Expanding Our Mission on Thrive’s 7th Anniversary

Improving productivity and health outcomes through science-backed behavior change.

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Seven years ago, Thrive launched with the mission “to end the stress and burnout epidemic by offering companies and individuals sustainable, science-based solutions to enhance well-being, performance, and purpose.” And now, as we enter our eighth year, we’re expanding our mission to include improving health outcomes through science-backed behavior change. After seven years, the results are in and the data clearly shows that the five daily behaviors Thrive focuses on — sleep, food, movement, stress management, and connection — are a miracle drug not only for preventing disease but for optimizing the treatment of disease. 

As we say at Thrive, health is what happens between doctor visits. And as the latest science shows, our genes are not our destiny (accounting for less than 10% of our health outcomes). It’s our daily behaviors that have the power both to prevent disease and to optimize — together with life-saving drugs and medical treatment — the management of disease.   

Since our launch in 2016, we’ve built a comprehensive all-in-one behavior change technology platform that combines Microsteps, storytelling and community. And just as incremental daily Microsteps leading to healthier habits are an effective tool at driving productivity, so too are they incredibly effective at improving health outcomes. Adding health outcomes to our expanded mission reflects the fact that we’re actually already delivering on it. For instance, in our work with Walmart, by helping associates make small changes in those five foundational behaviors, we began seeing stories of type 2 diabetes and pre-diabetes being reversed and hypertension being reduced. Our platform wasn’t just helping people improve their well-being and productivity, it was helping them make measurable improvements in their health.

This expansion of our mission is all the more urgent since it comes at a time when chronic diseases are eating up an increasing share of healthcare resources in every healthcare system across the world in ways that are not sustainable. Yes, there is a golden age of innovation now happening in the form of new technologies like gene therapy, AI-driven diagnostic tools and drug development, but we can’t let these extraordinary technological advances blind us to the tragedy of modern healthcare and the much neglected miracle drug right in front of us: our daily behaviors.

In the US, around 90% of our $4.3 trillion in healthcare spending goes toward the treatment of chronic and mental health conditions. There’s no healthcare system in the world successfully managing health outcomes against this onslaught of chronic diseases. And yet studies show that medical care accounts for a smaller share of our health outcomes than our daily behaviors. 

Yes, behavior change is hard, but over the last seven years at Thrive we have proven that it is absolutely possible and sustainable when it’s done right. Working with leading behavior change scientists, including BJ Fogg, who founded the Behavior Design Lab at Stanford and is the behavioral science chair of our Scientific Advisory Board, Thrive has cracked the code on behavior change. And now we’re adding the power of generative AI. We know that the more personalized nudges and Microsteps are, the more successful they will be. Generative AI will dramatically accelerate our ability to both build hyper-personalized behavior change tools and deliver them at scale.

We remain as passionate and mission driven as ever about driving employee productivity through well-being and ending the stress and burnout epidemic. That’s why we’re continuing to double down on embedding Thrive’s well-being tools into the workflow itself with integrations into Microsoft Teams, Slack and Webex and contact center integrations including Genesys, NICE, Webex Contact Center, Intradiem and others.

But while we’ll continue our work to improve the productivity and well-being of employees, seeing the profound impact of our behavior change platform and methodology on health outcomes has shown us that we have an opportunity to think even bigger. By expanding our mission, we’ll be expanding our impact on people’s health by empowering them to adopt daily behaviors. It's an incredibly exciting time to be at Thrive and I look forward to working with our growing team to deliver this urgently needed solution to people around the world.

Published on
November 30, 2023
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