Employers Turn to Another Metric for Wellness Programs

Return on investment is just part of the story for measuring the success of a wellness program. 

By Jill Cornfield | February 11, 2016
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When it comes to measuring wellness program success, employers are using measures that calculate value on investment (VOI) as well as return on investment (ROI), according to a new report from the International Foundation of Employee Benefit Plans (IFEBP).

“A Closer Look: Workplace Wellness Outcomes” finds that just over one-quarter of organizations (28%) are measuring wellness program success with traditional ROI. Half are using at least one VOI measure to track success including employee engagement (30%), turnover (22%), absenteeism (18%), productivity (17%) and recruitment/referral rates (13%).

Wellness programs continue to gain traction, with previous research revealing that the vast majority of executives believe well-being programs can prevent workplace burn-out. More than 80% of employees say they participate in workplace well-being programs to reduce their stress levels.   

IFEBP’s report compares organizations achieving positive wellness VOI with the average organization offering wellness initiatives. In general, the report finds organizations with positive wellness VOI offer a wider range of wellness offerings than other organizations. Positive VOI offerings include fitness and nutrition initiatives, screening and treatment programs, social and community events, stress and mental health offerings, and purpose and growth initiatives.

Positive VOI wellness programs are also likelier to use a range of wellness communication channels including seminars, speakers, testimonials, books, brochures, health fairs and social media.

NEXT: A strong VOI and holistic approach go hand in hand