What happens when you build a startup at the intersection of HRTech, InsurTech, logistics, and consumer products?
Well, it just might look something like Wellspring, an Atlanta-based startup taking a holistic approach to employee wellness.
Founder Andrew O’Shea knows employee wellness is difficult to measure, particularly in a remote and hybrid-work environment. But it is important as companies try to attract and retain talent.
“At a tech company, when you take away the kombucha, ping pong table, and the beer keg…what do you have left? Well, you start talking about compensation and benefits. And if that’s the only thing that is being weighed, we’ve got to somehow facilitate culture and a ‘digital watercooler’ in this digital age.”
That “digital watercooler” is something Wellspring curates with each individual corporate customer. As a pre-approved partner with insurance providers like Cigna, Aetna, United Healthcare, Humana, Anthem, Blue Cross Blue Shield, and Kaiser Permanente, companies can use wellness funds to provide employees curated wellness boxes.
That might look like a healthy snack box or a mental health-focused box with specific resources for employees navigating work-life stressors. The goal is to help connect employees with educational tools and brands to create “sustainable, daily habitual changes” that are measurable and necessary.
To date, Wellspring has helped SalesLoft, The Atlanta Hawks, and others better connect with employees through curated, delivered wellness boxes.
For O’Shea, it is about moving beyond the impersonal gift cards that companies might send to employees once a year. “At the end of the day, how is that making them more holistically ‘well’ human beings? And that’s the goal here, from a mental health perspective, a physical health perspective, and a spiritual health perspective” throughout the year, he said.
Measuring Employee Mental Health
O’Shea got the idea for Wellspring after moving into human resources from the public affairs world. He saw an opportunity to better use insurance wellness funds to both “retain and attract talent.”
For O’Shea, employee engagement requires companies to move beyond “feel good” metrics and help employees with mental health concerns associated with new work-life realities.
Employers might be able to measure absenteeism, productive hours, and other work-related indicators.
Building the vendor side of the business has been a fun part of the journey for O’Shea, who has built relationships with small wellness-focused brands that may traditionally struggle to get in front of new customers.
“It’s been a wonderful journey getting to meet a lot of these [small businesses] and to watch them scale. Getting that call saying, ‘I get to hire my second employee because I just had the biggest purchase order of my life with you guys.’ That’s a pretty cool phone call to get,” O’Shea added.
Wellspring is bootstrapped to date. As the team looks forward to 2022, O’Shea told Hypepotamus that the team is focused on building Wellspring out as the most “turnkey solution” for both human resource teams and insurance brokers who want to bring this to more clients.
“There are a lot of box companies out there and we don’t want to become just another commodity. So we are strategically building as close to the insurance market as possible,” he told Hypepotamus.