Companies who want to deliver quality wellness programs to their employees have a few options. Not only are there a variety of program offerings, specializations, and customizable modules -- but the delivery of the program can vary too. In the past, most wellness programs were only offered onsite, but these days companies are having great success with virtual wellness vendors.
In this article, we'll cover the main ingredients of an online health and wellness program, and what you can expect when you sign up.
Best Practices for Virtual Wellness Vendors
If you’re looking at adopting a virtual wellness program, you’ll want one with a broad scope. The main components your virtual program should offer include:
- Instructional fitness videos
- Before and after fitness tracking
- Goal setting
- Meal plans and recipies
- Nutritional information
- Data tracking capabilities
Each employee should be able to create a customized wellness plan, either on their own or with the help of a health coach. Whether or not employees have access to a health coach, there should be some degree of encouragement and support along the way.
So now that we’ve covered the groundwork, here are a few benefits that online wellness vendors can provide your company—and your employees
5 Useful Features of Virtual Wellness Vendors
1. Instant Access
The main feature of online wellness programs is that employees can access the program and services from virtually any computer or mobile device.
From fitness tracking to recipes and nutritional information, virtual wellness programs are putting a wealth of information at employees’ fingertips. In just a few clicks, employees can check progress on their goals, get meal ideas, research frequently asked health questions, and access webinars.
2. Customized Health Options
Just a few years ago, creating a personal workout and diet plan existed only in the realm of expensive personal trainers and dieticians.
Now, you can get (nearly) the same experience with a virtualized wellness program. Some vendors have a more general approach to creating programs, where there are no personal trainers assigned to each employee. Other vendors assign a personal health coach to each employee, where they can check in for personal support via phone, e-mail, or virtual face-to-face meetings.
3. Personal Data Tracking
Virtual wellness programs let you track your health progress like never before. And before you dismiss this as an unused perk, consider the entire industry popping up around wearable tech. People are into their personal health data like never before.
Whether it’s calories, steps, or pounds, your employees want to know where they stand and how they can hit their health goals. Virtual wellness programs let users enter in a wide range of information that can be used to track progress—or lack thereof.
4. Company Personalization
Keeping employees aligned with your company's values and brand shouldn't get lost when outsourcing wellness to an online vendor. The best virtual wellness platforms let you customize the site with your own personal web address and branding.
You can also create content specific for your own company. So if you want to challenge your employees to that 5K pajama run you’ve been dreaming up, go right ahead.
5. More Insight
Virtual wellness programs also help companies understand how their employees are engaging with their health as a whole. You can get a unique insight into the aspects your workforce finds most valuable as well as the those that aren’t being utilized. This type of information can help you create more incentive programs and find new ways to engage your employees where they might need more help.
If, for example, you know that your employees are interested in eating healthier, you’ll know that bringing healthy snacks into the office might be an investment worth your money. On the other hand, if your employees are interested in interacting with their physical fitness goals, you can create office challenges that encourage them to exercise more.
Virtual Wellness Vendors: Key Takeaways
No matter how you choose to implement a virtual wellness program, make sure you use it to its full advantage. Often, introducing new programs—especially software or internet-based programs—can be met with a good deal of confusion or skepticism.
And more often than not, training and familiarization can be inadequate. If you’re going to invest in a virtual wellness program, make sure you take the time to familiarize your workforce with all the features.