Creating Benchmarks throughout Your Program

02.27.2018

Evaluating Your Wellness Program to Optimize Benchmark Success

In recent years, value on investment (VOI) has been trending as the measurement of success for a wellness program. It’s no wonder, as wellness companies continue to fervently promote the next best thing in wellness. But it’s important to remember that leadership has to approve your program, and CFOs are always watching return on investment (ROI) and the bottom line.

While your company’s goals will affect your wellness program’s benchmarks, utilizing both VOI and ROI benchmarks within your program creates a healthy balance. Whether your program is launching for the first time or it’s mid-year, it’s important to consistently evaluate its benchmarks and adjust your program as necessary.

Here’s how to stay on top of some common wellness program benchmarks:

Engagement

Bored and un-incentivized employees won’t engage in your wellness program. If your program is floundering, talk to your client relationship manager about ways to boost engagement each month so your program isn’t all work and no play. Your program should have the ability to evolve as your company and employee goals change.

  • Create a unique challenge that will appeal to your audience.
  • Offer new incentives—gift cards and extra vacation days always go over well.
  • Shake things up and plan an event off site.
  • Try digital coaching if your employees aren’t engaging over the phone.

Culture

Your culture is unique. It also determines the success of your program. A wellness provider should support and influence your culture, not build it for you. If your wellness program doesn’t integrate well into your existing structure and culture, you need to make some changes.

  • Workplace wellness is a delicate balance of culture and care; don’t tip the scales too far in one direction.
  • Don’t make employees choose between their jobs and a healthy lifestyle—make it as easy as possible for them to participate.
  • Get feedback from employees about your culture—they’re living it day to day. Ask what’s working and not working.
  • Add a new activity to the office, like a Ping-Pong table or darts. Anything that gets employees out of their chairs and brings them together for a bit of fun.
  • Offer standing desk options or stability balls as chairs.
  • Stock the breakroom with healthy snacks.

Health Risks

A good wellness program comes with a robust reporting program that allows you to keep track of your tangible progress and success so you know—and can report—if the program is working. Check your metrics regularly to find areas for improvement.

  • Analyze aggregate information about your population’s health status and risk factors.
  • Utilize reporting to gauge employee participation and determine which activities are working.
  • Talk to your wellness program provider about actionable steps to advance your program.

Stress

There are many different types of stress effecting your employees, including physical, mental, emotional, and financial. And these different stressors affect productivity, absenteeism, and job satisfaction.

  • Offer employees subsidized gym memberships.
  • Add a financial wellness component to your program to help employees manage their financial stress.
  • Offer your employees one or two paid mental health days a year.

Managing your wellness program by staying on top of it throughout the year and making tweaks to improve the experience are the keys to success. It’s also much more enjoyable than ending the year and learning that your wellness program underachieved. Don’t focus too much on one particular benchmark—but ensure you have a well-rounded wellness program that is thriving in multiple areas.

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