NEW YORK and SCOTTSDALE, Ariz., March 26, 2013 – New research released today by Buck Consultants, A Xerox Company and WorldatWork reveals that employers are committed to using new technologies to promote health engagement and achieve desired employee behavior changes. The study, “Emerging Technology in Health Engagement,” examined the current use and future potential for three key technologies: gamification, mobile apps and social media.
Among the three solutions studied, gamification is the most prevalent (62 percent) and ranks highest in employers’ perception of effectiveness. Thirty-one percent likely will adopt one or more new gamification elements in the coming year. Social networking is used in some fashion by 50 percent of organizations, but ranks highest in concerns over privacy of personal information. Mobile technology is the least implemented (36 percent) but leads the pack as the highest priority for future adoption or expansion (40 percent).
The survey also found that, while 73 percent of responding organizations have a health engagement strategy in place, measurement of communication effectiveness and return on investment (ROI) is lacking.
Nearly half of all respondents believe mobile technology will be the most frequently adopted technology by employers during the next two years, yet only 11 percent measure ROI on mobile apps and social media initiatives. Just twenty-one percent measure ROI on gamification technologies.
“The lack of measurement is due, in part, to the fact that many companies are using third parties, such as health insurers and wellness program vendors, to handle various aspects of their wellness programs,” said Lenny Sanicola, CBP, senior benefits practice leader, WorldatWork. “These companies should direct their vendors to better engage employees and to collaborate on measuring effectiveness.”
By far the greatest barrier preventing organizations from using these new technologies is competition from higher-priority issues in their budgets (71 percent for gamification, 73 percent for mobile technology and 68 percent for social networking). Lack of support from senior management and the absence of a technique for measuring effectiveness were also identified as barriers across all categories. In addition, 43 percent of respondents said they blocked some or all social networking or social media websites from their organization’s computers.
“Today’s health care benefits require individuals to absorb an increasing share of expanding health care costs,” said Scot Marcotte, managing director of talent and HR solutions at Buck. “Technology offers unprecedented ways for employers to motivate and enable employees to become more effective health care consumers. But employers need to better understand what drives their workers to make the desired changes.”
More than 360 employers participated in the survey, conducted jointly by Buck and WorldatWork in the fall of 2012. More than half of the respondents were multinational organizations. The median employer size was 2,500 employees, but 11 percent had a workforce in excess of 100,000.
About Buck Consultants
Buck Consultants, A Xerox Company, is a leader in human resource and benefits consulting with more than 1,500 professionals worldwide. Founded in 1916 to advise clients in establishing and funding some of the nation’s first public and private retirement programs, Buck is an innovator in the areas of retirement benefits, health and welfare programs, talent and human resources solutions, compensation, and employee communication. News and other information about Buck Consultants are available at http://www.buckconsultants.com. For open commentary and industry perspectives, visit http://blog.buckconsultants.com/ and https://twitter.com/buckconsultants.
With sales approaching $23 billion, Xerox (NYSE: XRX) is the world’s leading enterprise for business process and document management. Its technology, expertise and services enable workplaces – from small businesses to large global enterprises – to simplify the way work gets done so they operate more effectively and focus more on what matters most: their real business. Headquartered in Norwalk, Conn., Xerox offers business process outsourcing and IT outsourcing services, including data processing, healthcare solutions, HR benefits management, finance support, transportation solutions, and customer relationship management services for commercial and government organizations worldwide. The company also provides extensive leading-edge document technology, services, software and genuine Xerox supplies for graphic communication and office printing environments of any size. The 140,000 people of Xerox serve clients in more than 160 countries. For more information, visit http://www.xerox.com, http://news.xerox.com or http://www.realbusiness.com. For investor information, visit http://www.xerox.com/investor.
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WorldatWork (http://www.worldatwork.org) is a nonprofit human resources association for professionals and organizations focused on compensation, benefits, work-life effectiveness and total rewards – strategies to attract, motivate and retain an engaged and productive workforce. WorldatWork and its affiliates provide comprehensive education, certification, research, advocacy and community, enhancing careers of professionals and, ultimately, achieving better results for the organizations they serve. WorldatWork has more than 65,000 members and subscribers worldwide; 95 percent of Fortune 500 companies employ a WorldatWork member. Founded in 1955, WorldatWork is affiliated with more than 70 local human resources associations and has offices in Scottsdale, Ariz., and Washington, D.C.
Note: The survey report “Emerging Technology in Health Engagement” is available to the media by contacting Ed Gadowski at +1-910-253-9816 or [email protected] It is available to other interested parties at no cost at http://query.buckconsultants.com/technology-health-engagement-survey.
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