How to choose the right wellness program?

Cost, time and effectiveness are the factors to consider

Maybe you’ve decided that it’s time to try a wellness program to address factors that are negatively influencing the happiness, stability, and expenses related to the health of your workforce. The success of your business relies on employees who are focused on their work, show up consistently and reliably for your organization, and whose health doesn’t impose avoidable medical expenses and insurance claims. The behavioral changes that underpin these issues are what wellness programs are designed to affect. But, how do you know you’re choosing the right program—that will drive the change you’re looking for—and not investing in a wellness program that will miss the mark, not earn attention and participation from your workforce, and ultimately be yet another expense on top of the ones you had hoped to overcome?

Three key criteria should drive your research and comparison of wellness programs, and ultimately the choice you make: the cost, time and effort you must invest to earn employee interest and participation, and ultimately the results.

At this point, wellness programs appear to be a commodity. So many options are available that seemingly offer the same features, do the same thing, and are designed to deliver the same results. Shopping for the best price may seem like the logical approach to guide your selection process. But, how much you spend on a wellness program isn’t the only thing that determines the smartness of your decision. Rather, it’s whether you choose a program designed to address the issues you believe are at the core of where improvement is possible, especially among the employees you feel are most responsible for the challenges you want to overcome. Learn more about how cost should guide your wellness program choice.

Time investment
After you’ve chosen a wellness program to implement, the real work begins, which is driving adoption and engagement from your employees. A program can’t be successful if it doesn’t earn participation from the employees who will most benefit from it. When considering which wellness program to commit to, it’s important to understand what responsibility—meaning time and effort—you and your team will need to devote to crafting and delivering the activities and communications required to earn employee participation.

Evaluating effectiveness
Feeling confident that a wellness program offers a mechanism for measuring and demonstrating achievement of intended results is the most important factor among your decision-making criteria. Ultimately, being able to showcase positive results will determine whether your choice and implementation of a wellness program is viewed as a success, failure, smart investment, or waste of resources. The essential first step is yours, which is evaluating your organization’s challenges and identifying exactly where you feel wellness program intervention is needed, and how the circumstances that reflect the collective wellness of your workforce will look different if a program has done its job. For that to be possible, a wellness program must come with reporting that offers the visibility you need.

Where does WellSpark fit in among wellness programs?
WellSpark is for clients seeking a holistic, integrated wellness program to drive cultural shift within a workforce, not just target a single health issue.

WellSpark focuses on a variety of measures, including disease distress and forward-looking “future cost avoidance” rather than return-on-investment, which is a measure of past performance. WellSpark seeks to reach employees who are not yet part of the “sick care” system but who have the potential to become costly members in the future if no intervention is taken.

Your healthiest most wellness-conscious employees will jump at the chance to participate in a program. But they are the ones you least need to reach and influence. To impact change where it is needed, you need to reach and engage employees who ignore or resist participation. It’s not the largest potential participation that will drive the results you need, it’s participation from those who present the greatest barrier to achieving results, and who are usually the ones most difficult to reach and engage. That’s where WellSpark’s boutique, consultative, and customizable approach truly delivers.

Holistic versus single-point solution wellness programs
Although wellness programs come in variety of forms and are delivered through multiple modalities, one distinguishing factor can help in your research, evaluation, and decision among programs. If a program is a single-point-solution, it aims to address one health concern, such as prevention or management of diabetes. So, if you have identified more than one health or wellness issue to tackle with your workforce, you may need to consider more than one solution. In contrast, holistic programs, WellSpark being one example, consider biological, psychological, and social dimensions of a person’s health to address the whole wellness picture.

Let WellSpark help you determine what type of wellness program is the best fit for your organization. Contact us today.