Employers Using VOI to Measure Wellness Program Success

For Immediate Release
February 11, 2016

Employers Using VOI to Measure Wellness Program Success
New Report Examines Shared Components Among Successful Workplace Wellness Programs

Brookfield, Wisconsin—When it comes to measuring wellness program success, a new report finds employers are using value-on-investment (VOI) measures in addition to return-on-investment (ROI) numbers. Just over one-quarter (28%) of organizations are measuring their wellness program success with traditional ROI. Half are using at least one VOI measure to track success including employee engagement (30%), turnover (22%), absenteeism (18%), productivity (17%) and recruitment/referral rates (13%).

The new International Foundation report, A Closer Look: Workplace Wellness Outcomes, compares organizations achieving positive wellness VOI with the average organization offering wellness initiatives and finds that, in general, organizations with positive wellness VOI offer a wider range of wellness offerings than other organizations. Positive VOI organization offerings include fitness and nutrition initiatives, screening and treatment programs, social and community events, stress and mental health offerings, and purpose and growth initiatives.

Positive VOI wellness programs are also more likely to use a wide variety of wellness communication channels including seminars, speakers, testimonials, books, brochures, health fairs and social media.

"Employers reporting a strong VOI are taking a more holistic approach to wellness," explained Julie Stich, CEBS, research director at the International Foundation. "Beyond traditional wellness initiatives, they are offering options like stress-management programs, staff outings, charity drives and flexible workhours."

Incentives continue to be popular for increasing participation in wellness initiatives, and the report finds that when it comes to increasing participation, they appear to be working. Employee participation is especially increased by offering incentives for health screenings (57% vs. 40%), weight-loss programs (37% vs. 17%) and health fairs (54% vs. 37%). Other factors that successfully increase participation are targeting programs based on employee health risks, surveying workers for feedback on initiatives, including spouses and children in offerings and having company leaders communicate wellness program support.

"Wellness programs are not one size fits all," said Stich. "Before launching or expanding a wellness initiative, employers should determine what their goals are and what programs are a good fit for their unique workplace culture."

In addition to increasing participation rates, three factors—a greater level of wellness communication, a willingness to seek worker input and an effort to include families—are repeating themes across organizations with positive ROI, VOI and great workplace cultures.

A Closer Look: Workplace Wellness Outcomes breaks down the various types of wellness program designs offered and outcomes experienced by organizations to reveal ideas for success. The report uses data from 372 U.S. organizations of a variety of sizes, industries and regions across the U.S. that participated in the 2015 Workplace Wellness Trends Survey.

The full report is available at www.ifebp.org/WellnessOutcomes.

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The International Foundation of Employee Benefit Plans is a member-driven organization with six decades of experience as a leading objective source of employee benefits education and information within the American and Canadian workplace. The Foundation's expertise is industrywide, and it offers resources that include Foundation staff, training, conferences and research on topics critical to assisting its 33,000 multiemployer, corporate and public sector members to respond to trends affecting the well-being of more than 25 million lives in North America. For additional information, visit www.ifebp.org.