Emerging employee wellness trends for 2020

Each year brings a fresh set of emerging trends in the employee wellness industry, and according to population health management company Medikeeper, there are four on the horizon for 2020 — all of which focus on driving employees and member engagement.

Considering employee engagement is a vital part in determining the success of a company’s wellness program, it’s no surprise that trends focused on participant engagement are still so important. Looking to 2020, there are four trends organizations should consider: psychographic profiling, tailored experience, the importance of platforms over point solution programs, and musculoskeletal health.

Here’s a deeper look into each.

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Simply put, psychographic profiling is a way of understanding the motivation behind someone’s actions based on personality traits. When it comes to wellness programs, this information can be used to help wellness administrators approach health concerns in a way that is most likely to spur the person in question to take action.

By presenting the information in an appropriate manner that resonates with the person’s psychographic profile, organizations can increase engagement within their wellness program; this differs from prior practices in which everyone received the same message.

Targeting employees based on personality type increases the probability of seeing higher engagement. People typically fall into one of five categories — self-achievers, balance seekers, priority jugglers, direction takers, and willful endurers — which can be determined by a simple 12-statement survey.

Self-achievers are task-oriented and proactive in taking care of their health by staying up-to-date on checkups and health screenings. Balance seekers are also proactive about maintaining health, but like to consider all of their options and base their choices on exploring the most information possible.

Priority jugglers are often too busy with other responsibilities to focus on their own health, but are concerned with their family’s health and want them to get the care they need. Direction takers don’t have a particular viewpoint on healthcare and trust the guidance of their doctors or other health professionals. Willful endurers believe there are more important concerns than their current health and avoid going to the doctor unless absolutely necessary.

Understanding these profiles can help an organization better understand the individual, and target them specifically to drive their engagement.


Wellness administrators can increase engagement by enabling “triggers” to ensure that the right information is reaching the right people, thereby creating a tailored experience.

With the use of these triggers — which can be connected to health risk assessments, biometric data, claims data and personal preferences set by the user — an organization can direct the user to the appropriate and relevant resources. This can range from information about exercise and weight loss to stress management and mental health.

In short, a wellness portal should be personalized; there’s no need to send mass notifications about a smoking cessation program, for example, if only a small percentage of employees are smokers. But if someone mentions in their health risk assessment that they want help quitting, it would be helpful to them to receive a prompt to take part in smoking cessation coaching.


Platforms are establishing themselves as a strong solution for the wellness industry due to their all-inclusive approach to managing population health. Point solution programs, which require users to log into multiple apps or websites to view all of their healthcare information, are time-consuming and difficult to navigate, while platforms gather all the information in one place to better serve the individual.

From biometric screenings, health risk assessment results and claims data to targeted content and digital coaching, incentives and challenges, platforms display health data in a single integrated place, leading users to be more likely to be engaged in their healthcare.

Point solutions, once popular in the enterprise environment, are making way for solutions that offer a consistent user experience within the organization.


As one of the biggest health costs for employers, muscular skeletal health is an increasingly hot topic, according to Medikeeper. While it’s most often associated with manual labor jobs, office workers aren’t completely risk-free either.

It’s important to not only address how to recover from injuries but also to educate employees on how to prevent injuries and pain that may lead to expensive future treatments. The tools needed to do so will vary depending on the job. For example, a desk worker will need different stretches and exercises than a truck driver.

One of the best ways to provide this information to users is through a wellness portal,which can recommend exercises and stretches to prevent injury, as well as set up a virtual telehealth session with a physical therapist, who can recommend a list of activities to perform at home or at the office to lower the risk of injury.

Twitter: @JELagasse

Email the writer: jeff.lagasse@himssmedia.com