February 17, 2014

Target and Safeway Adopt Gamified Wellness Programs

Target, Safeway, and website creation firm Wix are the latest companies to launch major health and wellness initiatives for their employees. The firms are partnering with gamification company Keas, whose other clients include Salesforce, Cheesecake Factory, and Pzifer. Keas specializes in the gamification of wellness platforms by creating ways for companies to reward their employees for making healthy lifestyle choices.

Such initiatives can be win-win scenarios for large companies. While they represent an extra cost, Keas is quick to point out the long-term financial benefits these programs can provide. They tweet:

Keas also markets its platform as a way to create “a fun, social and supportive environment” that will engage millennial workers.

Keas’ focus on millennial engagement makes sense, given its recent partnership with wearable device-maker Fitbit and the growing popularity of activity tracking devices. Employees that own Fitbits can automatically sync their data to Keas’ platform, instead of manually entering their daily activities. Keas’ then creates visual representations of their activity, and charts long-term trends in their health.

According to Keas’ press release, Target will be making the program available to all of its employees, including those not eligible for standard full-time health benefits. There’s no mention of what types of incentives will be provided, but the program allows for a variety of custom rewards. It also functions as a social network, where users can post wellness-related updates, and share inspirational articles or healthy recipes. Employees can also create challenges, and compete against coworkers for badges or rewards.

Safeway and Target add to Keas’ growing list of Fortune 500 clients. As wellness gamification programs have proven successful at engaging employees and generating positive press, more large companies will likely adopt similar measures.

Does your workplace have a wellness program? Tell us about it in the comments.

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