Employee engagement and employee well-being go hand-in-hand. Don’t believe us? Check this out: Researchers from the University of Louisville and Florida International University found a positive correlation between high employee engagement and employee well-being.
The findings, the authors wrote, suggest “employers can significantly affect employee well-being by focusing on psychological workplace climate and engagement as antecedents,” or, in other words, that employee engagement begets employee wellness.
One of the most effective ways to encourage and measure employee engagement and wellness is by integrating specialized technology into your organization’s internal communications strategy. These digital tools, a set of software and applications, are usually referred to as a tech stack, and constitute an internal communicator’s digital arsenal.
Your intranet and messaging software are part of this tech stack, whether you’re a Microsoft shop, loyal to Google Suite or a die-hard fan of Slack. Here’s what some companies have found useful in integrating wellness and engagement strategies into their own tech stacks:
Recognizing employee accomplishments, both big and small, is a key part of maintaining healthy levels of employee engagement. Bonusly, used by Chobani, ZipRecruiter and Hulu, integrates with Slack, Teams and most intranet software to give employees a chance to recognize each other’s hard work.
“Feeling valued and recognized is important to the human condition. Recognition delights us and energizes us to do more,” said Becky Cantieri, chief people officer with SurveyMonkey. “We were one of the earlier adopters of Bonusly. It’s core to our recognition program and a thoughtful way to connect the work of our employees to the value they deliver for our customers.”
Evaluating how your employees feel about certain business decisions and operations choices is crucial. Knowing what your workers like — and what they don’t — allows communicators to adjust their comms strategies accordingly. With WorkTango, comms pros can conduct pulse surveys and analyze the collected data with ease. Designed with psychology in mind, the software is able to measure employee sentiment through email, SMS, paper and kiosks, reaching every person in your workforce.
“It is an excellent tool,” said Amanda S., manager of people engagement with Magic Leap. “It allows for truly anonymous employee feedback and — my favorite feature — the opportunity to have conversations anonymously with employees based on the feedback they provide.”
Manager communications is another key part of an effective employee engagement strategy. Employee engagement platform 15five draws on the practice of giving employees 15 minutes to write a weekly report that should take managers no more than five minutes to read. C-suite members can also write short weekly reports for the whole organization to read.
Product cloud company Pendo uses the software to improve CEO visibility among the whole company and increase communication between employees and leadership.
“What’s helped is that I’ve been really passionate about [15Five],” says Pendo CEO Todd Olson. “I made the decision to bring it in — and my title helped with the spreading of it, but I use it and lead by example. I submit my 15Five every week, and I review each of my team members’ 15Fives every week.”
Meditation can be a powerful tool, promoting mental and physical wellness along with stress management and other mental health benefits. Headspace’s workplace version of its popular meditation app counts Starbucks, Hyatt and Google among its clients. With a company subscription, employees will have full access to the Headspace app, which includes exercises for stress, focus, productivity and more, as well as experiences made specifically for your team.
“After reading the employee feedback on Headspace, we knew it was the right choice for us,” said Sara Torres, global well-being strategist with software company Adobe. “With Headspace, we’re able to provide an on-demand, approachable solution to support our employees’ well-being in a way that works for them.”
It might be easier than you think to help employees track their physical fitness progress. MoveSpring, used by Best Buy and the University of Kentucky, integrates with common fitness trackers like Apple Watch, Fitbit and Garmin to track employees’ physical health and includes challenges and races for workers to compete against each other in.
“I’ve lost 12 pounds and started eating better because of the challenge,” one Best Buy employee testified. “It’s really cool to have my teammates encouraging me to succeed. My clothes fit better and I have more energy!”
Sometimes, wellness is about helping employees access the full range of their benefits packages — not just the basic health care plans. With flexible integration and a high success rate — 87% of users say the app has changed their lives — Virgin Pulse is used by more than 6,000 organizations to reduce healthcare costs and boost employee benefit usage, in addition to promoting wellness and encouraging healthy habits.
Using Virgin Pulse, the Los Alamos National Laboratory was able to reduce repetitive trauma injuries and slip, trip and fall safety incidents by 70% and 68%, respectively. And two out of three employees who use the app are meeting or exceeding recommended levels of physical activity.
Want to start using some of these tools but not sure where to start? Check out our three best practices for upgrading your internal comms tech stack here.