Companies a returning to employee wellness programs to encourage workers to make healthier choices. In addition to saving costs through reduced absenteeism, companies also find that these programs can result in higher morale and better employee retention. A lot goes into developing and implementing an employee wellness program, however, which is why many companies are turning to outside services to run these programs.

One such provider is hubbub health, based in Portland, Oregon. The company specializes in working with credit unions, and recently announced that it is working with CUES (Credit Union Executives Society) on a program for their employees. The hubbub platform works with mobile devices and integrates data from wearable devices from Fitbit, Jawbone, Withings, and Moves. It creates individualized challenges for each participating employee in five different areas: Move, Nourish, Life Balance, Mingle, and Rewind. The system allows families and friends to participate at no cost in the program, as the company has found that social interaction helps with participation and program retention. The hubbub platform even automates incentive rewards for employees who meet specified goals.

This approach gives corporate executives and managers helpful information about their employees in aggregate, which can guide policy decisions and help track the effects of the wellness program. While some questions remain about what incentives (and penalties) are permitted under the current conflicting laws that govern such wellness programs, it is likely that a third-party service like this may be in a good position to remain current on the latest requirements for compliance.