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3 Ways to Use Fitness Trackers and Health Apps for Employee Engagement in 2017

Employee engagement efforts tend to focus on what can be done in the workplace. But what about the sixteen hours employees workers spend outside of work?

Smart companies have realized investing in their employees’ well-being outside of work increases engagement after they clock in. With the proliferation of fitness trackers and health apps, there are now tremendous opportunities to increase employee engagement via wellness efforts. In fact, a Gallup poll recently found at least 34% smartphone users have downloaded an app that supports healthy living. Here are three ways you can utilize your employees’ interest in health apps to boost their engagement at work.

Better Health Means Increased Productivity

According to the Employee Benefit Research Institute, 71% of employees join wellness programs to learn about their health risks. By combining the latest health apps employees can now learn about these risks and create habits that improve their health.

For example, the Mars candy company gave employees the opportunity to have their blood pressure, cholesterol, BMI and glucose checked, while also holding a pedometer challenge. 89% of participants said the campaign positively supported their energy levels and resilience, and 68% said the challenge had helped them make long term changes to help their wellbeing. There was also a decrease in sick days due to mental health issues as well has stress related problems. Even better, employees reported they started sleeping better and were more productive at work.

Mindfulness Is the New Black

Ten years ago, if you recommended meditation to your workforce you might have been laughed out the room. But today, some of the most innovative companies are looking to mindfulness programs and mobile apps to improve their employee’s headspace. According to Nichol Bradford, founder of the Transformative Technology Lab in Palo Alto, California, some companies are “looking into ways to incorporate wearable gear that measures brainwaves, as well as meditation programs that help employees better communicate and become leaders.”

Companies that institute meditate programs can substantially decrease employee stress and improve productivity. Fortune 500 companies like Google, Procter & Gamble, and Comcast have bought into this trend, looking to reap the benefits of a composed, mindful workforce.

No More Burning the Midnight Oil

In today’s “always on” work culture, sleep has become a neglected part of our lives. According to the CDC, one in three adults don’t get enough sleep. Arianna Huffington, the founder of The Huffington Post, recently wrote a book about this very problem, called The Sleep Revolution. She says, “The irony is that a lot of people forego sleep in the name of productivity. But in fact our productivity is reduced substantially when we’re sleep deprived.”

In response, sleep tracking apps have picked up the slack, allowing you to see exactly how good your sleep is every night. To incentive proper sleep, you can hold sleep contests with you employees using widely available sleep tracker apps.

Instead of focusing all of your efforts on improving employee engagement in the workplace, look toward employee well-being to find better outcomes. With the proliferation of fitness trackers and health apps it has never been easier to incentivize workers to improve their health. When employees are engaged, they’re 21% more productive and 87% less likely to leave your company. Helping your workers lead healthier lives outside the workplace will enable them to be their best selves at work.

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