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Blending Technology and Customization for Successful Well-Being Outcomes

Guest post by By K. Koprowski

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Customized online wellness programming offers exciting, cost-effective ways to engage employees in your organization. Briana Boehmer, Director of 411Fit and a co-founder of Salus Corporate Wellness, presented a session titled “Blending Technology and Customization for Successful Well-Being Outcomes” at the 2013 Work and Well-Being Conference in Chicago.

Ms. Boehmer, with the input of her clients, has developed customized wellness programming that blends together onsite and online services to help employees accomplish both individual and team-based health objectives.

The 411Fit online portal offers fitness tracking, personal coaching, social networking, individual and team-based challenges, exercise and nutrition education, processes for designing programs and a robust feedback system. The technology provided by 411Fit.com can be customized for an organization’s unique culture and set of employees. As an experienced athlete herself, Ms. Boehmer explained, “I asked myself what made me successful,” drawing on her personal experience when she began to design her company’s technology.

Organizations frequently face the dilemma of finding the best way to engage every employee within the organization’s budget, resources and culture. Ms. Boehmer observed that personalized, web-based wellness software and services, such as journaling sites, digital measurement devices and exercise apps are “definitely cost-effective” and are gaining popularity. They provide benefits such as portability, automated data collection and predictive analytics and 24/7 interaction between coaches, clients and peers.

Technology’s predictive potential may even be one of its most powerful features, Ms. Boehmer suggested. It can analyze and predict which wellness tools will be most successful for a specific gender, age, region or industry. Organizations could use that data to plan effective, needs-targeted programs.

The available technology can also be integrated with more traditional onsite amenities and services such as personal trainers and classes to help employees achieve even greater success with their health goals. However, Ms. Boehmer noted that technology is not necessarily a “one-stop shop,” nor appropriate for every population; for example, older generations are less likely to use computers at home.

Combining 411Fit’s web-based technology with their clients’ onsite wellness initiatives has created high levels of employee engagement, goal achievement and program completion rates. Voluntary program participation rates can be raised by offering multiple engagement outlets, Ms. Boehmer told conference attendees. “There’s power in peer support online.” She described examples of successful, customized programs and explained how they provided creative solutions for a variety of organization types and user groups. The programs utilized a wide range of combinations of onsite and online services, including personal coaching, friendly competitions and games.

Blending online and onsite services can “reach employees where they’re at,” providing options for a range of personalities and ability levels. Organizations with multiple locations can also scale blended services for different groups of employees, as well as enhance accountability, improve analysis of wellness measures and offer users immediate, 24-hour interaction and feedback.

To determine whether blended programming may be right for an organization, Ms. Boehmer suggests organizations first examine their budgets and consider the needs of their members when deciding which wellness services should be offered. Organizations can then decide whether using a vendor for blended services would be appropriate.

Read more about Briana Boehmer and 411Fit here.

The content provided above is for informational purposes only. The inclusion of any product, service, vendor or organization does not imply endorsement, recommendation or approval by the American Psychological Association, the APA Center for Organizational Excellence or the Psychologically Healthy Workplace Program.

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About this Entry

This page contains a single entry by Jessica McKenzie, MS published on September 2, 2013 11:39 AM.

I Agree, Bob Corlett: Ditch Those Engagement Projects was the previous entry in this blog.

Healthy Employees, Profitable Bottom Lines: Delivering on the Value of Health Promotion and Worksite Wellness is the next entry in this blog.

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