Is Your Wellness Program Successful?
When you put time, effort, and money into something, it is only natural to want to see results and have evidence that whatever you are investing in is worth it. The same goes for wellness programs. While more than 85% of large employers offer a wellness program, many are unsure of how exactly to measure their success and do not have a measurement plan in place. As stated by Harvard Business Review, how successful a wellness program is varies widely based on how the organization defines and ultimately measures “well-being.”
Understanding ROI and VOI
The very first thing to know before beginning to measure your wellness program’s results, is the difference between ROI and VOI. ROI, or Return on Investment, refers to a measurable outcome that directly relates with the original investment. In terms of wellness programs, this usually means that by investing in your employees health through wellness programs, you see savings in health care costs. VOI, or Value on Investment, is often referred to as a “softer” measurement. This is where the invaluable benefits of employee health, such as employee morale, positivity, decreased use of sick days, increased productivity, and talent retention, come in.
Typically, wellness programs are focused on measuring ROI and assessing the impact of programs on lowering specific health risks, such as smoking, stress, and obesity. Then, they look back to see if a reduce in those specific risks have lowered health care costs. If there is not an obvious benefit in these terms, it can get frustrating. What is important to note, though, is how the impact of each of these risks goes far beyond one metric. For example, when an employee reaches their weight loss goal, they have not only lost weight. They may also report that they sleep better, have more energy, feel more positive about life, and maybe they have even gotten off blood pressure medication. Therefore, it is important to look at more than just the ROI when defining well-being and when seeking an accurate reflection of value.
A Step By Step Measurement Guide
- As explained by CoreHealth Technologies, the very first step before you begin measuring the success of your wellness program is to set a goal. Ask yourself what your top priority is when it comes to the health and well-being of your workforce. While there are often many, try to focus on just one priority for now. It could be reducing health care costs, reducing health risks, improving productivity, higher retention rates, etc.
- Once you’ve chosen your top priority, it’s important to work out a simple evaluation plan that your employees, management, wellness staff, and HR can get behind. For that to happen, your plan needs to be focused, actionable, and aligned with your organization’s goals. Start by selecting which metrics you want to measure that are directly related to your goal and get the whole team involved.
- The next step is to collect data. Depending on which metrics you’ve chosen, you can collect data through pulse surveys, focus groups, one-on-one conversations, wearable technology reports, etc. Keep in mind that some data will be numeric and easily charted, such as number of sick days taken, while others are not, such as job satisfaction.
- The final step is to analyze your data. Are you seeing the results you want? Are employees overall happier, more productive or have lower health risks than we you began? Frequently collecting and analyzing data can help you see where changes need to be made to improve the success of your wellness program.
For more information, visit CoreHealth Technologies! If you’d like assistance creating and implementing a measurement plan, reach out today! Our Health Designs team will be happy to provide a consult.