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The ROI of Wellness

In our latest 2012 Study, Iowa employers were asked about Health and Wellness initiatives they are offering to their employees. As demonstrated below, organizations with less than 250 employees are far less likely to have wellness initiatives in place at their worksite. A few major reasons for this great chasm deal mostly with cost and time. Smaller employers have fewer resources (both in time and money) and desire to spend such resources on other pressing issues.

David P. Lind Benchmark

Employers were asked what type of “return on investment” (ROI) did they observe over the last two years of having a wellness program. As the next slide demonstrates, this response varies wildly based on organization size. Most likely, larger employers spend a great deal more time attempting to assess the ROI on such programs, and they appear to be more bullish on the results compared to their smaller counterparts. As you might imagine, there are many different ways to calculate a return on investment with wellness programs – in fact, the specific process used will determine the outcome. I believe the slide below is more about the “perception” Iowa employers have when assessing the payout of such programs. Keep in mind that a return of $1 simply means a “breakeven.” Any reported amount beyond $1 means the program provides a positive return.

David P. Lind Benchmark

The questions for this particular module of our Study were developed in collaboration with the University of Iowa Healthier Workforce Center for Excellence. This module attempts to learn if Iowa employers are achieving what the Institute of Medicine in 2005 proposed under its Employee Total Health Management Program.

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