Sitting down with Heather Provino, M.S., the CEO of Provant, as well as Mark Correia, Preventure's CEO, we get to the heart of employee wellness programs. How can you craft a program for each and every employee? This is what they have to say.

How can employers individualize wellness programs?   

Heather Provino: A company’s wellness program should take each employee on their own personal well-being journey. Blending human and digital interaction with data enables employers to deliver programming and recommendations that are personally valuable. Electronic reminders and nudges provided through technology keep employees on track and achieving their particular goals, while health coaches provide the guidance and support people need to overcome hurdles in their paths. Personalized programming that’s convenient and easy to access results in an exceptional employee experience.

Mark Correia: We operate under the mantra that personalized content plus personal attention equals healthy behavior adoption. We understand no two well-being journeys are exactly alike, so messaging shouldn't be the same for participants. Nor should the prompts, activities or motivators. To personalize journeys, we suggest contextualized messaging, delivering the right message at the right time through the right medium. Our experience shows participant behavior change nearly doubles when content is personalized.

We also ask, “What’s your why?” When individuals answer this question, a successful, personalized well-being program emerges providing ways people can work toward their own motivation within the program.

How can employers turn their wellness programs into ROI-driving initiatives?  

HP: Inspire and personalize. Make sure your initiatives are exciting, achievable and can be personalized to each participants’ unique needs and desires. People respond when things are tailored to them. And when you communicate, connect people to your program’s impact on what really matters, like their family and friends, how they feel or their life goals. If both the activities and the results feel close to home, they are going to be motivated to participate, and you’ll see your ROI.

MC: There’s the obvious answer: tying healthy employees to success of companies’ bottom lines — decreased absenteeism, lower health care costs, etc. This is absolutely true. However, there’s an additional, more holistic approach to finding real value of well-being programs. One that’s connected to profit creation, not just cost avoidance. It’s accomplished by connecting employee well-being, employee engagement and company profitability.

We’ve demonstrated that by improving individual well-being, employees are more engaged at work, leading to higher service levels, quality, productivity and customer satisfaction. These combined outcomes have been proven to lead to increased sales, higher company profits and greater shareholder returns.

How should employers try to increase engagement through a benefits program?

HP: Learn what your employees’ most significant well-being concerns are. Physical, social, emotional and financial health are connected and impact one another. Provide a variety of programming addressing those needs, and deliver the programs in multiple ways so that you’re reaching people in the ways that are most convenient and comfortable for them. Offer incentives to reward them for behavior change while inspiring them to adopt healthy habits for better, happier all-around lives.

MC: It's all about a strong internal culture. If employees live and breathe the culture of the organization, demonstrating and expressing that culture comes naturally, and it allows for better organizational alignment and support for participation in internal initiatives like well-being.