No such thing as a perfect wellness program

Needs assessments are key to developing the right solution for you own organisation

Employers often use wellness programs to control employee benefits, rising insurance premiums and to help attract and retain employees. But there is perfect solution or gold standard by which to measure the value derived from a worksite wellness or wellbeing program. Typically, programs have been measured by their ROI (return-on-investment) specifically related to healthcare cost savings and cost savings through reduced absenteeism. But it is important to note that ROI is just one type of financial measure and money is only one measure of value.

Value determination is based on knowing how the various evaluation strategies and metrics fit within specific organizations, different sized employee populations, available data and the type and amount resources available for program evaluation. It is important to remember that the worksite wellness value proposition includes value for the employer, as well as value for the employee.

In order develop a program that suits your company, it is important to start with a needs assessment. You might already know what you company’s wellness needs are, but it is important to have deep understanding of what the organization’s goals and resources are. It is also important to learn about the employees’ needs, concerns, expectations, challenges and preferences.

Then, once a company has found and implemented a program that balances the company's goals its employees’ expectations, it must continue to assess the program, getting feedback to understand what is or is not working well.

Far too many worksite wellness programs are launched or implemented without the benefit of a comprehensive, organisation-wide needs assessment and subsequent data analysis having been conducted. When considering a medical aid or any other kind of personal insurance, one has to find a solution that suits their budget, lifestyle, and risks. The same applies to organisations when developing wellness programs