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Check out our weekly blog posts and see the latest news and discussions happening in the HR world of business.

HR How to: How to measure the return-on-investment of your wellness program

At this point, we know that we should be offering wellness programs to our employees, but when it comes to making a business case for implementing – or adding to – a program, it is incredibly difficult, if not impossible, to prove that these initiatives provide a return on investment (ROI).

The latest wellness metric to gain some traction among employers is Value on Investment (VOI). According to a recent study by the International Foundation of Employee Benefit Plans (IFEBP), approximately half of employers are using at least one VOI metric to gauge the overall success of their wellness offerings, versus a traditional ROI metric, which is only used by about 28 percent of companies.
But what is VOI exactly? According to HR Morning News, “it’s a broad measurement system that looks at everything from reduced health claims to increased productivity and morale.” In the study cited above, the most popular VOI measures used by employers in the study included:

•Improved health risk assessment data (used by 63% of employers)
•Reduced healthcare costs (56%)
•Reduced absenteeism (51%)
•Improved employee engagement (49%)
•Increased productivity (42%)
•Improved overall organization financials and growth (38%)
•Improved recruitment (33%)
•Lower disability/workers’ compensation claims (31%), and
•Reduced turnover (21%).

When the study examined the types of wellness offerings that were most likely to have a good VOI, they found that fitness and nutrition initiatives, screening and treatment programs, social and community events, stress and mental health offerings, and purpose and growth initiatives all topped the list. They also found that wellness programs were most successful if they were offered across multiple communication channels and platforms, including seminars, speakers, testimonials, books, brochures, health fairs and social media.

Finally, the report notes that when it comes to participation, incentives continue to be most effective to spur employees to join. Specifically, the report notes that employee participation is especially increased by offering incentives for health screenings (57% vs. 40%), weight-loss programs (37% vs. 17%) and health fairs (54% vs. 37%). Other factors that successfully increase participation are targeting programs based on employee health risks, surveying workers for feedback on initiatives, including spouses and children in offerings and having company leaders communicate wellness program support.

To learn more about VOI, read the press release and access the full report here.

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