Employer enthusiasm really may increase the effectiveness of efforts to improve employees’ health.
Survey results compiled by the International Foundation of Employee Benefit Plans, Brookfield, Wis., hint at that possibility in a new IFEBP wellness program report.
IFEBP researchers based the report on 464 completed questionnaires from IFEBP members in the United States and Canada.
About 62% of all participants said their organizations had wellness programs, and another 15% said their organizations hope to set up wellness programs in the next year.
The IFEBP researchers emphasize in their report that comparing wellness program performance is still difficult.
Today, “there is no standardized, widely accepted methodology for measuring the savings from a wellness program,” the researchers write.
Only 45% of survey participants said their organizations’ wellness programs have achieved participation rates higher than 25%, and only 13% could provide return-on-investment figures for their organizations’ wellness programs.
At the organizations of the participants who could provide wellness program ROI figures, one-third are reporting returns of less than $2 for each dollar invested.
Methodology questions affect comparison of the ROI figures. One survey participant, for example, reported returns of at least 200%, or $2 on each dollar invested in wellness programs, but could not explain how the employer had come up with that ROI figure.