Digital Health Adoption for Blue-Collar and Manufacturing Workforces

In designing your company’s benefits, picture an employee who wears a fitness tracker, uses social media, and is hooked to their mobile phone.

While you could have envisioned someone in a corporate office, you probably did not think of a factory worker, a construction engineer or a manufacturing laborer.

At Jiff, we pay close attention to these professions when crafting our benefits solutions, because we know they compose a large percent of our clients’ workforce. It’s fundamental to our vision. Understandably, when planning technology rollouts to blue-collar workforces, many of our customers ask questions around employee smartphone use, fitness tracker adoption, email communications and demonstrated results.

Below, we address some of the most common questions:

Smartphone Adoption in the United States

According to a Pew Research Poll, as of 2015, 64% of adults in the United States have a smartphone. Furthermore, 67% percent of smartphone users already engage in social activities such as sharing pictures, video or commentary.

Chances are your employees are more tech-savvy than most people think.

But what about more labor intensive jobs?

According to a survey published by Equipment World in 2014, construction worker smartphone adoption paralleled that of the broader market, as 66% of contractor respondents owned a smartphone. Among contractors with a smartphone, 89% used email and 72% used apps. This level of adoption shows the ubiquity of such technology that enables Jiff’s solution. Whether your workforce is in construction or in a similar labor intensive job, the chances are your employees are more tech-savvy than most people think.

And if I have an employee who doesn’t have a smartphone?

Employees without mobile phones can access Jiff’s enterprise health benefits platform via desktop computers as well. Our partners, like Fitbit and Jawbone, allow for desktop synchronization to track steps. Our web platform provides the same features, opportunities and rewards that our mobile experience provides, enabling users through multiple means the ability to engage in their health in a meaningful and productive way.

Fitness Trackers

What if my employees don’t own a fitness tracker already?

The Jiff Store, which rests in the platform, provides employees the opportunity to order a fitness tracker of their choosing. As Jiff partners with a number of device manufacturers, employees can choose what is best for their individual  needs. Additionally, we fulfill the order, so there is no need for your benefits team to hold inventory or distribute these trackers. We’ll send the trackers to the preferred address of the employee.

What if my employees aren’t the first to jump at buying a tracker? What do you recommend?

We’ve found three approaches successful in increasing adoption and overall engagement by employees:

  1. Employer subsidy: This approach is a credit you the employer can budget into each user’s profile on the Jiff Store. This subsidy can be any amount you choose, incentivizing the employee to shop for a tracker at a discount or free right from his or her phone.
  2. Phone-based step tracking: If your employee has an iPhone, even without a fitness tracker, she can link her Apple Health account to Jiff and earn activity points for steps. Therefore, as long as the employee carries the smartphone on her person throughout the day, Jiff can reward activity.
  3. Rewards center: You decide the prizes for the Rewards center and many employers have used this flexibility to make available fitness trackers to their employees for points they’ve earned. For example, someone could use her phone’s step-counter to earn points that are redeemed for a Fitbit.

Electronic Communications

We don’t have individual employee email addresses. How can we reach those employees??

We’ve worked with a number of employers where email is shared across departments as well as employers where there are no work emails for significant segments of their workforce. With Jiff, your employee can sign up with his or her personal email, while maintaining security through an employer-level verification process. Our communication efforts and outreach with your employees can be done a number of ways beyond email, including physical posters and mailings.

Jiff’s Track Record

Our approach is uniquely tailored to these employers, so to reach their employees through workplace materials and events.

Have you found success with manufacturing employers?

Yes! We have found significant adoption and engagement across a number of customers that employ labor-intensive workforces. Our approach is uniquely tailored to these employers, so to reach their employees through workplace materials and events. We work with the benefits coordinators at these firms to best deploy communications prior and subsequent to enrollment.

What if my employees are older and in a manufacturing setting?

We’ve successfully engaged this exact workforce. Below is an example of an industrial leader in manufacturing. First, a snapshot of their workforce adoption demographics, in which an older workforce drove an overall adoption rate of 76%. Blue indicates adopters, grey reflects non-adopters:

In order to get this adoption rate, Jiff developed materials and communications to distribute in highly visible locations. Then, as you can see below, Jiff accelerated adoption after initial enrollment as more and more employees became aware of the program. This graph shows a five month adoption curve from launch:

As you can see in the graph above, Jiff pulled two different levers in conjunction to drive engagement: Jiff’s Launchpad service plus Jiff’s Challenges. Challenges (“Winter Warm Up” in this case) drove awareness about two months into the deployment of the Launchpad platform.

With an eye on employee benefits and wellness, Jiff successfully engaged a blue collar workforce in their benefits. Jiff provided these employees a meaningful solution that resulted in significant adoption.