How to Evaluate the Effectiveness of Your Health and Wellness Program
Businesses can evaluate and tweak their health and wellness programs to get the best possible results. Here's how to measure the effectiveness of your workplace wellness program.
Company wellness programs aren’t just nice to have—they make good business sense. Multiple studies show healthier employees are more engaged, productive, and efficient in their roles.
Good company wellbeing also means employers can get more out of their current workforce—and this is especially true of smaller organizations. “If we didn’t create an environment in which our employees prioritize their wellbeing and look out for each other during busy times, we would need to compensate by increasing our workforce, with no added value for the customer”, says Debbie Williamson, co-founder of Swoon Editions, an online furniture store.
Workplace wellness programs are effective, but only if they’re managed effectively. To get the most out of them, businesses need to measure, monitor, and improve programs to keep employees engaged.
This is a challenge for most managers. In this article, we’re going to run through how businesses can evaluate and tweak their health and wellness programs to consistently gain the best possible results.
The Importance of Evaluation
No employee wellness program is effective without individualization and evaluation. It starts with a company vision that everyone works towards by measuring progress and adjusting along the way. Here are three important program outcomes:
- Identify program accomplishments
- Ensure the organization’s resources are spent in meaningful ways
- Achieve employee health and wellness
It’s important to work out a simple evaluation plan that your employees, management, wellness staff, and HR can get behind. For that to happen, your plan needs to be focused, actionable, and aligned with your organization’s goals.
Your effectiveness evaluation plan also needs to be practical. For example, tracking employees’ blood sugar levels with wearables to find out whether a specific initiative is working might be the ideal route, but is it affordable? And will all employees want to share that level of personal information? Instead, it might be more practical to monitor a sample of willing employees. Or in other words, work within your means.
Which Metrics Should You Track?
Before we get into the metrics, let’s talk about two important terms: lagging indicators and leading indicators.
What are lagging indicators?
Lagging indicators are outputs. They are easy to measure; they confirm what has been happening, but they are difficult to influence.
Example: Someone looking to lose weight can step on the scale. This is an output and is easy to measure.
What are leading indicators?
Leading indicators are inputs. They are harder to measure, but they can be used to make predictions and they can be adjusted and improved.
Example: The inputs that go into losing weight are varied and hard to measure: counting calories consumed and burned is difficult.
In the context of a workplace wellness program, lagging indicators include hours of use, profits, and costs—things that are easy to measure. Leading indicators include employee happiness, morale, quality of work-life, and so on. These are trickier to track and there are many variables at play.
How to Measure the Effectiveness of Your Workplace Wellness Program
Measuring effectiveness is vital. Here’s how to get started.
1. Start with Your Main Goal
Why do you want to implement a wellness program, or if you already have one, what do you want it to achieve? Keeping this front of mind will help you ensure every aspect feeds back into your overarching goal. Here are some popular reasons:
- Improve employee productivity
- Reduce employee health risks
- Reduce company healthcare costs
- Higher employee retention
- Attract a higher caliber of talent
- Boost the efficiency of your existing workforce
If you think all of these are important that’s fine, but to maintain focus, work out which one is the top priority.
2. Choose the Metrics You’re Going to Measure
Your metrics selection will be directly related to your priority. For example, if you want to reduce employee health risks, your metrics might include the following:
- Absenteeism due to workplace injury
- Number of workplace injury incidents
- How satisfied employees are with workplace safety initiatives
- How engaged employees are with workplace wellness initiatives
3. Analyze your Data
Measuring leading indicators is easy. To use the example above, you can measure the following:
- How many sick days have been taken off due to injury
- Reported incidents of workplace injury
- How many employees have completed safety training programs
- How many people have signed up to program activities and coaching
- What employees are engaging with
- Percentage of employees who rate safety within the company as being good
When it comes to measuring lagging indicators, some questions might include:
- Did those who took part in training programs, coaching, or activities in year one see a reduction in workplace health incidents in year two?
- Were there fewer healthcare claims among those who engaged with wellness programs than among those who didn’t?
Once your data has been analyzed, you can take steps to improve your wellness program. Depending on the metrics you’re looking to improve, this could include additional training, a better onboarding procedure, or investing in a comprehensive wellness program package that’s more effective at meeting your organization’s needs.
How CoreHealth Can Help
All too often, workplaces implement wellness programs but skip the vital task of setting up an evaluation plan. As a result, tracking and measuring important employee and organizational wellness indicators is nearly impossible. As a result, tracking and measuring important employee and organizational wellness indicators is nearly impossible.
Developing a focused and effective program consisting of a strong vision and relevant questions that all lead into your primary focus is critical when developing a wellness program. For example, CoreHealth's integrated marketplace partner Innovu uses health insurance carrier data to provide companies transparency in their healthcare spending.
To ensure employees and employers get the maximum benefit from workplace wellness programs, managers should implement an effectiveness measurement program alongside any other health initiatives. At CoreHealth, we measure our platform using Net Promoter Score®, or NPS®, to measure customer experience and to predict business growth. This proven metric provides the core measurement for customer experience management programs around the world. This metric is able to prove effectiveness, ROI, and any other metrics that demonstrate effectiveness.
If you would like to start your own workplace wellness program or improve your existing one, contact us today.
About CoreHealth Technologies
CoreHealth Technologies Inc. is a total well-being technology company trusted by global providers to power their health and wellness programs. Our wellness portals help maximize health, engagement and productivity for 3+ million employees worldwide. We believe people are the driving force of organizations and supporting them to make behavior changes to improve employee health is in everyone’s best interest. With the most flexibility, customizations and integrations of any software in its class, CoreHealth’s all-in-one wellness platform helps grow great wellness companies. Simple to sophisticated, based on you. For more information, visit the CoreHealth website.
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Your Friends in Health at CoreHealth
CoreHealth by Carebook's Health and Wellness Team works hard to bring our readers informative and research validate health and well-being blog articles and resources that support your workplace wellness culture and wellness technology purchase decision.