Right now, there is an overwhelming amount of wellbeing portals. You have no shortage of choices out there with basic one-off challenge material, app-only portals, customizable apps, or even building your own. We get asked a lot "What makes any of these any more special than the other?" It's easy to get caught up in just the cost factor, but after over a decade of competition there really is only a few outliers but most are fairly close in price.
First and foremost, you want to focus on having a HOLISTIC approach to your wellbeing plans, and your platform should be no different. It still blows my mind that there are multi-million dollar platforms out there that have either only physical wellbeing support, or just piece meal a few areas. To put it plainly, we are more than just physical people and need more than just a reminder to eat healthier and exercise more. There is enough of that in the world but do you know what we don't have enough of? Social interaction, financial education, community building, and mental stability practices to name a few. Now, after you whittle down your search to a holistic approach that fits, you're already looking better than the majority of organizations in the world.
Next, you're going to want to know if your platform is doing well. That is why access to DATA and TRENDS is crucial for your team. How many people are interacting with the platform each month? How many have signed up? How can we continually evolve the platform based on what employees are interacting with? What area of wellbeing needs to be highlighted this year? All of these questions could (and should) be answered by data within the platform. Combining HRA, aggregate health data, challenge interaction, and employee interest is critical in developing a strategy. You can say "we need to be healthier" but if your employees aren't interested in what the platform has to offer, you're paying for something they aren't using. Or what about pushing out a challenge and doing the "throw a dart in the dark" approach that so many organizations seem to do? All of these are a waste of time, money, and often have more of a detrimental affect on organizational culture than a positive one!
Ok, so now that you have a holistic program that can help guide decision making next and equally important than the rest is being able to have PERSONALIZATION to your platform. If there is just a "box" that your organization fits into, how does that actually help your employees? There is no platform out there that can fit every need of any employee, however, it is critical it can cast a wide net for challenges and e-learning. Be sure to ask: How many challenges do you have available to the employees? Can we create our own challenges? How do you plan to address the concerns of the data collected? Because here's the scoop, traditionally organizations will lose steam after 2-3 years with a platform and often the problem is employees go through the standard "box" challenges in that time and the platform is happy to just recycle those rather than having the ability to customize it based on your employee population. You need personalization for the long-haul and wellbeing takes time to recoup the initial investment cost just like most business decisions.
Finally, this one goes hand-in-hand with personalization and that is CHOICE. Employees need to be able to choose what they want to do. They need to be able to create their own challenges or at least be guided to choose something outside of the organizational challenges. I'm not saying the plan put forth by the company isn't useful, but in order to be successful you need to meet employees where THEY are in their wellbeing journey. You can't possibly know that for every person, but by having a portal that employees can choose what they want to work on, support it, and keep them moving in the right direction is critical and often is the differentiator between something that is a perk at an organization vs one that is transformational to the employees.
This will guide you in your decision making tree but if you have any other questions about this - feel free to reach out to us at firstname.lastname@example.org and we'll be sure to help guide you in the right direction. We're happy to help, as our mission is to positively affect 1 million lives and we are looking for ways to help you and your employees. Talk soon!