By going beyond traditional “measuring and tracking” methods and offering modern, video-based programs that empower employees to address a range of mind/body goals, top employers are making the pursuit of health and wellness more engaging and fun — and more rewarding for everyone.
Founder and CEO of Grokker, panelist at the upcoming #HRTechConf and one of Human Resource Executive’s Top 100 HR Tech Influencers of 2019, Lorna Borenstein is the driving force behind Grokker, “the video-first total workforce engagement solution employees love.” Lorna is also one of the most successful female founders in Silicon Valley.
Here, we chat with Lorna about today’s whole-person approach to workforce engagement.
Q: How did you get the idea for Grokker?
A: As a working mom, I was personally struggling with how to fit wellbeing into my life. I didn’t have time to go to the gym or the yoga studio — it felt like everyone had these unrealistic expectations of what I needed to do and nobody was helping me. I wanted to help people who have no time, like me, and who are busier than ever.
With the proliferation of smartphones, tablets, and connected TV, I could see that video was going to be consumed more than ever and that people were loving it. It was the right time for an enterprise wellbeing app that would be video-centric, available on-demand, and wasn’t going to feel like a chore.
Q: What is the role of wellbeing in today’s workplace?
A: Employees are struggling. They’re sitting more, eating worse, sleeping less, and stressing out. They’re grappling with conditions like high blood pressure, obesity, and depression, and they’re not bringing 100% to work — they’re not engaged — and it’s costing employers billions in lost productivity. Building a culture of wellbeing that gives employees the permission to take care of themselves is what’s required to create a happier, healthier, more productive work environment and an engaged workforce.
Q: What should HR professionals do to help cultivate workforce wellbeing?
A: Employers are in a unique position to help employees get happier and healthier with personalized programs that let them explore the different dimensions of wellbeing: emotional, physical, and social connectedness. Wellbeing is a moving target that means something a little different to everyone — and that’s why there’s no such thing as a truly effective one-size-fits-all workforce wellbeing program. Each employee needs to find what works for them today, in this moment.
Q: What’s critical for wellbeing program adoption and engagement?
A: Employers should make it easy for employees to improve their health in small steps, with digital tools they can access anywhere. The key is to provide a compelling, entertaining experience using modern consumer technologies that deliver feel-good wins from the very beginning and that can be repeated at the right intervals to reinforce what eventually becomes a habit. And it’s here that we see the healthy lifestyle changes that fuel a happier, more engaged and productive workforce.
Q: When it comes to employee wellbeing and engagement, what do companies need to consider as we enter the 2020s?
A: It's an exciting time to shift thinking from "How can I get biometric measurements?" to "How can I leverage wellbeing strategically to support employee engagement?” As the workforce becomes increasingly diverse and dispersed, it’s only going to become more critical to offer benefits that are truly inclusive, easy to implement and adopt, and lead to real results — and that employees genuinely enjoy.
Plus, with the increased focus on the importance of wellbeing benefits in attracting and retaining top talent, digital content and personalization tools are a necessity. Employees expect access on their terms and want benefits that fit into their lives, making their wellbeing journeys more fun, successful, and rewarding.