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Organizational Wellness Programs - Calculating Your ROI

As we emerge from COVID, many organizations are brushing off their “old” wellness plans and programs with an eye to reinvigorating the process in the new organizational environment.  To that end organizational wellness, like all workplace programs and initiatives, will benefit from a look at whether your efforts are paying off. To do this, you should calculate your return on investment (ROI), to help quantify your wellness program’s effectiveness.

Why Evaluate Your Wellness Program?

First, you should be able to answer the why – and here are some possible reasons:

  1. To gather feedback about your initiatives so you can improve efforts in the future. By gathering feedback on a regular basis, you can make improvements to your wellness program. Continually adjusting your program is the best way to create initiatives that are effective and fit your employees’ needs.
  2. To show the value of your program. By collecting data that demonstrates how your program has influenced and changed your employees in a positive way, you can highlight the value of the program and its need for continued funding to upper management.
  3. To calculate change. ROI information can determine how much positive change is occurring from your wellness efforts. Information like employee satisfaction with the program, behavior changes and biometric results can show how your program has made a positive impact on the lives of your employees—and where there is still a need for improvement.
  4. To benchmark your success. ROI data can show what you’ve accomplished. Data can be compared to others in your field to determine what additional steps can be taken to establish yourself as a leader in wellness initiatives, which can aid in recruitment and retention efforts.
  5. To compare the success of different intervention efforts. Evaluating various programs and comparing their successes allows you to determine which programs are the most valuable to your employees. Based on this information, you can then modify or eliminate initiatives that were not as successful.

What Factors Should You Evaluate?

Consider the following factors when evaluating your workplace wellness program:

  • Participation. Tallying participation for the various activities in your wellness program will show you what is of interest to your employees.
  • Employee satisfaction with the program. This information shows how much people enjoyed or appreciated your wellness initiatives. Use this opportunity to allow people to provide suggestions for improvement and share their favorite program features.
  • Behavior and health habit changes. Obtain information about your employees’ health habits before the program begins and then periodically thereafter. Use this data to determine if your wellness efforts positively changed their behaviors.
  • Productivity changes. Productivity may include missed days of work, time away from work tasks, etc. Gauging an improvement in productivity will yield information regarding your program’s impact on your employees’ well-being.

How Can You Evaluate Your Wellness Program?

The strategies below can be used to assess your wellness program:

  • Obtain program registration sheets to see who is attending wellness events and how popular different events are to your employees.
  • Conduct participation surveys during and after wellness program efforts.
  • Collect and track data such as productivity, claims costs,