How a national employer increased engagement and improved well-being
Customer Success Story
How one employer drove down rising health care costs and improved workforce well-being with ProChange’s evidence-based behavior change solutions and a compelling engagement strategy.
A national company was faced with a scenario that is all too familiar to employers—a sedentary workforce with a high rate of unhealthy behavior leading to rising health care costs. The primarily male, blue-collar employees were also much older than average, and the majority were overweight. Of particular concern, almost a third had three or more behavioral risks. They understood that poor worker health can lead to lost workplace productivity, absenteeism, and chronic conditions.
The employer wanted their employees to live better, healthier lives at work and at home. They needed an effective solution to address these behavioral health issues, but were also concerned about driving engagement. Historically, its employees were not motivated to engage in workplace well-being programs and they were geographically dispersed across 20 U.S. locations. It was also imperative to reach and effectively engage benefit-eligible spouses who were impacting their rising health care costs.
The employer wanted an evidence-based behavior change solution that was easy-to-implement, addressed the specific health risks faced by their workforce, and could effectively reach employees and spouses regardless of their location. In addition, they sought an engagement strategy that would not only attract initial participation, but also drive long-term retention.
After consideration of several options, ProChange was selected to provide the solution. Its scientifically-proven suite of software-as-a-service (SAAS) behavior change programs, now known as aleta™, was able to be quickly deployed to spouses and employees at all locations. This comprehensive online solution addressed all of the client’s specific risk areas.
Intelligently designed to change behavior using proven algorithms, aleta™ programs have been demonstrated to be effective in randomized control trials, which gave the client confidence they would achieve the desired results. Further, aleta™ programs have been shown to simultaneously impact multiple behavior risks—a prevalent issue within this population. Finally, the robust reporting dashboard and on-demand aggregate reports allow the client to visualize and track the organization’s success in the workforce’s behavior change journey over time.
Once the suite of solutions was implemented and available, employees and spouses first engaged in aleta’s™ Health Risk Intervention (HRI). In addition to assessing a full scope of health risks, the HRI also captured their readiness to change and provided immediate evidence-based, personalized feedback about the single most important strategy to make progress on each health risk behavior. Based on their health risks, participants were then guided into aleta’s™ individual programs addressing specific risk areas, including smoking, healthy eating, fruit and vegetable intake, exercise, stress management, depression prevention, and more. Within each program, scientifically validated assessments, algorithms, and tailored feedback activated the participant’s change process to drive the desired behavior change for each specific behavioral risk. Future sessions recognized and reflected participant’s progress and provided updated, individualized feedback and strategies to foster additional healthy behavior change.
Driving participant engagement involved a two-pronged approach. First, the aleta™ solutions themselves are designed to be engaging from the inside out, because their behavior change algorithms provide fully tailored feedback, making for a very individualized, engaging, and highly relevant user experience. Second, ProChange consulted on the design of an engagement strategy that would drive participation and retention. Collaboratively with the client and its primary consulting partner, ProChange made recommendations for an incentive model based on favorable plan design for participation in which costs of insurance were fully covered for participants.
In order to achieve its goals, the client wanted to positively change the health behaviors of its employees and their spouses who were at risk for key health behaviors. Success was achieved when at-risk employees took action and adopted behaviors that met applicable public health criteria. As a result of implementing the ProChange solutions, the client realized impressive results, even exceeding published results from randomized control trials. Among those at risk:
Met guidelines for regular exercise
Adopted healthy eating habits
Increased their fruit & vegetable intake to recommended levels
Began effectively managing their stress
Began preventing depression
The improved health behaviors also had a measurable impact on cholesterol levels. Of those participants at risk and borderline at risk, there were reductions in total cholesterol and LDLs of 17.4% and 17.6% respectively.
Efforts to drive engagement also paid off in a big way. Over a five-year period, the client achieved over 90% participation of its eligible population of close to 7,000 individuals. And, the average period of participation was four years.
The capstone of these results was the impact on the employer’s health care costs. The company’s health care spend had risen every year prior to implementing this solution. But after implementing ProChange’s aleta™, the client’s health care costs were brought under control, and for the first time the company’s health care spend did not increase.