Drive Positive Employee Experiences in 2017

employee wellbeing and engagement in 2017

Driving Positive Employee Experiences in the New Year

The year 2017 is here. Meaning the last few weeks the Internet was abuzz with predictions for what this new calendar year may bring with it.

Highlights from the HR, wellbeing and engagement spaces include:

Josh Bersin predicts that 2017 will be the year organizations take a truly holistic view of their HR programs and initiatives and connect the dots between wellbeing and engagement.

Forrester Research foresees next year as being intensely fierce in the competition for talent and that engagement technologies will be instrumental in improving employee and customer experiences. Forrester also believes that leveraging Millennials as early adopters is key to improving productivity.

  • Virgin Pulse Science Advisory Board members each offered their thoughts on potential highlights in 2017, including a shift from the ROI to VOI model, an increase in wearable technology usage, and personalization of wellbeing programs.

By many accounts, 2017 is seen as THE year in which the wellbeing and engagement realms converge, with markets consolidating to create a new HR ecosystem in which employee engagement resides at the top of the food chain.

It has the potential to be a whole new world. A new frontier. We not only hope the year lives up to the hype, we dare you to do your part to make it so. How? By accepting our challenge:

Make employee wellbeing your top priority in 2017.

By challenging organizations to put the spotlight on employee wellbeing, 2017 will become the year that organizations embrace the employee experience as their most significant differentiator. Not only does a continuous, positive employee experience inspire healthy, happy employees, it drives engagement and culture, and significantly impacts business performance.

The world of work could use more than a little inspiration. For the last decade, employee engagement has remained stagnant in the U.S., dwelling around 30%. Globally, engagement is even worse with just 13% of employees worldwide claiming they are engaged in their jobs.

Much of this is rooted in the employee experience – the social contract between employer and employees that reflects the terms of engagement between each party. Today, that contract is broken, with employees feeling overwhelmed, undervalued, and little connection to their organization’s mission and purpose.

As a result, many employees – most, in fact – are simply not engaged and therefore unwilling to go the extra mile for their employers. This has a significant and detrimental impact on employees and on the business.

In 2017, let’s recognize collectively that in order to curb this global epidemic and realize new levels of organizational performance, we must be intentional and consistent in creating environments and workplaces where we provide daily experiences that make employees feel valued, supported and purpose-driven. When employees have access to and engage in experiences every day that reinforce what matters most to them – health, sleep, social connection, personal relationships, learning new things, financial wellbeing, sense of purpose and accomplishment, and so forth – they are happier and healthier, both personally and professionally, and more likely to exhibit high levels of engagement across all aspects of their life.

This self-reinforcing process optimizes as more employees participate. And, when enough employees participate, entire cultures change – for the better.

Employee wellbeing is the very foundation of the employee experience and critical for business success. In 2017, employers must demonstrate that they care about the total wellbeing of all employees, beyond health and beyond benefits. After all, if we aren’t well in all aspects of our lives, we cannot be engaged; and if we aren’t engaged, we won’t achieve peak individual and organizational performance.

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Technology can help you extend wellbeing and scale your employee experience

Technology plays an important role in your employee wellbeing program. Delivering a consistent, simplified employee experience that engages employees in all aspects of their wellbeing, while also promoting your organization’s culture, mission and purpose, can be incredibly difficult. This is where technology can help.

In 2017, look at how you can extend your wellbeing initiatives and wellbeing technology platform to:

  • Segment, target and reward employees based on their specific interests, actions and goals;
  • Serve as a hub, or one-stop shop, for all of your HR and benefits programs;
  • Act as a communications platform across all employees;
  • Allow your organization to amplify your culture and mission through customized experiences and content

At Virgin Pulse, we’re committed to engaging employees and igniting better businesses around the world by helping organizations deliver employee experiences that matter. It’s mission critical for us. Join us in making it your organization’s top priority this year.

Here’s to the journey and a great 2017.

Ready to optimize your employees’ experience in 2017? Access our Best of 2016 Content Toolkit to hit the ground running.


Bryan Mahoney is the Director of Content Marketing at Virgin Pulse. He brings more than a decade’s worth of experience as a content producer and blends his interests in all things wellbeing to help organizations become the best places to work. A former marathon champ, he now balances running with family by constantly chasing after his two-year-old daughter.