Executive Q&A: Reimagining Corporate Wellness with Future’s Chris Sherry

Corporate wellness isn’t a new concept, but, during the pandemic, employee well-being became a top priority.

Searching for solutions, employers turned to digital health and fitness providers. Seizing the moment, from mental health to virtual workouts and wellness aggregators, health-focused platforms shifted their attention to enterprise sales.

Taking aim at this growing opportunity, Future, the app that provides members with unlimited access to a full-time personal trainer, recently hired Chris Sherry as the company’s head of sales.

Formerly the VP of enterprise sales management at EXOS, Sherry is hitting the ground running, helping Future scale up its enterprise offering. And in today’s Q&A, we caught up with her to learn more about the company’s approach to corporate wellness.

Q: Why is Future targeting the corporate wellness market?

Change is happening rapidly and needs are surfacing currently that Future uniquely solves for.

Fewer than one-third of employers believe their well-being programs have effectively supported their employees during the pandemic. The needs of their people have changed. Business objectives have evolved. Frustration is at an all-time high with old fitness solutions that are expensive and underutilized, with no data to support their usefulness.

And with so much uncertainty, employers need to future-proof their new investment so that it’s not tied to a specific location, a portion of their population, or decision to enter a building or not.

Because Future is a custom fitness solution built for each individual, every employee can find their perfect fit. Personal programs created by a matched (or selected) coach provides a customized experience for all and help support a more inclusive environment. Future is not about fitness, it’s about fit… and everyone fits.

Lastly, some of the most talented people are looking for jobs right now, and it’s unacceptable for employers in competitive fields to lose the top talent to someone else. Checking the wellness box won’t cut it for some groups, and Future becomes a differentiator for them when hiring.

Telling a candidate that you offer your team memberships to Future—which provides them with a personal, daily fitness plan and a coach who thinks about them and checks in on them every day—is a game-changer.

Q: How will enterprise partnerships be structured and how will you define the success of the program?

We can be really flexible to meet the needs of each partner with our pricing structures and offer special rates for enterprise partners and groups. We know some will need to budget ahead of time and think of their investments with respect to eligible structures, while others will have the flexibility to invest in a per- registered model, which would vary according to usage. Fully subsidized, partially, or not at all, we can meet almost any budget or investment expectation.

When it comes to returns, we’ll work with each partner to determine what success looks like for them and provide regular reporting to showcase progress, but we have a solid foundation in predicting that if investments are made, utilization will follow that substantiates the investment.

Today, our members double their number of weekly workouts and, on average, exchange four texts every single day with their coach. This is far higher than the typical meaningful utilization in existing wellness or fitness benefits. We own the most active relationship surrounding our members’ health, and we’re impacting more than fitness. Our members report better stress management, sleep, and eating, as well as decreased insulin resistance, fewer injuries, and overcoming chronic disease since joining Future.

Q: Will the corporate offering differ from the direct-to-consumer product?

It will be the same personalized, ongoing 1:1 managed fitness, however, we incorporate creative ways to run challenges within your population that build a sense of community.

We’ll help the experience feel like something in-house with features like co-branded landing pages. And we’ll give you advice and turnkey toolkits to market, communicate, and optimize the excitement about Future, which connects people even more. We provide regular analytics for you so that you always know how your people are engaging with Future.

Q: Traditional corporate wellness programs have proven ineffective. Why and how is Future better or different from other options?

Let’s look at what we’re doing here: Through your phone, Future is allowing anyone to have a world-class fitness coach manage your ongoing fitness. This is a powerful concept — an expert customizing workouts to your needs and goals, being on-call to adapt to changes, and keeping you supported and accountable. It’s fitness that meets you where you sit.

Today, like never before, the future is a bit more of an unknown, and Americans need to find fitness solutions that adapt to a change in location or to equipment limitations or even to wanting to change up the routine.

Other solutions are built around generating options and activities that you opt into—content, hardware, popular instructors, class types, or physical locations—but Future is built around pairing you with a real person (an expert you choose) to help you figure out the best and most realistic regimen for you. Future doesn’t require choice or decisions from an already decision-fatigued person, the coach totally hand-crafts and guides the experience. Regular coaching works — ask any professional athlete who’s been able to maintain fitness consistently.

Ultimately, this is an organically sticky product. 85% of Future members were referred by an existing member, and we have a Net Promoter Score of 90%, so you can imagine the immediate demand we’re seeing as we turn on corporate wellness packages.

Q: Anything else you’d like readers to know?

Future’s co-founder Justin Santamaria created iMessage when he was at Apple, and iMessage quickly became the most used app on the iPhone because it’s an accessible and regular way to communicate. More regular access to experts will improve our health — it will lead us to ask questions instead of drifting based on habits; it will get us better information and keep us accountable and adaptable to our goals.

Your phone is always with you, and now, it gives you access to a world-class trainer who you otherwise wouldn’t have access to. You can text for guidance every day.

 

More from Chris:
Chris Sherry is the Head of Sales at Future, the app that provides members with unlimited access to their own full-time personal trainer. With over two decades of experience in sales, client success and operations for health and fitness organizations, Sherry will drive Future’s expansion into corporate wellness and partnerships to further its leadership in managed wellness. Most recently, she was the VP of Enterprise Sales Management at EXOS, where she coached and led a team of national sales directors, account managers, and proposal managers to generate new employer partnerships and strategic account expansion in fitness SaaS solutions, fitness equipment, and onsite fitness center staffing and management services. Prior, she held additional leadership positions at EXOS including leading international client success and international fitness operations teams.