Selecting the best wellness technology to support employees

The workplace wellness market has grown in recent years as employers recognise the importance of employee wellbeing for productivity, engagement, and retention. But as the growing cost-of-living crisis places an increasing strain on wellbeing, employers should consider once again how wellness technology can support employees to lead healthier lives.

Wellness technology are applications and devices designed to improve employees' physical and mental health. The apps equip staff with the digital tools they need to take control of their own wellbeing.

According to the UK's Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD (opens a new window)), there are seven connected domains of employee wellbeing:

  1. Health

  2. Good work

  3. Personal growth

  4. Values

  5. Social

  6. Good lifestyle choices

  7. Financial Wellbeing

An effective and robust employee wellbeing strategy taps into each one of these domains. The question for employers, is how can technology deliver a well-rounded employee wellbeing offering?

What should you ask?

There is an abundance of wellness technology providers offering similar products with seemingly identical technology. If you can’t differentiate between them, you’ll likely end up with a bad investment.

To ensure you choose the right technology, here are four key technical questions employers can draw on as part of their vendor due diligence process:

Is there an app for that?

When introducing any type of technology, always ask this question and ask it for three reasons:

  • The Data: Data obtained from wellness technology apps are huge opportunities for employees to review their health and wellbeing and for organisations to access anonymous aggregated insights. But this isn’t without potential obstacles. A

    global study (opens a new window) found nine out of ten health apps collect and track user data, however, 28% did not provide any privacy statement explaining how they gather, use, disclose and manage their users’ data. So, ensure the wellness technology provider has a robust privacy policy in place.

  • Accessibility:According to Statista 80% of the UK’s population uses a smartphone. Therefore, leveraging a provider that also has an app, makes the wellness technology more accessible to your employees as they can access its content whenever and wherever they want. Furthermore, your employees are more likely to repeatedly interact with content at their fingertips, so an app is a great tool to encourage continued use.

  • Personalisation: The data acquired from an app allows it to provide personalised content tailored to your employees’ interests, needs and location and this is key to making the most out of this mobile technology. Presenting content that is highly personable and thus relevant boosts engagement and ensures they repeatedly return to leverage the app’s content and continue their wellbeing journey.

Can you trust that your data is safe and secure?

In September 2021, the Fitness app database GetHealth, which holds data on fitness app users, was subject to a data breach (opens a new window) and over 61 million records were accessed illegally. As this shows, selecting a provider with robust protocols and security in place is vital.

When selecting wellness technology, employers should also look out for certain features that can help ensure user data remains safe and secure:

  • Single-sign-on (SSO) – this enables users to securely authenticate and login to multiple platforms and websites by using one set of credentials.

  • Two-factor-authentication (2FA) – this requires additional details on top of the username and password in order to login. For example, a one-time passcode sent to a mobile.

  • Password requirements – this can include preventing weak passwords like “Password1,” having a minimum password length or including special characters.

What support is available?

A provider that offers a good onboarding experience and long-term support goes a long way in making sure your employees make the most out of the wellness technology platform. Key things to look for in a robust technology onboarding program include:

  • Readily available training material before and during onboarding, which anticipates and resolves potential issues and queries and is easily accessible.

  • A well-thought-out communications plan to promote the service and drive engagement.

  • Dedicated support and simple routes for contact, including support from employees after the onboarding process has been complete.

How does this tech actually benefit your employees?

It can be all well and good bringing in the latest wellness technology, but if it doesn’t benefit your employees, what reason will they have to use it?

Employers need to have a clear vision of the problem they are looking to solve, and identify exactly how the technology will overcome that problem. To do so, it’s important to bear in mind your employees’ needs:

  • The technology has to make employees’ lives easier in some way, such as by enabling them to search for local pharmacies in a matter of clicks. Empowering your employees to find information will be a crucial component of the technology’s success.

  • The wellness technology must have a positive and seamless experience, meaning it should be intuitive to use, with information that’s easy to find and clearly presented. If you have to explain it, it’s usually not good enough.

  • The technology should be suitable for use across multiple platforms. Users do not stick to one platform, and shouldn’t risk losing their data or facing issues when they transition from one platform to another. The buzzword for this is an ‘omnichannel experience’.

These aren’t hugely technical questions, but as buyers are lured in by the latest trends, they can often forget basic issues to protect them and their people. Considering accessibility, data, technology, and support alongside your strategic wellbeing objectives, ensures you bring in the best solutions for your business and your employees.

For further information on how Lockton can support your business, please contact:

Lauren Hoare, Global Technology Manager for People Solutions

T: +44 20 7933 2843

E: (opens a new window)

Chris Rofe, Partner and Head of Client Development

T: +44 20 7933 2876

E: (opens a new window)

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