According to a recent study, 70% of people use mobile health apps to track calorie intake and monitor physical fitness. Would you be happy if your employee wellness program had a 70% engagement rate – most employers would be ecstatic.
Most wellness programs never have a chance to reach 70% engagement because the program is flawed from the start. Wellness programs frequently offer a number of new wellness tools (apps, devices, portals, etc.) that employees are required to use to participate. These tools are unfamiliar to employees, often don’t work very well, and are almost never fun to use. The result is low employee engagement – employees don’t want to use the new and unfamiliar tools, would you?
A strategy that overlooks the existing wellness technology market misses the opportunity to leverage engagement that already exists in your company. On their own, your employees are downloading and using mobile apps and devices in their personal life. We call this existing engagement “hidden engagement.” It’s hidden because it is not captured or encourage by most company wellness programs. As the health app engagement study noted, this hidden engagement is significant. By ignoring employees’ existing health and wellness app engagement, employers are starting from scratch – at 0%, rather than at 70%. This is an uphill battle from the beginning.
When we speak with potential clients, we explain the concept of hidden engagement. Employees are already using Wellable’s partner apps like RunKeeper, Moves, FatSecret, and more to engage in healthy activity in their personal lives. Employees are already using Wellable and they don’t even know it!
We encourage employers to embrace the existing wellness technology market, not fight it. Embracing the existing market means allowing employees to bring their own wellness app and engagement preferences to the company wellness program – a strategy known as BYOD wellness. A BYOD wellness strategy allows for a robust program with a range of engagement options that includes the apps your employees are already using.
By embracing the existing wellness app market, employers can achieve high employee participation by unlocking hidden engagement. Additionally, the cost of a wellness program that leverages existing market technology is generally lower since the majority of the mobile apps are free to download.