Is the search for metrics the reason your wellness initiatives are failing?

Measuring wellness programmes. 2017 sees the rise of employee wellness programmes in workplaces across the UK and Ireland. Following their American counterparts, wellness is becoming a factor for HR and Benefits teams to establish and then prove useful. CFO’s want to see the ROI.

Many feel the answer to this is finding numbers; reduced sick days, increased retention of staff or the more personal body metrics including blood pressure, waist measurement, body-weight, etc.

Sadly, in the search for numerical data, the budget is focussed on wellness services that might scare employees off or just not raise their interests. If only it were as simple as taking blood pressure in January and re-testing in December, hoping to record change and thus attribute it to the wellness services. Life is always unexpected and multi-faceted regarding factors contributing to health. This way of thinking would not allow for the unexpected.

When dealing with employees wellbeing, it must be remembered that they will have stress factors and behaviours outside of the workplace that affects their health and are outside of the boundaries of what an employer can assist. Family crisis, unexpected disease, relationship issues: all can have a sudden impact on body metrics and affect results.

Even a very resilient employee who has utilised the wellness programme and had all the tools to deal with stress will likely see a temporary rise in blood pressure or heart rate if a family member suddenly passes away, or a child is suffering at school, etc. Should an employer be “re-testing” this day, would the programme be deemed a failure for the poor metric shown?

Wellness London is not at all unsupportive of using metrics. We partner with some excellent companies who provide fantastic health assessment tools. However, we advise using them with a realistic expectation and more so, as another tool for wellness education, rather than a business measure of investment.

When looking at proving the worth of investment, qualitative factors must be considered and accepted as a valid form of return. Happier employees, healthier employees are more productive and more likely to stay at a company where their employer does not appear to value employees health nor time.

We have a variety of methods of assessing your value of a wellness investment. Contact us today for more information.

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