottom line. This can be possible by following two simple principles:
1. Empower employees with choice.
Individual choices and preferences must come first. Your well-being program needs to allow your employees to choose which health goals are most important to them, instead of demanding that they complete specific tasks to earn an incentive. Then, provide the resources, guidance and structure to help them be successful in reaching whichever personal goals they set for themselves.
2. Create a connected program.
Your well-being program needs to think beyond online portals. It should be accessible through a variety of channels—including text, email, phone and desktop. You should also incorporate data from popular apps and wearables, like the Fitbit, which your employees and members may already be using. This will help to personalize every interaction they have with your program and improve their overall experience.
Leading the way with WebMD ONE.
At WebMD Health Services, we’re leading the way to a more personalized well-being future. We recently released WebMD ONE, a new, person-first well-being experience that’s based on an individual’s priorities and preferences. Best of all, it’s tailored to your population’s unique interests—whether they want to reduce stress, sleep better or lose a few pounds. If they’d like some help managing a health condition, it can do that too.
The future is personal.
If you ask 10 people what well-being means, you’ll receive 10 different answers. That’s because well-being is personal—it means something different to everyone. It’s why a person-first approach to well-being is so important for the future of any company. Whether they’re shopping online for a new pair of shoes or looking for parenting tips, people have grown accustomed to personalized interactions, tailored recommendations and special offers that cater to their unique needs and preferences. The well-being industry is no different. For more on how to create relevant well-being experiences, download our e-book: Your Guide: The Power of Personalization.