Wellness Programs: Success Means Going Far Beyond ROI

The Harvard Business Review’s Jim Purcell recently asked a question that many corporate leaders and human resources professionals ask themselves on a regular basis, “Can wellness programs help employers reduce out-of-control health care costs?” Upon asking the question himself, Purcell answered with an undoubted, “yes.”

Return on investment (ROI) is clearly important and at the forefront of most wellness decisions. However, there are other advantages and outcomes that should be considered in order to see the full employer benefits when they put a more complete wellness plan into place.

Lifestyle management programs like nutrition and exercise are a great first step on the journey toward positive ROI, as they’re quick to provide a measurable return in categories like employee motivation and building a culture of health. However, the addition and integration of programs that “prevent at-risk employees from becoming ill and help chronically ill employees stabilize their conditions” are key when companies realize their need to look beyond initial ROI and take steps towards a more complete wellness program while, most importantly, keeping their company’s unique success criteria top-of-mind.

Purcell hints at the idea of a holistic or full-circle wellness program, one that forms a solid base by engaging employees in their own health, but then takes those successes a step farther by pulling data and using analytics to give companies valuable information on the health issues of their population at large.

This full-circle program is something that as a company, we’re passionate about – a passion that’s seen in our HealthSpective program.

In a nutshell, HealthSpective brings analytics and engagement together through two platforms (Analyze and Engage) and empowers them to work together to enable companies to achieve the best possible results in their population health management – not just outcomes in one wellness category or another. Ultimately, that best possible result is not only when employees are more engaged in their health, but when their disease and chronic conditions are under control, which leads to results like a lower healthcare costs, less absenteeism and a more functional workforce.

There isn’t one solution to elevating population health – it’s a combination, and a focus on more than just one measurable return on investment. The value that companies will see with a healthy staff – reduced absenteeism, better morale and company culture and increased productivity, among other benefits – should also play a role.

“…It’s time to correct course and double down on workplace wellness. When done right, workplace wellness offers both near- and long-term financial and competitive returns and provides an alternative to the toxic, zero-sum game of reducing health coverage and increasing employee insurance cost.”

“This is an opportunity that cannot be missed.”

Read more about DHS Group’s full-circle solution to population health management in our new HealthSpective brochure