Wellness plans are a smart investment for modern businesses. Research shows that wellness benefits help employees manage both preventable and chronic diseases, such as elevated cholesterol, high blood glucose levels, and obesity.
Incentive-based programs can motivate workers to stop smoking, lose weight and adopt healthier eating habits. However, it can be difficult to determine how effective these plans really are without accurate metrics.
Companies often use return on investment (ROI) to calculate the effectiveness of insurance programs by analyzing health claims data, however; tracking the efficacy of a wellness plan is more complex.
Measuring the effectiveness of a wellness program requires businesses to look at several areas, such as financial outcomes, health impact and participation. Over time, tracking the efficacy of a wellness plan can help improve the health of employees and save the company money.
The Importance of Measuring the Impact of a Corporate Wellness Program
Measuring the impact of a company-wide wellness program serves multiple purposes. First, it enables businesses to determine whether their wellness plan is reaching the company’s intended goals.
If a business discovers that this is not the case, it can make adjustments to improve the plan’s effectiveness. In some cases, a business may find that its investment must be scaled back.
Tracking the efficacy of a wellness plan can also show employees that the business cares about their health and well-being.
A successful wellness plan with proven results helps build transparency and trust between employees and employers, often resulting in greater employee loyalty and engagement. Employees who see the effectiveness of a corporate wellness plan are more likely to participate.
Understanding What Drives the Impact of a Wellness Plans
A successful wellness plan should involve extensive research and planning, a commitment from management, and employee buy-in and participation. However, there are also other factors that drive the impact of a wellness plan, such as collaborative team support, support from expert vendors, periodic evaluations, measurable goals and occasional updates.
According to a 2022 Employee Benefits Survey published by SHRM, approximately 41% of employers offer wellness information and resources to their employees.
Providing workers with the educational tools they need to achieve better health and well-being can be advantageous in all areas of their lives, including their productivity in the workplace. Well-executed wellness plans have been shown to increase employee retention, cut down on healthcare costs, and help employees achieve better overall job satisfaction.
Know Where Your Employees Are in Their Wellness Journey
Wellness plans are only successful if participants are engaged with the program. Engaged employees are more likely to dedicate their time and energy to maximizing their use of a wellness program, compared to some participants who may only be doing the minimum to get credit for participation. Employees are also more likely to stay with a program they find interesting and fun and can be realistically introduced into their life.
To encourage employees to invest their time in bettering their health, employers can implement a combination of strategies:
- Appointing a motivated wellness coordinator
- Offering programs that employees want
- Providing incentives
- Keeping benefits simple
- Donating work time and resources
How to Evaluate the Effectiveness of an Employee Wellness Plan
Evaluation is an essential part of a workplace wellness plan. For any program to succeed in the long term, businesses need a way to consistently track its performance. The following steps can help companies track the efficacy of their wellness plans over time.
1. Establish Benchmarks
Benchmarking is an important process in which a company compares its business processes and performance metrics to best practices from other businesses and industry bests. These comparisons are typically measured in several ways, including by cost, time and quality.
Some areas to pull information from include employee activity levels prior to the start of the program, employee health, absenteeism patterns, retention rates, and employee satisfaction and productivity.
2. Set Goals and Define Key Performance Indicators (KPIs)
Every wellness plan should have a purpose, such as a program to promote healthier eating or a focus on mental health. Some wellness plans are designed to help employees better manage their financial stress to become better engaged and productive.
Once the goals for the wellness plan are determined, define measurable KPIs that can be easily measured for the goal the business is trying to achieve.
3. Analyze Performance and Outcome Data
Analyzing data from operational performance and outcomes can give businesses greater insight into the efficacy of their wellness plan. Start by analyzing the leading indicators of the wellness program.
Determine how many people have signed up for activities that are part of the wellness plan, what activities employees are engaging with the most and which they are engaging with the least. Also, look at the outcomes of the wellness plan.
Have the participants had fewer healthcare claims in preventable areas compared to non-participants? Are dependents, such as children and spouses, also engaging in the program or does more need to be done to get dependents involved?
4. Request Feedback from Employees
One of the best ways to track the efficacy of a wellness plan over time is to ask employees directly about their experience. Companies can request feedback in several ways, such as through surveys, one-on-one sessions, or focus groups asking employees what aspects of the plan are working and which require improvement.
Feedback from employees can give businesses greater insight into the effectiveness of the program and can help explain data from KPIs.
5. Look for Signs of a Successful Wellness Plan
The success of a wellness plan may become evident over time. Some of the most common signs of an effective wellness plan include:
- Low absenteeism – When a wellness plan improves the quality of healthcare access, many companies see lower absenteeism.
- High productivity – Employees in good health are more likely to be productive and are less likely to experience burnout.
- High retention rates – When employees feel that their employer is invested in their health and well-being, they are more likely to stay loyal and remain with the company for years.
- Improved Recruitment – Job seekers are looking for more than a paycheck. An attractive wellness plan can lead to improved employee recruitment.
6. Make Changes Based on Evaluation Results
Measuring the effectiveness of a wellness plan does not just provide valuable insight but can also be useful for making improvements within an organization. Using a compilation of data and employee feedback, look for ways to improve the wellness plan, such as by adding new programs that employees are likely to use, or removing under-utilized ones.
Companies can also use these evaluation results to save money, such as by implementing benefits that lead to lower health risks and fewer claims.
Speak with New City Insurance About Optimizing Your Wellness Plan
Corporate wellness plans can provide many benefits to today’s businesses, such as lower healthcare costs, increased productivity, reduced absenteeism, reduced injuries, increased employee retention and reduced workers’ compensation claims.
The employee benefits consultants at New City Insurance can help enhance your wellness plan and other employee benefits to ensure peak efficiency and effectiveness. To learn more about New City’s proven strategies to optimize benefits and maximize cost savings, request a consultation online or call 888.210.2765 today.