Communicators and HR professionals share many things in common. Both are accountable to a set of internal stakeholders who expect honesty and authenticity, both have a need (and sometimes reluctance) to synthesize data to generate qualitative outcomes. Both are often the early adopters and primary users of emerging tools and tech that can enhance the employee experience.
As more organizations understand how the hard and soft benefits offered become part of their employer brand, purpose and culture, there’s a growing understanding that the tech HR and comms professionals include in their employee assistance plans (EAPs) can help the whole organization meet its desired workplace wellness goals faster.
With that in mind, let’s look at some of the hottest trends in workplace wellness tech that can benefit comms and HR alike.
- Mental health support with a single point of contact. ‘Burnout’ being voted Ragan’s Word of the Year in 2022 is one of the many reminders that last year offered untold mental health challenges for employees, managers of leaders included. When managers and leaders can be unequipped and uncomfortable having these conversations, partnering with a holistic wellness platform that can offer resources to employees through a streamlined, easy-to-use experience remains the best way to ensure they try the benefit. And making sure you’ve selected a platform that makes their engagement feel customized, personal and safe is the best way to ensure they keep using it.
This logic is baked into every aspect of CVS Health’s suite of wellness resources, Resources for Living. A central tenet of this is its Care Partner Model, which promises a single point of contact to serve members along their mental health continuum by providing a full spectrum of mental health service resources regardless of their current health plan. This allows employees to work with one person for all their mental wellbeing questions through telephone and chat support. This flexibility of communication options, coupled with the comfort of having one person help navigate this journey, destigmatizes the mental health conversation and helps employees trust that the resources and care they receive are coming from a real person.
- An emphasis on coaching. Keeping in line with the personalization aspect, Virgin Pulse’s Homebase for Health wellness and health platform also offers a single, streamlined and complete, outcome-based solution that drives outcomes for the business and employees simultaneously.
But over the past year, the platform has expanded its live support options to include condition management coaches who provide personalized, evidence-based recommendations to each employee that aligns with their personal goals. Another feature also gives members access to a nurse or certified coach who can offer guidance on overcoming barriers to access and more.
This emphasis on coaching is also championed by WebMD’s Health Coaching platform, which also takes a holistic, education-based approach to support all aspects of employee wellbeing. The provides individuals support in all aspects of well-being, including items that impact mental health.
The coaching model works: WebMD says that 80% of its users improved or maintained their ability to manage stress through working with a coach.
- An increased focus on financial wellness. While physical and mental health often dominates conversations around workplace wellness, financial wellness resources and education are often the last benefits that organizations offer. But with the cost-of-living skyrocketing across the country, with supply chain shortages and rising gas prices, some providers are stepping up to champion this work.
Payroll and tax services giant ADP’s ADP Retirement Services sets a notable example with its Financial Wellness Journey platform, which uses demographic and employee data to create automated and personalized campaigns that can help employees save for the future. The inclusion of ‘journey’ is more than just branding — this process is comprised of eight email touchpoints, with a two-week span between each message, being sent to participants who are contributing over 6% to their retirement plan.
Employees receive relevant saving and investing statistics, links to tools and other resources through ADP’s Achieve Engagement Hub.
Beyond the journey, ADP’s recently launched Retirement Readiness Experience continues to educate employees about their financial goals by highlighting the important pieces of retirement planning — including personal goals and expectations, current savings and estimated healthcare costs — to generate a retirement readiness score that lets employees know how close they are to meeting their desired outcomes.
Ragan will celebrate ADP Retirement Services, WebMD, Virgin Pulse, CVS Health and more during our annual Workplace Wellness Hotlist Awards during our Employee Experience and Wellness Conference with a reception on Tuesday, Aug. 15. Register now!