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5 metrics to evaluate the impact of your employee wellness program

Any business owner knows that measuring Return on Investment (ROI) can be challenging. Measuring ROI for employee wellness can be even more challenging. But as more companies become aware of the importance of wellness in the workplace and invest in workplace wellness programs, the need to measure these programs becomes even more apparent.

With perks ranging from traditional health insurance to more modern benefits like gym memberships and onsite meals, employers want to know whether their investment is paying off. In this Pacific Prime article, we look at the five metrics that can be used to evaluate the impact of your employee wellness program.

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How to measure wellness program success

The purpose of an employee wellness program is to improve the health and wellbeing of your workforce. Common wellness program goals include:

  • Preventing and managing health issues and chronic illnesses
  • Lowering financial burden
  • Improving employee morale
  • Enhancing employees’ overall quality of life

While the benefits of perks such as free food at work have been found to make employees feel appreciated and valued, wellness programs also increase productivity and have the potential to help companies save money over time. However, it isn’t always easy to tell if the money you’re spending on employee wellness programs is paying off. The following five metrics can be used to measure if your workplace wellness program is making an impact.

1. Work output

There are two ways that employee wellness programs can improve productivity and overall work output. To begin with, these programs help employees feel valued and enthusiastic about the company culture, resulting in higher engagement at work. According to the Workplace Research Foundation, employees who are highly engaged are 38% more likely to have above-average productivity.

On top of that, successful employee wellness programs play an important role in helping employees live healthier and happier lives. It’s no secret that people who eat a healthy diet, get enough exercise, and sleep well have more energy and enthusiasm, making it easier for them to be productive and get more done. You may even notice some people staying in the office a little longer to complete their assignments, which is something you wouldn’t see if they’re struggling to stay awake past lunchtime.

To calculate whether you can see higher ROI yet, look at the revenue increase resulting from work outputs since the start of the program. Then divide that number by the cost of the program and you have your answer.

2. Employee turnover

A huge benefit of workplace wellness programs is that they show employees they are appreciated and valued. Employees who feel appreciated have higher job satisfaction. After all, who wouldn’t want to work for a company that not only invests in them professionally but personally as well?

If the wellness program you’ve implemented is one that your employees truly love, it can show in improved retention rates. This is even more likely when wellness programs become part of a company culture that is positive and caring. Take into account that lack of appreciation is a key reason why almost 80% of employees leave their jobs, which means comprehensive employee wellness programs can make a big difference.

You also need to keep in mind that high turnover rates can cost your company a lot of money. If an employee leaves the company, you have to spend time and money looking for, hiring, and training a new one. Aside from costing you money, it reduces productivity as well. Your best bet is to keep your best employees by offering workplace wellness programs that are specific to their needs.

3.Sick leave

Since employee wellness programs are focused on wellness, it makes sense that your employees’ health should improve once these programs are implemented. That means you will probably see fewer sick days amongst the entire workforce.

With that said, this metric can be complicated. For instance, employees with chronic conditions are probably still going to need all of their sick days. Generally healthy employees, on the other hand, may not need them as much as in the past. They’ll usually still use their vacation and personal days, but unplanned sick leave will most likely decrease.

When it comes to health, even the smallest changes can go a long way. Someone who is exercising more will boost their immune system and will be less likely to become ill. The employee wellness program perks that can be most helpful in reducing overall sick leave usage include preventative healthcare and health coaching.

4. Employee participation

Workplace wellness programs are typically optional, even if employees are offered an incentive to take part. Consequently, a significant increase in employee participation is a good sign. Some companies have 50% or more of their entire workforce engaged in wellness programs, which shows that they are seen as valuable.

It’s easy to track this metric as well since most programs allow you to track participation. You can track the number of people who register for the program or certain initiatives within the program. If you keep track of this, gradual signs of engagement will prove that the program is having an impact.

5. Behavior

Some employee wellness programs teach employees about how to live a healthy life and provide solutions for ways to make it a reality. One clear indicator that your employee wellness program is paying off is if you start to see healthier behaviors at work. It’s worth noting that some changes may be less obvious, especially when they focus on preventative measures. Similarly, some signs may be so small you barely notice them so keep an eye out!

For example, you might begin to notice that the people who are usually stressed out and used to staying late are leaving work at reasonable times. Plus, they come back to the office looking recharged and ready for the new day instead of overwhelmed and rushed. Likewise, if your program involves walking, you might start to see people walking around during their phone calls, going for a walk during their break, and even sporting fitness tracking devices.

These changes are often subtle and hard to spot, particularly since you won’t be able to see the changes consistently. Even so, it can still be used to evaluate the impact of your program since it’s the small behavioral changes that lead to a healthier way of life.

Setting up an employee wellness program

Employee wellness programs are only growing in popularity. As an employer, the sooner you implement this type of program in your company, the better. Not ready to spend on a comprehensive wellness program? Fret not. There are ways you can still make your employees feel valued, such as by providing the benefits that your workforce is after.

Whether you’re looking to implement a comprehensive employee wellness program or make changes to your existing one, Pacific Prime is here to help. As a leading employee benefits specialist and insurance broker, we have the knowledge and expertise to assist you in finding the best employee benefits program, company insurance solutions, and more. Contact us for impartial advice along with a free quote and plan comparison today.

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