When it comes to wellness, employers are looking for hard numbers.
A 2015 survey of CFOs bears this out. The overwhelming majority (85%) say they play a role in their companies’ benefits decisions, and over a third (34%) view health and wellness benefits as an important tool for attracting and retaining talent.
But more than half (53%) of the CFOs surveyed by Integrated Benefits Institute (IBI) also say that to make those decisions about health benefits they need business metrics that link better employee health to improved job performance.
That creates a challenge for providers of wellness programs like Wellview Health. While he acknowledges that employers are looking for a hard number, Wellview Health CEO Geoff Duncan says they need to recognize that the return on investment for wellness comes in many different forms and is “not just a straight number.”
ROI by any other name . . .
“There are many other forms of ROI, such as employee retention,” Duncan says. “There are employees that will be calling in sick less and there will be people at the office who are more productive because they feel better.”
Wellview, he argues, helps their clients’ track the performance of their wellness programs by taking into account the employees’ experience with the program. If employers focus on their employees’ physical and financial wellness, while also seeing improved workforce morale and productivity gains, then the wellness program’s ROI “will be clear in the long run.”
Much of this has to do with providing employees with tools like telehealth at the right time, “so that they can have better outcomes,” Duncan adds. “If we do these things, then the ROI happens and [employers] will realize those returns on their investment.”
The IBI survey seems to support his reasoning. Although CFOs do want metrics to show whether or not the wellness program is working, only 6% of the respondents actually measure their benefits ROI, and only 23% measure any outcome.
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