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Well-being Foundations Playbook Step 4: Track Your Value on Your Investment

With the shift of wellness programs to a more holistic approach, and understanding the interconnected layers that contribute to well-being, it is important to quantify success. 

Value on investment (VOI) is a more comprehensive approach to evaluate programs and realize their impact. VOI includes tangible and intangible benefits, both direct and indirect, to provide a more inclusive assessment. 

In considering the adoption of a VOI approach, it is important to:

  • Align your organization’s goals.
  • Identify your access to data.
  • Determine where executive leadership is in the journey to well-being.

In taking this holistic approach to employee health and well-being, it makes sense that your evaluation metrics follow. We encourage you to answer two simple questions:

  • What is your desired vision of the program solution?
  • What critical business challenges in your organization can this program solve?

The MMA Well-being Dashboard is designed to help your organization track the VOI metrics that are most valuable to your unique goals and objectives. 

  • What will be your organization’s goals?
  • What will be your metrics for goals?
  • Who will be the accountable parties for goals?

Incentive strategy best practices

Incentive strategy options

  • It must be made available to all similarly situated individuals.
  • Do not provide a reward or do not require the individual to satisfy a standard related to a  
    health factor to receive a reward.
  • Do not count participation toward HIPAA’s incentive limits.
  • Do not require a reasonable alternative standard (RAS) to receive the incentive.

Example 1: Providing a premium reduction to employees who complete a health risk assessment regardless of the results or any further action required on the part of the employee.

Example 2: Providing an health savings account (HSA) contribution for participating in biometric testing without basing any part of the reward on the testing results.

  • A participant must perform or complete an activity related to a health factor but is not  
    required to actually achieve a specific health outcome to receive a reward.
  • Do count participation toward HIPAA’s incentive limits.
  • May require a RAS to receive the incentive under certain circumstances.

Example: An incentive for completing a fitness or healthy eating challenge without requiring actual weight loss or another health outcome.

  • This option is an incentive strategy that is used to motivate employees to improve their health.
  • A participant must actually achieve or maintain a specific health outcome to receive a reward.
  • Do count participation toward HIPAA’s incentive limits.
  • Requires a RAS to receive the incentive if an individual fails the required outcome.

Example: A premium reduction for being tobacco-free, achieving a target BMI, or other biometric testing results.

Characteristics of effective incentives

Deploy your company well-being initiative

There are different ways to deploy your well-being initiatives. Below is a list of approaches that you could implement in your own strategy. Consider a combination of methods to find the right approach that works for your organization.

This model of support is essential for the sustainability of any well-being program. This deployment has visible and consistent support from an executive sponsor in the organization. This support can manifest in the following ways: e-communication from leadership endorsing program, mention of program in meetings by executive sponsor, and/or participation in the program’s activities. 

This model for support is less common, but still an option for deployment of a successful program. In this model, the employees show a general inclination to engage in positive well-being promoting behaviors and start informal programs and activities that turn into inspiration for the development of a more formal program. 

This model is focused on driving a program through the people who have the greatest impact on the employee experience—the people leaders. This deployment can manifest in the following ways: communications about programs are present in team meetings, managers are encouraged to have their team participate in programs, participation in the well-being programs by people-leaders, and/or the goals of the well-being program are part of the people leader goals. 

This model is based on having employee representatives from all levels across the organization help shape and drive well-being program initiatives forward. Wellness ambassadors or champions can be volunteer-based or selected by other leaders in the organization to represent their group. 

This model is the most common model seen in organizations, as the well-being program is so closely tied to employee experience, it is commonly part of the human resource department or the department that oversees employee experience. This model manifests in the following ways: communications come from the designated department, promotion of programs, information, and administration of the program is managed by this department. 

Hospitality client (committee/HR led) 
Because of the diversity in locations and job functions, this group adopted a committee led/HR directed model for deployment and execution. This allows for each location/job function to have representation and input to the program that the HR team presents. 

Food and beverage client (people leader/HR led) 
Because of the nature of work for this team, they adopted a people leader/HR directed approach to their program. They encourage managers to participate in the program and communicate well-being offerings regularly to their teams. 

Finance client (HR led/committee led and top-down) 
Because of the demographics, variety in location, and job function, this client has adopted three models for deployment and execution of the program. They have executive leadership endorsing and communicating the program. Often, HR leads the direction and evaluation of the program and has a committee made up of diverse leaders from across the organization to help drive the program’s success. 

Transportation (top-down/ambassador led) 
Because of the variety in job functions this group has adopted a top-down/ambassador led approach to deploying and executing the well-being initiative. Executives communicate the importance of the program, embed it in employee surveys, and participate in the programs themselves. They have monthly wellness ambassador meetings, a committee made up of volunteer employees from various locations who are passionate about communicating the program forward.