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The Trend of Personalised Corporate Wellness Programs

By Gracia Sim

Whenever the items we consume or use are personalised to suit our preferences, be it the food we eat or the clothes we wear, we feel special and pampered. It is not difficult to understand why.

Personalizing shows an understanding of the individual’s inclinations, and reflects the thoughtful design and effort that went into tailoring the item for the individual. Just like how custom-made shoes fit the arch of one’s foot or a tailored jacket perfectly drapes over to the contour of one’s body, these things make the user feel special.

Similarly, personalizing corporate wellness can make your employees feel special.

A study found that employees prefer a personalised approach to managing their health, especially if health programmes include personal coaching. Such programmes were shown to have up to 70% of medical cost savings in wellness programmes, an improvement in employees’ health and a higher level of work satisfactionamong participants.

For a long time, corporate wellness programmes were planned by ticking off a checklist of a variety of exercise workouts, dietary and nutrition advice, and chronic risk and ergonomics talks.

Then, enlightened HR practitioners and healthcare providers began to ponder if there were better ways to develop corporate wellness programmes that encourage more employees to embrace more healthy lifestyles, and in turn, attain higher levels of productivity and positivity at the workplace.

And so, personalizing corporate wellness became vital in increasing employee engagement, and this eventually became the main driver for improving employees’ health.

Current Trends in Personalising Corporate Wellness

There are many ways to personalise your corporate wellness programme. These are just three that Singapore companies are fast catching on to:

Tie-ups with island-wide gyms catered to different interests

As in-house programmes may not be suitable for all employees, some companies engage an external wellness programme coordinator who arrange for their employees to attend exercise classes at external gyms.

Flexible rewards suited to different motivations

Some companies either implement a rewards system for staff or work with a third-party administrator such as CXA to allow employees to use the benefits dollars they have accumulated for a selection of health products and services, including health insurance packages that best suit the individual.

Digital health coaching personalised to suit different health needs

Personalised digital coaching is especially useful because it is a programme that can be tailored to an individual’s health goals as well as provide round-the-clock support for employees.

An added advantage is that digital coaching can extend beyond engaging on-site employees to those who work remotely, including employees who commute between worksites, traveling salespersons, and employees who do shift work.

Getting Personalisation Right

You’re probably wondering which personalised corporate wellness initiative would be the most suitable for your organisation. There isn’t a programme that fits all organisations but to help you along, here are two key questions to consider when developing a wellness programme:

1. Does the programme make getting healthier easier for employees?

To start off, the challenges that your employees face need to be identified – be it time management, the lack of motivation or commitment, or the perceived monotony of a wellness programme. The selected initiative should address these challenges so that employees are engaged and encouraged to participate in the programme for the long term.

2. Does the programme provide value for employees?

The value and effectiveness of a company’s wellness programme should ideally show improved health outcomes such as employees feeling fitter and becoming more alert and positive.

We need to move beyond the weekly Zumba classes if we are truly keen to see healthy employees who are more productive and less prone to work absenteeism.

Initiatives that produce value results in employees feeling convinced that the company they work for is truly interested in their welfare. The effects of these positive vibes go beyond improving employee engagement to create an upward spiral in workplace culture over time.

It is no small task to put a personalised corporate wellness programme in place, but the benefits reaped will go a long way towards driving better health amongst employees, boosting employee morale and improving corporate brand image organically.

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