What to consider when choosing the best wellness app for your organization

Accessibility, flexibility, comprehensive features, powerful analytics and ease of use are all crucial components.

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Choosing the best wellness app

Just a few years back, the City of Virginia Beach had a problem. It offered a pretty extensive array of employee wellness programs, but suffered from low employee engagement. Just 18% of the city’s 18,000 workers participated.

In one sense, this wasn’t surprising. Access was one challenge. The city’s municipal operations, including the Virginia Beach School District, cover more than 300 worksites. Many workers spend their days on the road. Employee access was limited.

That all changed in 2016 when the city partnered with the mobile wellness platform VirginPulse to help facilitate the city’s Beach Employee Wellness Program, known as BEWell. Very quickly, participation jumped to an average of 73% between city and school employees.

“Our programming didn’t have the reach that it does now,” says Kelly Knight, a communications program specialist for the city. “Now people who are in trucks all day or working at remote sites can engage in the program.”

Greater access opened a new communications line with employees, but Virginia Beach didn’t stop there. BEWell integrated new programs into the app and expanded the scope, introducing disease management, weight management, tobacco cessation and EAP access. Programs from five different third-party vendors were integrated into the app. Now, BEWell collects data straight from employees.

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