ROI for Wellness Programs
Heidi Zwart
ROI wellness programs

Any company that invests in wellness programming will be concerned with the impact and effectiveness of its offerings. Evaluating the ROI for wellness programs is important and includes a variety of factors to determine if invested dollars are being well allocated. 

Measure progress

The ROI for wellness programs includes accurate tracking of data for program participants. Without comparative data, for example, it’s hard to know if wellness programming is improving employee health or not. Companies like Restore Health track biometric data in advance of employee participation and then again at the 4 month mark to determine if improvements have been made to their blood pressure, weight, cholesterol, A1C, and triglycerides. It’s clear and simple to compare numbers to identify the ROI for wellness program investment through reduced healthcare costs and absenteeism with improved risk-factors of high cost employees.

Evaluate retention

Employees who stay engaged with an app, program, or challenge are most likely to see a strong ROI for wellness programs. Retention has a direct impact on employee health and wellbeing. BetterYou, for example, sees on average 2x the in-app retention of other wellness programs in the first 3 months. The result of this high engagement has led to:

  • 38% of app users sleeping 30 minutes more per night (better physical and emotional health)
  • 61% of app users getting an extra 10 minutes of talk time with their top people each day (better social health)
  • 42% of app users improving average movement by 500 steps per day (better physical health)

By tracking these numbers and knowing the impact of engagement, the ROI for wellness programs like BetterYou is improved physical, emotional, and social wellbeing.  

Improved workplace engagement & positivity

While numeric data tells some of the story about ROI for wellness programs, it’s not the only way to measure impact. Wellness programming often yields benefits that can’t be tangibly measured, like evaluating the mood and emotional wellbeing of your employees. SHRM refers to this as “the Employee Positivity Factor.” When employees aren’t feeling well physically or emotionally productivity suffers. Since lifestyle management programs lead to improvements in these vital areas of employee wellbeing, it’s important that these be considered in evaluating the ROI for wellness programs. When employees are healthier they are also happier at work and are better equipped to beat burnout

Notice cultural shift

Positive employees with thriving wellbeing help create a culture employees love, which has a direct impact on organizational health. Another intangible ROI for wellness programs includes a healthy shift in organizational culture. Successful wellness programs start with the CEO and trickle down through the leadership team to individual team members. Strong cultures lead to higher employee engagement. The more connected employees are to the company’s vision and values, the higher the presenteeism and productivity. Employee turnover is one of the biggest expenses for organizations, so reducing attrition by investing in good wellness programming will build a stronger and healthier organization.

The ROI for wellness programs can be measured by tracking the tangible and intangible improvements. Knowing what to look for when implementing new initiatives and making decisions about where and how to invest will help make decision making easier for organizations as they enter the new year.  

The BetterYou app uses behavior science to improve digital health and make it stick.

Want to learn how?