webinar recap: how a culture of health and wellbeing drives business results

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Yesterday, Steven Day, Director of Wellbeing at O.C. Tanner and Andrew Jacobus, VP Insights and Data Science at Virgin Pulse, led a webinar on how companies can improve their workplace cultures through health and wellbeing.

Steven started by discussing the importance of having a great company culture, identifying the 6 most important elements of an effective workplace culture (including a sense of wellbeing). Companies should build a culture that influences and inspires wellbeing through leadership and purpose, not just have a climate of wellbeing programs and wellness perks.

Steven shared how traditional wellness programs of checklists and biometric screenings are now outdated. They communicate risks and behaviors, but what we should be communicating is that employers value their employees’ personal wellbeing and provide an environment with resources to make healthy choices at work.

Steven and Andrew then outlined some wellbeing strategy best practices:

  • Provide valuable resources and autonomy to employees
  • Personalization – look at healthy choices that are most important to employees, provide different avenues to success and personalized goals and messages
  • Social connectedness – help employees change behaviors together. Andrew shared data on how having more friends in a wellbeing program results in more steps taken and lower blood pressure. You can create social connections by incorporating challenges and creating social groups centered around different interests.
  • Recognition – research shows recognition and wellbeing are highly correlated to each other, which means when you do them together you get better outcomes. But incentives and recognition aren’t the same. Incentives drive behaviors while recognition helps them feel a sense of accomplishment in a meaningful way.

Andrew then led us through what Virgin Pulse has seen from their clients’ wellbeing programs when they make wellbeing fun and personal through gamification. Data from over 1 million members shows employees engage with their programs more when it is fun and personal. Clients also saw:

  • Sustained increase in physical activity
  • Positive impact on overall health risk
  • Reduction in medical claims even 2-3 years after launch
  • 15-20% lower absences
  • 31% lower turnover
  • Participants in a wellbeing program are more likely to be promoted


See the data and listen to the full recording of the webinar here.

By o.c. tanner
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