The Why for Wellness - Communicating Performance of Wellness Programs

Reporting the results of wellness programs are essential to influence the design of future programs and to gain leadership support. Do you know your leader's 'why' for wellness? This post can help.

Let’s face it, whether you measure programs by Return on Investment (ROI) or Value on Investment (Wellness VOI), or both, reporting the results of your wellness programs to the c-suite isn’t as easy as it seems. In fact, some organizations fear reporting ROI.

Effectively communicating and selling wellness to c-suite is equally as important as the numbers. If leadership hasn't bought in to wellness, the numbers won't matter.

Knowing Where to Start

Before you panic about deciding what metrics you should be reporting to c-suite, simply ask them what they would like to see first. Ask them!

There is no point in spending time measuring engagement and employee activity levels if these metrics aren’t top priority for leadership.

Know Your Leaders 'Why'

It’s important to determine the ‘why’ of your leader or leadership team.

Why do they think it’s important to provide programs for employees?

You may be surprised.

They (or a family member) may have had a personal health issue that has shifted their priority from the bottom line of tracking healthcare costs to tracking activity levels or blood pressure - or employee engagement!

Determining the Metrics

Once you know the why, determine the metric to measure - wellness voi, roi or beyond. Since employee wellness is a process vs. an overnight fix, it’s most helpful to report the data over a period of time such as quarter-over-quarter or year-over-year to see the data trends.

Here are a few examples to think about:

Possible Why?

Example Metric

Decrease healthcare costs

Trend in claims experience (e.g. via your health provider)

Increase overall employee health

Trend workforce biometrics (e.g. via your wellness technology)

Increase employee engagement or satisfaction

Trend in engagement (e.g. via employee survey)

Decrease absenteeism

Trend in sick days (e.g. via your payroll or HRIS)

Decrease disability costs

Trend in disability (e.g. via your insurance provider)

Increase activity levels

Trend in steps/activity levels (e.g. via your corporate wellness technology)

It’s the right thing to do

Trend participation levels in wellness programs compared to eligible participants (e.g. if only 10% of employees of your workforce participate in wellness programs, this could be indicative of poor employee engagement levels or low management support or more).

Decrease employees smoking

Trend number of employees smoking (e.g. via health risk assessments or biometric screenings)

Reduce workplace accidents

Trend sleep patterns from your staff (e.g. ask employees to assess the amount of sleep they are getting via polls and survey feature from your wellness technology).

Note: Getting enough sleep is essential. 4 Hours of sleep lossequals as much impairment as a six-pack of beer which may influence workplace accidents.


Helpful Tip:  Comparing metrics by division, team or location is always helpful too. For example, you can use this data to identify which departments have higher engagement levels to assist you in researching why one department has a higher level than another (e.g. excellent vs. poor management).

You Know the Why - Now What?

Once you know the 'why', get tracking! Deliver your employee engagement surveys, conduct a health risk assessment and gather the appropriate metrics from other systems to determine your starting benchmark so it’s easier to see the trends over time.

Helpful Tip: For those leaders that focus on the ROI (e.g. health care costs, etc.), it’s important to clearly communicate the financial factors to quantify impacts on absenteeism and long-term healthcare costs associated with smoking and obesity. This data will need to come from third-party sources. 

Wellness Technology Should Help Tell the Story

Now that you have your starting benchmark, make sure your corporate wellness software can present the data in a simple, graphically interesting format that shows the trends and is readily available to the c-suite. 

CoreHealth’s corporate wellness platform recently released version 2016.3 which helps wellness experts present metrics in an Executive Dashboard that leaders can readily access to get a ‘snapshot’ of their organization’s wellness data or help you tell the story in a visually appealing graphical format.

This release enables you to incorporate data from third-party technologies (e.g. HRIS, health providers, health assessments) to present it in an informational and easily understandable format.

Dashboard Requirements Will Be Different for Every Organization.

Wellness Technology Can Help You Tell Your Story.

Using the Data to Take Action

Now that you have this data at your fingertips, compare, analyze and share it with others to discuss what to do next. Use the collaboration tools within your wellness portal to brainstorm an action plan and put it in motion.

Ready to Tell Your Story to Your Leaders?

Request a demo to see how the new Executive Dashboard feature can help you tell your story.

Contact CoreHealth

About CoreHealth Technologies

CoreHealth Technologies Inc. is the leading corporate wellness platform trusted by more than 1000 organizations, ranging from medium-sized businesses to Fortune 500 enterprises. At CoreHealth, we believe that developing the best employee wellness programs is all about giving wellness companies the right code, design and access to the latest innovations. With the most customization, integrations and reliability of any software in its class, CoreHealth’s powerful platform lets users focus on growing great companies. For more information, explore the CoreHealth website