25th Aug 2016
By: Timothy Hanold & Adam Weliver, Humana Wellness
The importance of employee personalization as a key component of success for wellness programs is paramount. But, personalization is also essential at the organizational level. Since no two organizations are completely alike, each one must come up with its own unique strategy to encourage employees to be healthier and more productive.
But how do employers even begin creating strategies that are right for them? Here, we discuss why and how an employer’s wellness program needs to be aligned with organizational goals.
Link wellness goals up with organizational goals? YES!
Recent research suggests that employers are looking to wellness for reasons other than simply controlling healthcare costs. In a survey of more than 700 employers, 64 percent looked for a value on investment (VOI) instead of return on investment (ROI) for their wellness programs. That means they were focused on a broader range of success metrics, such as “absenteeism, worker morale, employee turnover, presenteeism, workers’ compensation, short- and long-term disability, employee loyalty.”1
With a formal set of goals such as those mentioned, employers:
· Are more likely to develop specific metrics to measure the effectiveness of their programs,
· Will have a more definitive answer on whether they are receiving a VOI from their programs,
· Are more motivated to effectively position wellness programs to their employees.
Wellness = successful business
Did you know that only half of employers offering benefits have a “formally articulated health and productivity strategy that is aligned to business priorities”?2
Business priorities can include examples such as reaching a specific sales goal, raising profit margins, or improving retention of employees.
A strategically planned wellness program can assist organizations in achieving such goals by saving on costs (such as those related to healthcare), raising productivity related to those goals, and improving the state of your workforce by enhancing factors such as employee attraction, retention, and morale.
When developing objectives for wellness strategies, employers should envision how they will: support the organization’s goals, be measured, and be communicated to the workforce.
Endorsing a wellness program as a business strategy: A quick how-to
There are many ways to advance wellness in different sectors of an organization.
In the C-suite
Leaders need to demonstrate their buy-in and set an example with action steps like:
· Declaring the wellness program goals in annual well-being reports, town halls, and leadership meetings,
• Highlighting well-being testimonials and personal stories from leaders in internal communications,
• Providing statistics and proof points on how better well-being can improve productivity and progress toward the organization’s goals.
At the manager level
Managers can connect the larger organization’s goals with the day-to-day work of teams and departments by:
• Discussing wellness goals, events, team challenges, and resources at the beginning or end of team meetings,
• Using wellness team challenges and competitions to get employees to work together in a different way.
In the benefits / human resources department
In larger businesses, this team will work with the wellness program partner(s) to develop a strategy that keeps track of metrics to measure effectiveness. These metrics may include:
• Healthcare costs,
• Emergency healthcare or preventive healthcare usage,
• Absenteeism, e.g., the number of work hours or workdays of unscheduled absences,
• Numbers indicating employee attraction or retention,
• Employee morale, measured with surveys and focus groups.
Do it today…
Don’t spend time struggling to connect the dots between wellness and business goals your organization. Engage your wellness team today and bring better health and greater productivity to your workforce.
1. Willis Health Productivity Survey 2015
2. Towers Watson Business Value of a Healthy Workforce 2014
Timothy Hanold is Chief of Operations for Experience Delivery at Humana Wellness.
Adam Weliver is Vice President of Sales and Client Management Leader at Humana Wellness.
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