How leveraging data can improve wellbeing

23Mar 17
How leveraging data can improve wellbeing

Data analytics has emerged and grown as a critical tool throughout the healthcare industry, and workplace health and benefits are no different. As workplace wellbeing programmes continue to evolve, data analytics plays a key role in both shaping programme development and engaging employees in taking steps toward better health. Data can be used to determine programme design, encourage sustained participation, and measure success, among other strategies. By leveraging data throughout the development, implementation, and maintenance of employee wellbeing programmes, it’s possible to positively impact both the health of the workforce and the organisation’s bottom line.

Surveying employees about their needs and goals can generate helpful data to guide program development. If employees report being stressed about matters outside the workplace, introducing an Employee Assistance Program can provide welcome support. For organisations with employees looking for extra guidance on budgeting or saving for retirement, a financial wellness component can add value to the wellbeing programme. These are just a few examples of how data can be instrumental in designing a wellbeing program to meet the needs of each organisation’s unique workforce, Beyond program design, data can play a key role in driving participation in wellbeing programmes. By utilising data, it is possible to customise targeted outreach to address employees’ specific needs, more effectively engaging them in their healthcare. Not only can data personalise the message, but it can also help meet employees’ communication channel preferences.

Once a well-being program has been created and launched, it is critical to begin analysing data from the outset and again at certain intervals to assess whether the program is effective. By leveraging the initial aggregate data as a baseline, it will be possible to see year-over-year improvements in employee health, finances, productivity and more. An annual review of the data also provides a great opportunity to make necessary changes to benefits and wellbeing offerings to better address the changing needs of an evolving workforce and continue to see the benefits.

By incorporating data analytics throughout the lifecycle of a wellbeing programme, from inception through implementation through evaluation, it’s possible to create a more personalised offering that more effectively engages employees and promotes positive behaviour change. Utilising data can help ensure the success of wellbeing programmes, improving the health of employees and reducing costs for the organisation.

Article written by: Pam Mortenson, first published by Corporate Wellness Magazine:

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