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Glassdoor for Health and Fitness Rating (UPDATED 29.01.13)

Glassdoor exists already as a fantastic forum for employees to contribute and read insider opinions of working environments. Why not add a specific function for rating and describing a company's attitude to workplace health and fitness?

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UPDATES:

1 -  Many thanks to all who took part in the brief survey on sharing health data. The results as of 27.01.13 have been collated and published above. The survey will be kept open though. Comments on analysis and how this can clarify the necessary refinement process are very welcome!

2 - Refinement completed for now. A prototype stemming from Valerie's comments on Free Health Days has been added above in the image gallery, and is also described below, under the last question heading.

Many thanks to all who have contributed on the threads (Wout particularly for the great original visualization of the mockup Glassdoor page) in the comment section below, and especially Asma and Nadine for their own concepts which have made this one so much richer. 

Original Concept:

Team up with Glassdoor to push Health and Fitness up the agenda for companies considering how best to attract new talent. It would require a small bit of software engineering and a little marketing.

On overall rating could be gauged from a series of questions relating to overtime worked, general benefits including health and dental insurance provided, discount membership at gyms etc, and how active or passive the company is in caring for the well-being of its employees.
 
Update:
 
On discovering Nadine's 'How Does My Health Compare' proposal, I began to think about the benefits of being able to compare the actual health measurements (anonymously) of employees between companies.
 
Scenario 1: You are weighing up two job offers, of similar salaries from similar large companies (A and B) in the same field. On looking at factors like BMI, Blood pressures, aerobic fitness and fat percentage, you might notice that Company A is slightly ahead in all of these areas. As a large accountancy firm, it may well still fall a long way behind other employers, as it has an older demographic. But the point is, by comparing like for like, you might be able to deduce that the company with the better all round health standings will be better for your own health.
 
Scenario 2: Company B looks at Company A managing to seduce all the best student talent on the University Milk Round. Although B offers a slightly higher starting salary, and they are indisutingushable in terms of professional experience, why is A winning the recuitment war? A has been looking after its employees much better, and the results show on Glassdoor Health Rating. Upon realising this, B decides to up it's game and implement health and fitness reforms across the board for all its employees.

Many thanks to Wout Helsmoortel for his additional thoughts and also for providing a great mock-up of how the addition to Glassdoor would look.

What are the benefits of your concept for the individual and the employer?

Individuals get to know more about how the working environment at each company effects an employee's health, fitness and well-being, before applying or agreeing to work for companies. Companies open up another avenue (or at least drastically widen an existing one) for attracting talent; if they truly to care it will shine through in reviews. Companies and employees can begin to assess over time whether their performance improves or declines, and adjust their policies appropriately. CULTURAL SEA CHANGE: As individuals and companies learn more about the direct relationship between working environments and health and well-being, they will learn to work together to achieve mutually beneficial healthier workplaces, homes and communities

What might the impact of your concept be and how might it be measured?

Initially, the immediate auditory impact would be easy to assess by observing how many contributors choose to complete a review of their company's heath and fitness rating. Over time, it would be interesting to see whether the increase in accessibility of this information leads to positive changes in the workplace. The clear potential benefits could comprise of, but are not limited to, the following: 1. Quantitive reading of the impact of certain jobs/industries on Health and Well-being 2. Comparative reading of the impact of certain companies on Health and Well-being 3. Deeper individual understanding of comparative Health, Fitness and Well-being in the context of others in the same company/office/industry.

How might your concept be designed to scale and spread to reach as many people as possible?

The scalability of the concept is only limited to the scale of Glassdoor, which now has over 10m users in at least 165 countries. The impact of this additional feature could be truly global. In reference to the prototype outlined below, Glassdoor would perhaps need to find other public and private healthcare providers to partner with in countries outside the UK, in order to collect health data the same way. However, there are no such barriers to the collection of information regarding company benefits and working environments.

How might you design a small experiment around your concept that would mobilise action?

Thanks to the suggestions of Valerie, and by building on the concepts of Asma and Nadine, it's been possible to outline a prototype involving Mobile Health Units visiting companies to collect data from employees in exchange for a free health check-up. The steps are as follows: 1. BUPA HEALTH BUS Bupa Mobile Health Units make a series of visits to Business parks and Towers containing multiple businesses. Passers-by are offered a free health check-up on condition of signing up to Glassdoor. (VIRTUOUS FEEDBACK CYCLE: Glassdoor benefits from all the additional members that BUPA is responsible for signing up, so can be expected to contribute towards costs. If these economics do not work for Glassdoor and BUPA on their own, there is room for other companies to sponsor the Health Bus visits; it would be a great demonstration of CSR) 2. COMPANY PROFILES While waiting in line a few minutes for their free check-up, employees are asked to create a basic Glassdoor profile, and submit information on their company’s Health and Fitness provisions / benefits. 3. VITALS MEASURED Employess recieve a free check-up with a BUPA Health Care Professional, who takes measurements of BMI, Blood Pressure, Resting Heart Rate and Fat Percentage. 4. DATA VOLUNTEERED As a follow up to completing their free check-up, employees are sent an email containing all of their basic health data. They can then choose to volunteer their data anonymously using a One-Click link that takes them directly to their new or existing Glassdoor profile. 5. COMPARE HEALTH & FITNESS DATA & BENEFITS Individuals and Companies can now compare and contrast their Health and Fitness Benefits across companies, offices and industries, as well as their actual health and well-being data, as displayed on their Glassdoor profile.

31 comments

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Photo of Fei Xin
Team

Awesome idea! I hope that it can be implement as soon as possible. I am looking forward to hear more informations about that.

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Photo of Meena Kadri
Team

Hey there James – If you're interested in pursuing your idea further, you might want to check out the Knight News Challenge. They're focusing on the topic of health and the winning entries will receive grant funding to bring ideas to life. You can check it out here http://kng.ht/1aunB0h.

Spam
Photo of James Robertson
Team

Thanks very much for all the contributions below, and especially the other concepts that helped grow this. Hope they can all be built into anything that materializes from here. Am a bit far away from the UK (and Bupa) to be much help on the ground in making a start, but am happy to carry on developing the idea if anyone makes contact!

Spam
Photo of James Robertson
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Hello Virtual Team! And All... I have created a quick survey on Survey Monkey - just 10 questions. Would appreciate if you can all circulate it (and take part!) so we can get some initial feedback and refine this a little more accurately! Any suggestions more more question or variations would be most welcome too!

http://www.surveymonkey.com/s/KFQPNGT

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DeletedUser

Just took it! And will send to some of my peers. Awesome idea!

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Photo of James Robertson
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Thanks Adam! Am hoping to get around 100 or so responses inside a day or two... it's taking a fair bit of 'cold calling'! Any help is hugely appreciated! Will share all the results soon.. they are pretty interesting so far though!

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Photo of James Robertson
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Whoever posted the below in response to the 'describe your benefits' question, please contact me the minute you start hiring!!!

'Free Gym Subscription, Free Health Check Ups, Free Dental Care, Free Medical Care, Massage on call, Free Mental Health/Therapist, Free Ergonomist, Free Yoga and Well Being, Free New Year Cleansing Programme'

Spam
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DeletedUser

How many survey responses do you have so far?

Spam
Photo of James Robertson
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Nudging 40...

Spam
Photo of Meena Kadri
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Awesome James. And glad to see you're getting a push on Twitter for this. Wow – that place does sound amazing – especially the massage on call!

We love it when OpenIDEATORS reach out to engage others with their ideas in these kinds of ways. Check out this concept from a while back: http://www.openideo.com/open/impact/winning-concepts/opentranslate/
and the amazing collaborative translation that Sarah managed to elicit from folks in our community & beyond: https://docs.google.com/spreadsheet/ccc?key=0Ar6XirNnCg26dHowNV9DRGJ2U3YyOWhweHRKeGVqM1E&hl=en_US#gid=0

Spam
Photo of James Robertson
Team

Results are up! What is most encouraging or surprising? For me the single biggest take-aways is were that 90% would potentially be willing to share their health data anonymously, and over three quarters would be keen to look at this data comparatively. Some proof that we're onto something!

Spam
Photo of Meena Kadri
Team

Wow – so impressed with the level of collaboration on this concept. And way to go Wout on your impressive visualisation!

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Photo of DeletedUser
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DeletedUser

Hi James!
Very interesting concept and integration into an existing website!

You mentioned measuring things like "BMI, Blood pressures, aerobic fitness and fat percentage" but have you thought about measuring other things as well? Perhaps an employee's access to a fitness center on their work site - or give the company a percentage rating of how many employees have a gym on site and then give employees opportunity to rate the gym equipement (adequate, horrible, etc.) and classes offered.

It would be interesting to see in the experiment if people who filled out the questionnaire online were honest about their personal health data.

Another possible way to collect data for a company could be through a free health day. Several large companies have these in place already, and maybe glassdoor could attend, or ask if they could be put on a consent form, and get the employee's data anonymously that way. Collecting data this way through medical professionals would be accurate, and glassdoor users could trust it's accuracy.

Last thing to think about is location. Large companies with several sites (and different departments) might have huge differences in health data. It would be good to test if this is indeed correct, or if the location of employees and health don't have a major correlation.

Spam
Photo of James Robertson
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Hi Valerie, you've highlighted a few areas that really do need a bit of thought, thanks!

Firstly, I'm still torn between weighting the data collection more objectively or subjectively; what kind of data does Glassdoor really want? One or the other or both? If you look at their existing features, it's a mixture. Salary and bonus is objective, but all sorts of other measures, like do you approve of your CEO, are entirely subjective.. I'd be interested to hear which data sets people would be more interested in comparing. Maybe it's worth creating a quick Survey to get an idea. Survey Monkey perhaps.

Would also be fantastic to get an insight into how people are prepared to enter their data - or have it entered anonymously on their behalf. The company health days you mention are one potentially very successful way of doing it; surely it's a perfect environment for Bupa to be marketing their policie, offering a free check-up at the same time. I'm sure they already have mobile health units - buses etc for doing this. Perhaps blood donation collectors could offer a similar service/data collection.

Your point on location is a great one too... it would be fascinating to compare the relative health of people in the same job working in different cities, or even different offices within the same city.

Lastly, the elephant in the room that I keep coming back to, is that if you follow the basic incentivisation of this idea, i.e. that companies will be judged against each other on how healthy their staff are, then eventually companies might discriminate against unhealthy employees or applicants.

In the light of this, perhaps the prototype phase should focus more on the things a company does to allow an employee the chance to look after their own health, rather than focusing too much on their state of health.

Will try to get a survey online in the next day or 2, please make any suggestions you like!

Spam
Photo of James Robertson
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An afterthought... technical detail.. The whole point of Glassdoor is that information is volunteered.. perhaps the Bupa collection/bus/clinic can email the collected personal health information to the individual recipients and provide them with a hyperlink that auto-enters it into Glassdoor (provided the individual signs up or is already a member).. all each person would have to do is to confirm the usual name email and personals.. then they can add the rest of their info to GD.

This kind of reverses the dynamic; Glassdoor would now be using Bupa as a channel to collect more members; Bupa's contribution can therefore surely become cost-neutral as Glassdoor pick up the tab..

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DeletedUser

Thanks for adding me to the team James, I look forward to helping develop and refine the idea with you and everyone else! :)

Going along with the health fair idea:
Your idea of Bupa emailing the employee with their health information after the health fair is a great idea. Like you said, the email can ask or refer them to glassdoor, and then the employee can decide if they would like to add their information (anonymously) to the site.
The barrier to entry it easy for the employee, since the information from the health fair is already filled out for them - all they need to do is consent to glassdoor using this info, and create a new account. Once the account is created, the employee might be even more inclined to anser questions about other health incentives offered by company ( gym's onsite, metro passes, etc.), and the company's work environment itself.

Focus more on a company's health incentive offerings:
Your point about focusing more on a company's health incentives for this prototype may be the right way to go. The numbers found in a physical can be personal, and we wouldn't want to push people away from a company because they don't see themselves fitting within the average of the typical employee there - or not sign up for glassdoor because they think someone could find out this information about themselves. If focus is instead put on the incentives the company offers, potential employee can most likely see if that company is a good fit, or not.

I saw that you created a survey to collect data on what incentives peoples employer's offer, great job! Can't wait to see the results!

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Photo of DeletedUser
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DeletedUser

Hi James, absolutely great concept! I love the idea of putting companies against each other in essentially a battle of "who's treating their employees better?" I can imagine this being a great incentive in encouraging companies to invest in the health and well-being of their employees- Good job :)

I was wondering if my concept of a wellness app that allows the employees to rate their well-being could be useful in something like this. It would allow individuals comparing companies to not only compare health statistics, but also the feelings of the employees that work there. Just a thought, I'd love to know what you think.

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Photo of James Robertson
Team

Hi Asma, I absolutely think the two ideas are compatible, and yours is also a great stand-alone app in any respect. Am gonna have a think about what the balance should be between objective and subjective data: 'How do I feel vs what are my vitals' etc... What are your thoughts so far?

Some of your commentors also made some great points about looking after data entry anonymity, and considering in real detail how it is collected and displayed. Will post some more thoughts/pictures soon!

Spam
Photo of Meena Kadri
Team

Nice one guys! We love it when folks cross-pollinate insights and highlights from each other's concepts. This is the kind of collaboration which makes our community thrive.

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DeletedUser

This is a great concept. The Glassdoor survey could also include questions about the physical work environment, as this has a huge impact on mental well-being, in my experience.

Spam
Photo of James Robertson
Team

Thanks! And I agree on the work environment survey. If you have on thoughts on the specifics of the questions, do go on and post them here. Cheers!

Spam
Photo of Wout Helsmoortel
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I really like the concept! Companies act on what is measured.

There are other websites that do similar things, for example Forbes' "Best Companies To Work For".

The ranking of the top companies was determined by taking cumulative average ratings from the half-million employees who responded to the 18-question survey between Nov. 24, 2011 and Nov. 13, 2012. The survey asks employees to rate their satisfaction with their company overall and key workplace factors, such as career opportunities, compensation and benefits, work-life balance, senior management, culture, and values. (http://onforb.es/12kghzV)

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Photo of James Robertson
Team

Hi Wout, thanks for the info. I definitely think Forbes should consider a companies attitude towards their employees' health and fitness when they put together their survey questions. I think perhaps the benefit with something like glassdoor is that it is a bottom-up growth. By this I mean that it is always open to contribution and the depth and breadth of information only increase over time. In this way the existing annual rating surveys like Forbes are complimented by a live feed, tracking the ups and downs of companies as they strive to improve.

Spam
Photo of Wout Helsmoortel
Team

James, yes you're right. Letting employees add information adds much more knowledge then just giving a rating based on survey questions.

I really like the update! Again, companies act on what is measured, but now, the data is real, and not just a perception of reality. Great scenario's; I can imagine that companies who already do big efforts to increase health will be eager to start this off. Others will jump aboard to show they are working on it as well.

With this kind of data available, and knowing that health issues costs the society a tremendous amount of money (cardiovascular disease, heart disease, cancer, mental illness) the government could give benefits or lower taxes for companies that reach a certain threshold.
If a government or state would say; we'll lower income tax with 1% for companies with a health&fitness rating above 85%, I bet a lot of companies would start measuring and improving health right away.

One small side note, let's be cautious that we don't stimulate discrimination, as hiring "unhealthy" employees would lower the company's score. The data is anonymous, but obesity is hard to hide. So maybe we should not just look at the current health score, but pay more attention to how employees improve during their career. I'm sure that a good scoring system can be developed that takes everything into account.

Maybe this picture could help selling the concept (just to visualize it); http://omycrom.com/GD1.jpg

Spam
Photo of James Robertson
Team

Hi Wout, thanks so much for the visualization, it's up already! And I totally agree with you that there should be fail-safe protocol for ensuring potential employees with chronic conditions are not discriminated against for fear that they might affect a company's standing.

Spam
Photo of Wout Helsmoortel
Team

Thanks! I hope one of these concepts has the chance to be refined.

I was thinking, it'd be great to have the possibility to 'merge' concepts when both authors agree. It would combine the best of different worlds and promote collaboration. I might send Meena a message one day with some thoughts to improve openIDEO.

Anyway, I think this concept combined with 'How Does My Health Compare' could have a big impact on employee health & fitness!

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Photo of James Robertson
Team

I agree totally! Have made my own suggestion for a 'plug-in' type relationship tool, and a few others have come up with similar ideas.. why don't you have a look at these and add some thoughts.. strength in numbers!

https://openideo.zendesk.com/entries/21347181-unite-concepts-plugin

https://openideo.zendesk.com/entries/22586032-plug-in-concepts

https://openideo.zendesk.com/entries/20057623-creating-combo-concepts

Spam
Photo of Meena Kadri
Team

Great collaboration on the visualisation, Wout!

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Photo of Nathan Maton
Team

Fab concept, it is both simple and powerful. How could you best make the case to Glassdoor? If they weren't interested, what other alternatives could you try? I'd definitely say that a site like Monster.com or some other job boards could use it if Glassdoor wasn't interested.

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Photo of James Robertson
Team

Thanks Nathan. Yes the idea here was something simple and easily adoptable, and capable of mushrooming under its own steam without the need for heaving pushing. I have to credit Vincent's Wiki for World Benefit from the recent businesses challenge as the inpiration.. not sure i can 'build' on other challenges though.

I'm not as familiar with Monster as Glassdoor, but i'll take a look for sure. There must be others as you say. Just approach the most widespread first and then keep going until someone bites I guess!

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Photo of Nathan Maton
Team

That sounds like a good approach to me, and thanks for adding me to the team James. Cheers~