Wellness programs promote healthy behaviors to boost employees’ overall health and create a more positive working environment. These employer programs provide employees with tools to support them on their wellbeing journey.
However, the executive team might be curious about whether an employee wellness program is even worth the investment for your company.
Employers continually recognize that workplace conditions impact an employee’s wellbeing, for better or worse. Wellbeing brings positive changes to overall health, including physical, mental and emotional levels.
Employees with lower wellbeing can be the significant burden of healthcare costs, resulting in loss of productivity for their employer. To measure their return on investment (ROI), employers can look at their medical cost savings. However, they should instead look at their value on investment (VOI) to get a larger picture.
What is the difference between ROI and VOI? What does it mean for a workplace wellness program? How will it ultimately improve employee health?
ROI Vs. VOI
A return on investment is a number that reflects an employer’s monetized claims savings. It will directly measure costs of providing a benefits plan. It then directly compares the costs to the healthcare savings over time.
A more holistic indicator that measures the impact of wellness programs is the value on investment. This takes many factors into account besides mere monetary values. To measure value on investment, employers can look at specific qualitative attributes such as morale, engagement, positivity, retention and recruitment.
Retention and Recruitment
Retention and recruitment are simpler to measure than the other attributes. If your workplace has a high turnover, this might indicate that your employer does not value wellbeing.
Likewise, it’s not a good sign if your employer struggles to recruit valuable talent. While neither of these relates directly to employee wellbeing, it’s known that workplaces that promote wellbeing attract and retain talent.
The direct effects that wellness has on recruitment and retention may not be considered under ROI, but it will affect your bottom line.
Morale, Engagement, and Positivity
A workplace’s morale, employee engagement and positivity attributes can be a little trickier to judge. Cost of training new employees can be calculated, but employee engagement is more difficult to quantify.
Low employee engagement can lead to some costs, like 70% more safety incidents and 40% quality defects. A wellness program will lead to fewer distractions and a more resilient employee population.
Once your workplace fosters a positive working environment to keep your employees engaged, then you will begin to see the value of a wellness program. A combination of physical wellness and mental health focus will improve health while benefiting the work environment.
Finally, collect data on what these programs mean to your employees. To get direct feedback on morale, utilize an HR communications tool to send out quick and easy surveys checking in on employees and their wellness levels.