A wellness portal is an online tool you can use to implement, manage and track your wellness program. Your portal can be what you make of it, depending on the details of your program.
A wellness portal might include incentive tracking, challenges and check-ins, educational material and employee health records. Housing these types of wellness program features in an online portal can be a great option for you and your program.
First of all, wellness portals often simplify what you’re doing in your program. It’s a place employees can go to see their health and wellness program status, and to learn more about making healthy changes. That keeps them out of your office and off your phone lines.
Second, a portal makes program tracking and evaluation easy for you. The digital nature of this type of platform means there’s less room for human error, and the process is much quicker.
So it’s clear that a wellness portal can be a good option, but how do you know you’re getting the most bang for your buck when it comes to using a portal? There are a few ways you can design your program, pick your portal and mesh the two together so you can get the most of an online wellness platform.
Find One That Fits
Odds are you’ll have to reach out to some type of wellness service provider to have a portal set up. There are a variety of providers that can provide a variety of different types of wellness portals.
When you’re choosing a portal and provider, it’s important to be sure that portal fits what you’re doing in your wellness program. Don’t force your program into a box just so you can use a particular portal. A lot of times, providers are willing to adjust their portal platform to your needs.
Just be sure you’re asking questions and getting a good feel for how the portal will work with your program—not with some strange variation of your program.
Make It Your Homebase
Once you’ve picked a portal you love, make it your wellness program homebase. That means try to run your program through your portal. Let the portal serve as the hub of your program.
The first step to running your program through your portal is to ensure it has all the pieces you need set up, and to ensure those pieces work well together. Do you need incentive or point tracking? Health education? Biometric reports? A health assessment? FAQs? Be sure everything you need can be found online.
Next, you’ll need to drive your employees to your portal. The easiest way to do that is simply to communicate. Let your employees know what they’ll find on the portal and how to access that information, and encourage them to look there first.
Make It for Them
A portal can be great for you as the wellness program leadership because it makes tracking and evaluation seamless. That doesn’t mean the portal shouldn’t also have value for employees who actually log in to it regularly.
Don’t forget about those employees! Make sure your wellness portal provides value for them as well. Make logging in to the portal worth their time.
Depending on your program, that might materialize in a few different ways. It could be something as simple as a page of helpful resources like links to expert websites like the CDC and Mayo Clinic (see how easy that was?!). It could include a more inclusive library, or even a coaching or consulting program if that’s part of what you’re doing.
Finally, it’s important to encourage engagement with your wellness portal, and to use your portal to encourage engagement with your program. Encouraging engagement with your portal can be as simple as consistently updating the information found there, and continuing to communicate about it throughout the year.
Using your portal to encourage wellness program engagement is another aspect that’s dependent on the specifics of your program. You can use online challenges to encourage engagement with or against coworkers. You can use online check-ins for personal accountability. You can also simply share helpful wellness information that encourages employees to try new healthy habits.
Regardless of how you choose to use your wellness portal, you can’t deny that it’s a great tool to have in your tool belt. A portal can simplify your program and enhance what you’re trying to do in employee wellness.
To really get the most of your wellness portal, you’ll need to find a portal that fits, make it your homebase, give it employee value and encourage engagement.
Do you use a wellness portal in your program? If not, why? We’d like to hear in the comments below!