Measuring Wellness Programs’ Efficacy and ROI

Madison Agee

A feature from the September 2014 issue of Human Resource Executive highlights a couple of important points as employers assess the value of a wellness program:

  • Wellness programs should look beyond the traditional laser focus on physical health and address the other four elements that make up an individual’s overall well-being: a sense of purpose, social relationships, financial stress and connection to community.
  • Although reduction of healthcare costs is indeed an important value metric, employers should also evaluate their programs’ ability to improve employee productivity and reduce absenteeism, as well as other metrics.

According to the article, more employers are measuring value in this broader way. Findings from a Working Well survey reveal that organizations are considering outcomes in areas such as safety, productivity and reduced absences in addition to medical costs, while 65 percent of employers surveyed say that wellness programs are extremely or very important for attracting and retaining employees.

The article also describes the importance of having an accurate tool for assessing and measuring employee well-being, such as the Gallup-Healthways Well-Being Index®. “Assessing employees' well-being, a more holistic view of wellness than just the traditional measures of physical health and medical-cost reductions, will give organizations greater insight into the overall health of their workforce,” says Janet Calhoun, senior vice president of strategy, innovations and solutions at Healthways.

Read the full article here.