Your Wellness Program ROI: 10 Strategies to Boost the Numbers

Wellness programs are increasingly becoming a key focal point to retaining top talent, but top management often has a difficult time determining the return of their investment in programs that are focused on ‘wellness’. How do you know if you are spending enough or not enough on a wellness program? Figuring out how the ROI on a wellness program is working for your company can indeed be a bit tricky because it must take in both the direct (hard cost analysis) and indirect (how do you truly measure well-being, job satisfaction, loyalty, individual productivity and stress levels?). The good news is that the latest research indicates that companies do indeed benefit from a well-coordinated wellness program. According a survey by  HR Executive “90% of companies see a positive wellness program ROI (return on investment)—the same amount that sees a positive return from other benefits such as health insurance. Nearly as many (85%) credit their wellness program with reducing the costs of recruitment and use of sick days. And all 100% of the HR leaders polled said wellness programs are important for employee satisfaction, a crucial factor in attracting and maintaining a top-notch workforce.”

Boosting the ROI (Return on Investment) of a wellness program requires careful planning, effective implementation, and continuous evaluation. Here are some strategies that employers can use to increase the ROI of their wellness programs:

Strategies to Boost Your Wellness Program ROI:

  1. Set Clear Goals: Establish specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-bound (SMART) goals for the wellness program. Define what you want to achieve through the program, such as reducing healthcare costs, improving employee productivity, or decreasing absenteeism.
  2. Target Health Risks: Identify the most significant health risks and challenges faced by your employee population through health assessments and surveys. Tailor the wellness program to address these specific risks to have a more significant impact on employees’ overall health and well-being.
  3. Engage Employees: Active participation is crucial for the success of any wellness program. Encourage and incentivize employees to take part in the program through rewards, recognition, or even financial incentives.
  4. Create a Culture of Health: Promote a workplace culture that values health and wellness. Offer support and resources to employees to make healthier choices in their daily lives. Encourage managers to lead by example and support their team members in adopting healthy habits.
  5. Personalize Offerings: Recognize that employees have diverse needs and preferences. Provide a range of wellness activities and services that can be personalized to meet individual requirements.  These can include things such as an onsite wellness coach, biometric screenings, wellness challenges,  mental health support, nutrition counseling, etc.
  6. Leverage Technology: Use technology to streamline the program, track participation and progress, and deliver wellness content to employees. Consider implementing wellness apps, wearables, or online platforms to engage employees and provide real-time feedback.
  7. Measure and Analyze: Regularly measure and analyze the outcomes of the wellness program to understand its impact. Monitor key metrics like healthcare costs, absenteeism rates, productivity levels, and employee satisfaction. Use this data to make informed decisions and improvements.
  8. Offer Incentives: Incentivize healthy behaviors by providing rewards for achieving specific wellness milestones. These incentives can include gift cards, premium reductions, extra vacation days, or contributions to health savings accounts.
  9. Integrate with Benefits: Ensure that the wellness program is integrated with other employee benefits and initiatives. Align it with existing health insurance plans, employee assistance programs, and other wellness-related benefits to create a comprehensive approach to employee well-being.
  10. Communicate Effectively: Regularly communicate about the wellness program to raise awareness and engagement. Use various channels such as emails, newsletters, posters, and company meetings to share success stories, upcoming events, and resources available to employees.

Check out our ROI calculator here and book a quick call here for more information on how you can improve your wellness initiatives to help improve your employee satisfaction and improve your bottom line.  By following these strategies and continuously evaluating and refining the wellness program, employers can enhance its effectiveness and, in turn, boost the ROI of their investment in employee health and well-being.

By:  Cindy Luisi, WHE, WHC, CCP Wellness Coach