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October 26, 2021 Amelia Wilcox

Top 5 Features of Online Employee Virtual Wellness Programs

Things to look for in a online wellness platform

Companies that want to deliver quality virtual wellness programs to their employees have very limited options. There are less and less variety of program offerings, specializations, and customizable modules. The biggest challenge with most online wellness programs is that they are not focused on employee assistance or your staff’s needs and wants.

Another challenge with traditional online wellness programs is in the past, these programs were only offered onsite. Still, the workplace landscape has changed—and will continue to change—due to unforeseen circumstances. Companies are having to adapt as we have and are putting their focus on mental health. Many companies are having great success with implementing EAPs that have evolved into virtual wellness programs!

All that said, here are the main ingredients of a virtual, online health and wellness program and what you can expect when you sign up.

online wellness program

Best Practices for Virtual Online Wellness Programs

Virtual wellness programs are a benefit that employers provide that helps employees take care of themselves.

If you’re looking at adopting an EAP with a virtual wellness program, you’ll want one with a broad scope.

Many employees are wary about therapy. There is a lingering mental health stigma that prevents people from getting the help they need.

It’s essential for virtual online wellness programs to:

  1. Provide wellbeing options for employees that may be uninterested in therapy, like life coaching
  2. Work with companies to transform company cultures—so mental health is a top priority throughout the organization

These things are critical. Without them, a virtual wellness program can only do so much for your team.

The main components of the top virtual health and wellness program are as follows:

  • Instructional health and physical fitness videos, including virtual team building activities – To help companies transform their cultures and put mental health first
  • Holistic wellness sessions (such as guided virtual massage, guided meditation, guided virtual yoga, and life coaching) – Easy to access and have a wide variety of options for everyone
  • Wellness tracking for employees and employers—Transparent, HIPPA-compliant, and simple to understand
  • Goal setting and gamification—Incentives to keep employees coming back
  • Nutritional information (i.e., meal plans, recipes, nutrition therapy)—Nutrition sessions led by certified nutrition therapy practitioners
  • Data tracking capabilities—App dashboard with real-time utilization data, tracking progress and proving ROI

Each employee should be able to create a customized virtual wellness plan, either on their own or with the help of a life coach or therapist. Whether or not employees have access to a health coach, there should be some degree of encouragement and support along the way from the virtual wellness provider and the employer.

Here at Nivati, we make sure employees are supported with one-on-one personalized help and counseling every step of their physical and mental mindfulness journey!

Here are some of the benefits that EAPs with online virtual wellness programs provide companies and their employees.

5 Useful Features of Virtual Wellness Programs

1. Instant Access 24/7 to a Licensed Therapist

The main feature of EAPs with online virtual wellness programs is that employees can access the program and services from any computer or mobile device.

From virtual therapy, and nutritional therapy, to fitness tracking for virtual yoga, including mental mindfulness with guided meditation,  online wellness companies are putting a wealth of information at employees’ fingertips.

In just a few clicks, employees can check progress on their goals, research frequently asked health questions, access webinars and hundreds of other videos—all curated by our certified practitioners. These resources are designed to bring mental health, mindfulness, and physical wellness into your daily routine.

2. Customized Health Options

Just a few years ago, creating a personal mental health and fitness plan existed only in the realm of expensive personal trainers and dietitians.

Now, you can get this experience with a virtualized wellness program.

Employees want holistic, on-demand mental health support that helps them thrive in their work and personal lives. Personalized support is key to anyone’s mental fitness journey. When employers offer a health and wellness platform to their employees, they are more productive and more likely to stick around.

Related: 6 Health and Wellness Lunch and Learn Topics

3. Personal Data Tracking and Utilization Monitoring

EAPs with virtual wellness programs should let you track your health progress, but often they fall short. They don’t take into consideration the entire industry popping up around wearable tech. People are into their personal health data like never before.

Online wellness platforms achieve this. They help employees track their progress and reach their goals.

For instance, Nivati awards employees badges and points when they complete a mental health video series.

Employers also need HIPPA-compliant utilization data so they can see how their employees are improving. More on that later!

online wellness program

4. Company Personalization

Keeping employees aligned with your company’s values shouldn’t get lost when outsourcing your virtual wellness program in place of or aligned with your current EAP. A wellness platform should help strengthen your company culture and values by helping employees live happier and healthier lives.

The best online wellness programs work closely with their clients to help teach them:

  • How to talk about mental health at work
  • How to increase EAP and online wellness program utilization
  • How to handle common mental health challenges
  • How to use the online wellness program to strengthen employee relationships and morale

5. More Insight

EAPs with a virtual wellness program also helps companies understand how their employees are engaging with their health as a whole. You can get unique insights into the aspects of the wellness platform your workforce finds most valuable and 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.

Related: 5 Company Culture Ideas You’ve Got All Wrong

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.

Online Virtual Wellness Programs: 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.

More often than not, training and familiarization can be inadequate. If you’re going to invest in an EAP with a virtual wellness program, make sure you take the time to familiarize your workforce with all the features.

Nivati is a technology platform designed to make access to mental health solutions easier for employees. Nivati addresses mental health with a broad array of tools, including counseling, coaching, meditation, yoga, nutrition, massage, and finance. The solution comes complete with wellbeing data for employers to see progress within their company. Nivati’s employee stress management platform tracks stress and engagement among individual employees and across your entire company.

Amelia Wilcox

Amelia Wilcox is the Founder and CEO of Nivati, a leader in corporate massage and employee mental health support since 2010. Her high-growth B2B company provides employee stress management tools that arm businesses with actionable data and positive employee experiences to improve wellbeing, boost morale, and increase engagement.

Amelia has exponentially grown her company from a solo living-room service business to an international technology brand.

Awards
Recently listed as a Forty Under 40, Fast 50, Inc 5000 Twice awarded National Woman-Owned Small Business of the Year

Licenses, Certifications & Memberships
Licensed Massage Therapist since 2002
Member of American Massage Therapy Association
Served on Utah Worksite Wellness Council from 2012-2015

Education
Attended Utah College of Massage Therapy
Educated in Nutrition and Exercise Physiology at the University of Utah

Publications
Massage Magazine (AMTA's publication)  

MENTAL HEALTH FOR THE WHOLE EMPLOYEE