Thursday, September 28, 2017

2017 HERO Forum Recap: 3 Noteworthy Topics

At the recent HERO forum in Arizona the theme of the conference was engagement. While we were there to highlight the success of one of partners – Cleveland Clinic – I took the time to attend other sessions and three specific issues struck a chord with me…unlike the 108 degree temperature outside!

1. “Small-e” engagement versus “Big-E” engagement.

During the opening remarks Paul Terry, HERO CEO, introduced this interesting concept, essentially making the point that not all engagement is made equal.

In his words, when we are simply going through the motions from day to day we are only participating – “small-e” engagement. However, when there is a positive state of mind that drives dedication in a behavior then there is purpose - “Big-E” engagement. Similarly, not all wellness initiatives are made equal in terms of driving health risk reduction.

While it may feel good to have employees involved in completing an HRA, or attending a lunch ‘n learn, these type of one-time actions have very little impact on overall population health.

On the other hand, creating an environment where employees are physically active year-round can have a huge impact on both individual and aggregate health outcomes.

Where the right type of engagement is critical to employers is when financial rewards are on the line – having incentives pointed at “small – e” not “Big-E” behaviors can be a costly mistake.

2. Acting on real time data.

Jeremy Corbett (CEO Envolve) was among a number of speakers who shared examples of how the collection and analysis of real time data allowed clients to impact the on-going engagement of their programs.

He highlighted this acts on a number of levels – at a base level knowing who is registered or enrolled helps to highlight those who are non-engaged. Digging deeper into the detail of those who are actively participating allows you to identify those who are compliant or successful with the behaviors or actions versus those who may be struggling.

Different communications can be prepared for each sub-group focusing on the issues that are likely to keep them or help them become successful. Having access to real time data is therefore one key element in developing a comprehensive engagement strategy.

3. Community volunteering. 

Stephen Post (Director & Founder of the Center for Medical Humanities) spoke about the positive impact of doing the right thing – “It’s good 2B good”.

For instance, volunteering is clearly doing the right thing for others, but I was also excited to hear the research that shows the impact on those who are also “giving” of their time and resources. Studies highlighted that volunteering provided meaning and purpose to the volunteers.

In an employment setting research was shared that showed employees who volunteered in the community were both healthier and more productive than those who did not. Even more interesting for organizations was the finding that when the employer sponsored the time off for employees to volunteer, 76% of those participating felt better about their employer.

It was encouraging to hear thought-leaders at the Health Enhancement Research Organization support concepts and ideas that we have incorporated as core to our philosophies here at Motion Connected. We strive to engage populations in meaningful behaviors, collect and deliver real time data, and integrate any community or local based activity that promotes employee health and productivity.

Author: Dave Hoinville
Director of Business Development