From the Pandemic to the "Pan-Didn't": A New Approach to Wellbeing - Virgin Pulse

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From the Pandemic to the “Pan-Didn’t”: A New Approach to Wellbeing

October 20, 2021 / Corporate Wellness

Written By: Jordan Dunne

First, it was COVID-19. Then mental health. And now, delayed healthcare screenings. We’re facing compounding pandemics, and it’s threatening the health of workforces everywhere.  

A study conducted by Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, and NPR revealed that 1 in 5 Americans skipped their annual physical, missed screenings, or otherwise delayed preventive care during the COVID crisis. That same study showed that nearly 6 in 10 of those who delayed care have already experienced adverse health consequences as a result.  

We’re rapidly approaching a “pan-didn’t”—a new healthcare crisis that brings with it worsened health outcomes, late-stage diagnoses, and skyrocketing healthcare costs for employees and employers alike. 

This October, our Senior Vice President of Business Development, Laura Walmsley, joined Sarah Plaster, Director of Organizational Communications at Aflac, for an interactive discussion at Ragan Communication’s Internal Communications and Culture Next Practices Conference. Their session touched upon the evolution of workplace wellbeing during COVID-19 and how the growth of digital health is arming us for the “pan-didn’t.” 

Here are our top 4 takeaways: 

1. Wellbeing has taken its place as a top workplace priority.

The employee-employer relationship has changed. Workers expect more support from their employer, prompting workplace leaders to acknowledge the critical role wellbeing plays in the workplace. “I think when we look back on the pandemic, the pandemic will have been a great accelerator on many fronts, from virtual meetings to wellness,” said Sarah Plaster. 

2. Employers are moving from point solutions to wellness ecosystems. 

 In response to the rapidly emerging needs of the workforce, employers invested in several highly specific point solutions, leading to a disjointed and ineffective wellbeing experience. Sarah Plaster observed that with “things converging and tech making a better wellbeing and connected health [experience],” it’s time to simplify our approach. Laura Walmsley also pointed out that employees expect “an experience that pulls all of that convenience into a trusted place.”  To address the “pan-didn’t,” employers need to unify their point solutions into a simplified wellbeing ecosystem. 

3. From where we work to how we engage with healthcare and more, the future is “hybrid everything.”  

Offering a combination of digital health tools and high-touch resources like coaching will keep employees connected to their health and wellbeing needs. People have different goals, needs, and preferences. Laura Walmsley noted that “providing that personal preference is a really important part of moving forward.” 

4. Personalization and individualization are critical to improving health outcomes.  

Part of the driving force behind the “pan-didn’t” is many people’s lack of understanding about their healthcare needs. According to Laura Walmsley, the best way to help employees identify their risks and take action is to “empower our people with a path to embodying their own best kind of future of owning their health and wellbeing.” 

Motivate your employees to own their health and wellbeing by bringing your wellbeing investments together in one easy-to-navigate, highly personalized Homebase for Health®Request a demo today 


About The Author

Jordan Dunne is a copywriter and editor on the marketing team at Virgin Pulse, focusing on social strategy and health and wellbeing content. Outside of work, you can find her at the gym, hosting trivia, taking photos of food, or snuggling up on the couch with her dogs.

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