Evaluating the VOI of Your Wellness Plans

Modern office building with plants and young workers.

Employers are no longer just focusing on traditional metrics to evaluate the benefits plans they offer to employees. Instead of only healthcare savings or adoption rates of retirement plans, employers are now focusing their attention on additional metrics called VOIs (Value on Investments).

VOIs give employers deeper insights into the success of wellness programs and give a more complete view of their employees and business.

What are VOIs?

VOIs are a collective term that include not only the financial benefits an employer receives from a benefits program (ROIs), but also softer metrics like employee happiness, adoption rates, and productivity.

Sometimes, VOIs can be traced back to more tangible financial results, but collectively include more success metrics than just how benefits affect the bottom line.

Some examples of VOIs include things like:

Self-assessments: Self-reported health and financial wellness give a high-level look at the effectiveness of a benefit program. Benefits providers can provide questionnaires or periodic assessments to see how employees feel about their progress towards goals.

Absenteeism: Both financial and health wellness affect employee productivity and absenteeism rates at work. Nearly a third of employees say their personal finances have distracted them at work.

By measuring company-wide absenteeism rates after the rollout of a new wellness program, employers can get an indirect causal relationship between a benefit and absenteeism.

Retention rates: For organizations of all sizes, employee retention rates can be directly affected by the effectiveness of a wellness program. A 2017 survey found that more than 60% of employers who implemented the right wellness programs saw growth in their organization.

Productivity: Nearly one third of employees say that problems with their personal finances distract them at work and on average, 55% of employers believe financial wellness leads to greater productivity.

The right wellness benefits to address issues outside of work can lead to higher productivity when employees are in the office.

Setting VOI Goals

To measure the success of a benefits program, it’s important to set relevant goals. To create goals and KPIs, first determine the types of activities you expect employees to complete within their benefits platforms.

If the focus of a new benefits program is to educate employees to reduce their levels of stress, your VOI goals should be focused more on the engagement and retention rates of educational modules. If you’re more focused on the overall health of an employee, your metrics could be more focused on self-assessments and reporting.

The key to successful VOI goals is to focus on multiple metrics of overall wellness, not just one or two. On average, most employers use 6 or 7 metrics to measure both operational performance at an organization, as well as the effectiveness of a benefits program.

Use both ROIs and VOIs to measure success

To get a full picture of how your benefits offerings are performing, you should use both ROIs and VOIs to evaluate a program.

As mentioned earlier, programs that are focused primarily on education would benefit from using softer metrics like VOIs to evaluate reductions in stress levels and satisfaction with the benefit, whereas health benefits programs that encourage exercise or smoking cessation can be measured with tangible financial savings and more traditional ROIs.

According to a recent Working Well survey, 25% of employers are now using VOIs to measure the effectiveness of their wellness programs. Although they are more difficult to implement, VOIs offer more nuanced insights into how employee benefits programs are working and let employers pinpoint where programs are succeeding and where they need improvement.

With VOIs, you get a full view of the overall health of an organization and the “whole employee.”

How are you currently measuring the success of your benefits programs?

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