With the number and diversity of organizations offering employee wellness programs continuing to expand, you may be considering adding a wellness program or enhancing your existing offering. After all, a solid wellness program can reduce your organization’s health care costs, improve employee productivity and increase overall employee job satisfaction. Before you jump on to the next flashy wellness program (treadmill desks, anyone?) consider what you do and don’t know about the health of your current population. 

Clear Sight into Employee Health Offers Key Insights

With the number and diversity of organizations offering employee wellness programs continuing to expand, you may be considering adding a wellness program or enhancing your existing offering. After all, a solid wellness program can reduce your organization’s health care costs, improve employee productivity and increase overall employee job satisfaction. Before you jump on to the next flashy wellness program (treadmill desks, anyone?) consider what you do and don’t know about the health of your current population.

“It’s important that companies don’t lose sight of what they want their wellness programs to accomplish,” according to Jennifer Piliero, senior product manager for Ceridian LifeWorks. 

Visibility to wellness

According to Towers Watson’s 2013 Reshaping Health Care Report, more than half of employers require their employees to complete a health risk appraisal or biometric screening to be eligible for additional financial incentives. These screenings are one step to gaining a better understanding of the health of your employee population, but you’re not seeing the full picture. For a successful – and sustainable – wellness program, you need to take a more holistic view of your employee population and your program objectives.

“It’s important that companies don’t lose sight of what they want their wellness programs to accomplish,” according to Jennifer Piliero, senior product manager for Ceridian LifeWorks. “For example, if reducing employee absenteeism is a goal of your wellness program, you first need to understand the baseline absenteeism rates for particular segments of your population.”

Can you answer these wellness questions?

There are many tools and resources that can help you develop a strong wellness strategy, and it all starts with asking the right questions. “You’ll have much better success getting leadership buy-in and investment in a wellness program if you’ve gathered and analyzed the right data,” says Piliero.

Asking – and having the ability to answer – these questions will help put your wellness program into focus:

  • Are we able to stratify our employee population so that we can identify where employee segments fall on the spectrum from healthy to at-risk? What characteristics (e.g., gender, age, location, job function) are similar within these segments?  Are there risks and conditions common to our population?
  • What wellness initiatives have we tried that were successful? Were they successful for a particular segment of our employee group? If so, why? Can we leverage any of our existing wellness program elements?
  • What kinds of incentives will appeal to our employee segments?
  • What is the preferred communication approach for various employee segments?
  • How will we know that our wellness program is successful? Are we capturing the right data points and allowing adequate time to measure?

Some of these questions may be relatively easy for you to answer, but others may require access to data and reporting tools that are currently out of reach. Partnering with an experienced wellness services provider can help you consider all of the elements you need to develop the right wellness program for your organization and can provide the tools needed to bring your strategy into focus.

For more information:

  • View our Wellness Strategies Infographic