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14 ways to improve corporate wellness programs with wearables

James A. Martin | Oct. 6, 2015
Corporate wellness experts share dos and don't of wearable-based corporate health and wellness programs, along with advice on how to enhance and improve your organizations current employee fitness initiatives.

Though important, financial incentives, as well as future health rewards don't always motivate sustainable participation in wellness challenges and fitness programs, Heinen said. The promise of fun, overall better quality of life, and higher energy levels are often more effective motivators, she said.

12) Help employees help themselves

Creativity can go a long way toward giving employees easy options to care for themselves. For example, mindfulness — the act of "being in the moment" —is gaining popularity in corporate wellness programs, according to Heinen. Pitney Bowes, for example, offers five-minute guided meditation for employees over the phone.

13) More physical activity isn't always better

The goal of increasing physical activity isn't always appropriate for all workers. Some workers, such as nurses or employees in packing and shipping departments are always on their feet, so increasing steps isn't necessarily a wise move, Boehm said. Instead, decreasing steps can make these types or workers more efficient in their jobs and "give them energy to focus on what matters most" at work and at home. 

14) Cheaters never prosper

Organization shouldn't worry about fitness challenge "cheaters," or people who manipulate their fitness data. Companies that roll out a Fitbit Wellness program can enable or disable employees from manually logging steps, according to Amy McDonough, vice president and general manager, Fitbit Wellness. However, McDonough says Fitbit has "found that with good communications and transparency about how a program ties to incentives and what data is being shared, the majority of employees will be honest and will keep each other honest."


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