It may seem like a secondary option to some employers, especially, when they are mostly concerned with bringing the healthcare costs down. However, it’s two sides of the same coin. In the long run, employee engagement will not only help reduce costs by 20% but will help with reducing risks by 20%, thus resulting in a healthy and happy employee. As you invest in programs and solutions, impact is calculated if employees are engaged and using those programs and solutions.

Understanding the employee outlook

Employees are busy with their day-to-day lives, and often being healthy takes a backseat. If wellness programs are put in place with the right intention, this can can increase employee participation. Along with the employees, it is important to include the dependents as well if they are part of the plan.

Privacy is an the most important concern for these employees and in turn, employers seldom understand the right approach to deal with employee engagement. Thus, neglecting the need to address this issue.

According to Alan Kohll, in the article titled, 8 Things You Need To Know About Employee Wellness Programs, he has mentioned a few key points that will help employers understand this situation better. There’s no one way of doing it. It’s not a one size fits all situation. Employees would react differently to different programs. It’s easy to onboard employees if the right tools of communication are implemented. The good news is that nowadays, these initiatives are more inclusive and holistic. According to Kohll, “many wellness programs now address things like emotional well-being, mental health and financial wellness.” Technology plays an important role in today’s age. Many programs integrate online platforms for communication and tracking. He has also cited that “the Society for Human Resource Management reported that, in 2015, 80% of employers offered preventative wellness services and information.” This means that employers are understanding the need to get their employees engaged in various wellness programs. Kohll also says that, “for companies, wellness programs have been shown to boast an average return on investment (ROI) of about 3:1.” Lastly, the most important point is that it is for the employees as they are the human capital of a company and it’s important to ensure their wellbeing

What is the challenge then?

The main challenge lies in communication. How would the employer communicate the importance without presenting itself as intrusive? How would they be able to motivate employees to make the necessary changes for better outcomes? Sometimes employees might not even know where to begin or what to do. It’s simple but it still needs to be done the right way to achieve the right results.For example, zEngage, a product we have developed after years of research and planning follows simple steps to ensure there is a streamline of communication with the employees:

  1. Capture employee communication needs through a simple survey, to ensure all benefits communication is relevant and personalized
  2. Select a population to engage: choose by cohort, disease, gaps in care, location or demographic
  3. Choose your interaction medium e.g., email, text, benefit portal
  4. Select a zEngage Optimal Outreach template
  5. Proof and send: zEngage Optimal Outreach will add personalization factors
  6. Employees receive notifications customized for engagement

For example,

From a simple pending doctor’s visit reminder to filling a prescription; communicating the right messages is most likely to prompt actions by the employees.

Here a few use cases to explain the benefits of push notifications:

From employers’ perspective, it’s a foolproof plan. zEngage takes care of the security and the confidentiality issues. It helps the employers keep track through its campaign builder option. Push notifications have proven to increase engagement rate by up to 48% according to Emmanuel Quartey, General Manager, MEST Incubator (Accra).

We conducted a sample survey for an end customer of an employee benefits company. The goal of this survey was to assist employees by helping them choose and use their benefits. We asked them introductory questions which would help us in personalizing the information we communicate to them in the future. Here’s a snippet of the survey.

Two interesting results that we found through this survey was:

  • Males usually look for advice on saving money whereas females are more concerned on how to get healthier
  • 100% of the respondents want to lead a healthy lifestyle

Here’s another example on communicating with the employees:

In summary, engaging employees is essential in reducing healthcare costs and improving the overall health of the employees.