These three elements create the necessary positive experiences to engage employees with tools and information so they may make intelligent decisions regarding their well-being.

We need to remember that engagement starts in the mind of the employee. Consumers follow a decision-making process regarding their health care so we must follow the rules of consumer centricity to engage employees as consumers of health care. Let’s look at how you get there.

1. Consistent

One of the biggest problems facing health care today is that it is inconsistent. One of the reoccurring failures is how employers, payers and providers interact with employees. If we can do something properly once, we need to consistently repeat it.

Then we need to have employers, payers and providers work together to deliver a unified, consistent approach to employee well-being and act as one. Employees don’t want to piece the health care puzzle together.

2. Relevant

Health is personal so your interactions and communications need to be relevant or those communications are ignored. In order to provide a personal connection, an understanding of the employee and how they think and connect with others is needed. This understanding drives personalization on a one-to-one level.

To facilitate this understanding, we need to segment employee data into basic profile data planes such as technographic, demographic, psychographic, sociographic, technographic and ethnographic. With profile planes, employers know much more about the employee to interact on a personal level. For example, if an employer would like to reduce the effects and risks that are associated with hypertension for its employees, they can target a communications campaign with specific profiles delivering the right content and message, to the right people, at the right time, and on the right channel.

"What about our mind and how it is performing? The mind drives behaviors and behaviors drive our thinking and decision-making. We may be in great physical shape, but we just don’t feel right and this directly impacts our well-being."

If a person is not at risk for hypertension but has a BMI of 33, there is no sense in sending information on hypertension. Adding irrelevant information to a communication will render the communication as unnecessary and will be ignored.

3. Coordinated

We see that creating positive experiences and understanding their employees is essential, but we also need to coordinate interactions and communications from employers, payers and providers to the employee. This is Channel Unity. To realize Channel Unity, you must coordinate all communications from a hub so the employee experiences and sees the same thing no matter what channel delivers it. It has to look the same and feel the same.

A communications platform with multi-channel capability is the hub for all communications sent to employees. An application platform facilitating people, process flows, content and tasks connects to the communications hub so the employee sees a unified communication stream.

Broader thinking

When employers take the pulse of their employees’ well-being, it requires more than hard stats such as weight, height, temperature, pulse and blood pressure. Hard stats tell us about the body and how it is performing. But what about our mind and how it is performing? The mind drives behaviors and behaviors drive our thinking and decision-making. We may be in great physical shape, but we just don’t feel right and this directly impacts our well-being.

Soft stats include how we feel, what we eat and how we exercise and sleep, which tells us so much more about our well-being. An employer could collect soft stats like how the overall employee population feels today—such as excited, happy, tired, moody, exhausted, confused or passionate—to expose trends and shifts in real time before they become significant problems.

If a company is in rapid growth mode and sees its population is excited in January but shifts to exhausted in May, it could take immediate action to help its employee population before significant churn occurs or the culture degrades. Seeing how people choose activities over time provides insights on what can be done to sustain employee well-being. If employees select walking as an activity of choice in warmer months but not in colder months, a company can look into providing an indoor walking track to continue a preferred activity that impacts their well-being.

New, healthy terrain

Engaging employees in healthy living exposes a terrific opportunity for HR organizations to add significant value to the company by growing meaningful relationships as well as increasing company loyalty and satisfaction. Including the employee’s family members increases loyalty and encourages the potential for community support at a local level.

Employers need to understand what makes each of us tick, collaborate with health partners such as payers and providers and coordinate communications in order to engage employees and deliver convenient, integrated health services.