wellness program and strategy

Innovative Ideas To Push Your Wellness Program ROI

I just read a great article about the ROI of Wellness Programs sponsored by the Society of Human Resource Management. This February 2013 piece reviews a Harvard University report that evaluated more than 20 ROI peer-reviewed studies. The average ROI for all the studies was $3.27, see ROI Wellness Data. Even more interesting they mentioned another study put out by the Journal of Occupational & Environment Medicine titled: Medical Care Savings From Workplace Wellness Programs: What Is a Realistic Savings Potential?. This study suggests that if all risk factors of a population were brought to their theoretical minimum, healthcare costs for that population could be reduced by 18.4%, see Medical Care Savings from Workplace Wellness.

Now this gets interesting! A Wellness Program is so much more than a once a year push. It is so much more than one or two health-related activities. I talked to one organization that said that one of the most important initiatives of their wellness program was to remove the candy and pop machines in the break room and add fresh fruit. Great idea but certainly not pushing the ROI Limits. Do not settle for an ROI of $3.27, but find ways to constantly increase the value of the wellness program to your company and your employees. The Wellness Program should include your employees’ covered dependents, as well if you are to increase your ROI. What this says to me is that Wellness Programs should be innovative, dynamic, and relevant. Innovative by seeking ways to engage your employees and by offering unique incentives that rewards both participation and improved health. Dynamic in that there is more than a one-time push at the beginning of the benefit year, but that may have quarterly and monthly challenges to maintain interest. Relevant by providing information targeted to the interests and conditions of each employee. A Wellness Portal will support your Wellness Program and Strategy by providing timely and targeted information to your employees and their dependents.

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