Assessing the Value of Corporate Wellness

Wellness programs are quickly becoming one of the top three benefits that employers offer to their employees.

Most employee benefits are offered for competitive reasons. An organization wants to attract and retain the best possible talent; and benefits are an integral part of an overall compensation strategy. Wellness programs are somewhat different. Although wellness benefits certainly do serve the attract/retain purpose, that appears to be a secondary rather than a primary purpose for offering them.

Most employers offer wellness programs as a mechanism to contain the long-term cost of health insurance. Given that cost of health care has more than doubled in the past decade (growing from $11,192 to $23,215 for a typical family of four) and is projected to continue to rise at the same pace, it makes sense that employers would try to reduce that line item on the P&L.

To get to the root of the real motivation for instituting a wellness program, it makes sense to ask employers what they plan to measure to determine the value of the program. To that end, we asked employers to rank a number of factors as to their importance in measuring effectiveness of their program.