Measuring the success and engagement of your wellness program is crucial to ensure it is meeting your expectations and to provide valuable analytics to help refine and customize the program. However, employers struggle to define the value of their programs.
In a 2019 wellness program performance study by the National Business Group on Health, 56% of employers were unable to demonstrate the value of their wellness programs, and only 34% of employers tracked productivity (1).
There are many reasons that companies struggle to properly measure their wellness programs:
- Complexity in measuring health outcomes
- Lack of clear metrics
- Difficulty in collecting data
- Employee privacy concerns
- Poor engagement
- Insufficient wellness platform
Taken together, these challenges are symptoms of a lack of strategic focus and planning. We discussed the need for a strategic wellness plan in our previous article, Overcoming the Challenges in Developing a Wellness Program.
The article will review the key metrics that should be measured and offer some suggestions on how to use the data to improve and customize your wellness program.
What to measure
Key metrics should align with your corporate objectives such as:
- Improved employee health
- Reduced absenteeism and presenteeism
- Improved productivity
- Community and team building
Here are some key metrics that should be part of most wellness programs.
- Cost of absenteeism
An effective wellness program can contribute to lower absenteeism costs. Measuring the cost of absenteeism is also not easy. Check out our article on how to better measure and track the cost of absenteeism.
This article examines essential metrics for measuring and monitoring employee absences, ensuring alignment with your organization’s strategic objective. The article emphasizes these key points:
- Early intervention
- Real-time tracking
- Policy automation
- Distinguishes between time and absence management
- Engagement with the program
Understanding the engagement rate of the program shows how your wellness program resonates with employees and what needs to be improved if it is not reaching the desired engagement.
The rate of engagement measures how actively participants are using the program, and this is tracked in various ways such as app logins, biometric data, social interaction, and participation in challenges and events.
To get the exact engagement rate numbers on the platform, using this formula can get the exact percentage: Engagement rate (%) = (Number of engaged employees/Total eligible employees) x 100
- Health status of your employee population
Tracking and measuring the lifestyle changes of your employees can help you further grasp the success of your program. If your program offers incentives to quit smoking and adopt healthier behaviours, it can be tracked to know if your employees are utilizing the program.
- Health risk assessments and biometric data collection
Conducting health risk assessments and biometric screenings can give a better understanding of the employee’s health status and risk factors. The assessment would measure changes in key health indicators such as blood pressure, cholesterol, and body mass index (BMI) to gauge the impact of your wellness program on employee health. Regularly reviewing the data is important to identify specific trends, allowing you to tailor the program accordingly.
- Employee satisfaction
Employee satisfaction surveys are great measuring methods to understand the success of your wellness program. Use questionnaires to gauge employee satisfaction with the wellness program and its impact on their well-being. This will allow you to identify areas of improvement so you can personalize the program further to cater to employees.
How to use this information
Once you start tracking these metrics and collecting data, the next step is to analyze it to help improve and customize your program. Here are some of the ways you can use this data.
- Adjust goals so they are achievable
Regularly evaluating your wellness program is crucial as it ensures that it is relevant, effective, and aligned with the needs of your employees. Conducting periodic program reviews allows for data-driven adjustments, enabling you to get closer to reaching your goals and enhancing existing parts of the program.
- Segment workforce to tailor a program to specific groups
Creating a customized program targeted for specific groups will resonate with your workforce and foster a better relationship with them as you are addressing their personal needs and concerns. An example is targeting those who are prediabetic and tailoring specific challenges, incentives, rewards, and programs to this group can improve employee satisfaction. The success of this can be calculated with data analysis and biometric screenings of these employee groups.
- Use feedback to select programs that are of interest
Regular communication with employees can help you understand the concerns they have at work, whether it be stress-related or burnout, a channel where they can give their feedback on what is working and what is not in terms of the wellness program can help you curate aspects of the programs that are of interest.
- Categorize population health status as red/yellow/green
The employee’s health status can be categorized in terms of how severe the health issues are for each employee. Green would be tagged to employees who have little to no health issues, yellow indicates employees who are at risk or have mild health issues and red is for more severe issues related to smoking or stress. Employers would be notified of the employees in yellow and red and take action to find a solution to the issues.
How to measure a wellness program
Effective measurement can be difficult for the reasons mentioned above. Measurement becomes even more difficult, if not impossible, without an online wellness platform and software support tools.
- Use Health risk assessment to analyze employee population health risks
Employee health measurement should start with a Health Risk Assessment (HRA). This is a detailed questionnaire to evaluate an individual’s current health status and potential health risks. For employers, aggregate HRA reporting will provide population health status.
- Use a wellness platform to get detailed usage analytics
A Wellness platform can provide the administration support to deliver wellness initiatives and the data to analyze participation. A wellness platform can track:
- Participation in Challenges
- Participation in wellness challenges by department or job type. You can track the participation rates of each individual group, job type, and wellness challenge to better understand how to improve certain aspects of the challenges
- Points for reward programs
- This feature can be tracked to see if employees are earning points and redeeming their rewards, which rewards are enticing and removing incentives that are not relevant to employees
- Feedback and responses from surveys
- Tracking the statistics on surveys sent to employees to understand participation levels and gather feedback
- Wellness platform usage
- You can track the usage levels of employees and how often they log in and use specific features and videos within the platform
- Use biometric clinics to categorize the medical status of the employee population.
- You can track the health status of your workforce using the health status colours to identify which areas of your organization need attention or have been getting closer to being at risk (ex. Smoking habits leading to more absences due to health problems)
The platform should offer measurement and reporting tools to assess the program’s impact on absenteeism, health outcomes, and overall wellness. Additionally, it should be able to provide analytics on usage, generate surveys and gather feedback to understand the success of the wellness program.
How Workplace Medical Corp. can help
Tracking and measuring your wellness program starts with having a strategic plan and having the right tools. Workplace Medical Corp. (WMC) can help with both.
Our experienced consultants help develop wellness plans and implement key metrics to personalize your wellness program. We will work closely with your organization to understand your specific needs, employee demographics, goals, strategies, and measurable metrics for success.
WMC’s wellness platform is equipped with robust analytics and reporting capabilities such as participation rates, engagement levels, and the impact on absenteeism. You will be able to generate detailed reports and view all key analytics on a dashboard that provides insights into the effectiveness of your wellness platform.
The wellness platform is designed with user customization in mind. It can be personalized by the individual user to see the information that is relevant to them. Employees can access their own profiles to set personal health goals, receive tailored recommendations, participate in challenges, and earn rewards through participation.
WMC can arrange and manage onsite biometric clinics to capture biometric data. The clinics offer convenient access to health screenings, biometrics data collection, and health risk assessments to gather accurate and real-time health data from your workforce.
In summary, WMC offers a comprehensive approach to support your organization’s wellness program. We can help you design, implement, and measure the success of a wellness program that meets the unique needs of your employees and aligns with your business goals.
Ready to take your wellness program to the next level? Book your FREE 30-minute consultation with Workplace Medical Corp. today.