wellness-crop-600x338It was Socrates who once made the statement “The unexamined life is not worth living.” Well, we’re no philosophers, but we’d say a similar fact is true about workplace wellness in that “An unevaluated wellness program is not worth implementing.”

Many organizations introduce initiatives such as smoking cessation, fitness competitions, healthy snacking, and other well intentioned ideas. And, while those are all good things, what’s the point if you never measure the effectiveness of these programs? By evaluating your wellness program and initiatives, you can determine if the steps you’re taking are actually doing anything to change behaviors or improve employee health. Only then will you know what to change in the future.

Here are a few methods to help you gauge the success of your workplace wellness program.

  • Participation: How many people are enrolling or participating in your initiatives? That says a lot about how well they’re supported.
  • Surveys: Poll employees (anonymously, of course) to measure changes in attitude, behaviors, and habits from the time of implementation vs. the completion of a specific campaign.
  • Quizzes: Test your employees’ knowledge of health facts and tips.
  • Vending: Determine if there’s been a trend towards healthier snack options in the break room.
  • Assessments: Use health risk assessments to measure health indicators (blood pressure, cholesterol, weight, BMI, etc.) and risk factors (obesity, high blood pressure, tobacco use, etc.). Compare results pre- and post- program completion.
  • Personnel: Look at turnover and recruitment to determine if your wellness program has impacted your ability to retain employees.
  • Claims: Have you seen a reduction in your employees’ health care claims since your program was implemented?
  • Cost: Compare what you’re spending on your wellness program with any potential savings, such as reduced absenteeism or lower health care claims, to determine your return on investment.

It’s up to you when and how often you measure these and other indicators of your program’s effectiveness. We recommend that you frequently, even if informally, gauge your employees’ level of satisfaction with your wellness initiatives. Health screenings and assessments should be done annually. Examining your organization’s overall wellness picture, including employee health and productivity can be done every few years.

As always, contact us today if we can help you get your company’s wellness program on the right track!