Making the Business Case for Investments in Workplace Health and Wellness

The Conference Board of Canada, 68 pages, June 2012
Report by Louise Chenier, Crystal Hoganson, Karla Thorpe
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This report provides organizations of all sizes with guidance on how to demonstrate the positive impacts of their investments in health and wellness initiatives.

Document Highlights

Making the Business Case for Investments in Workplace Health and Wellness offers insights into the necessary components of a comprehensive workplace health and wellness program, including evaluation. Evaluation is a critical component since it allows practitioners to gather evidence on the effectiveness of the wellness program. This information can be used to support funding allocations and make strategic decisions about future programming. A measurement framework is presented to help guide employers on what kinds of outcomes and impacts they can expect and what kinds of measurement approaches are appropriate, depending on the sophistication of their workplace wellness program. The report provides sample calculations for a variety of metrics that employers can use, for example, to track short-term and long-term disabilities, casual absences, and workers’ compensation claims. It also provides a sample worksheet for calculating the return on investment of health and wellness initiatives, along with a hypothetical example.

Table of Contents

Executive Summary

Chapter 1—The Importance of Investing in Workplace Wellness Programs

  • Why Should Employers Invest in Workplace Wellness Programs?
  • How Do Wellness Programs Make a Difference?

Chapter 2—Developing a Comprehensive Workplace Wellness Program

  • What Influences an Employee’s Health and Well-Being?
  • How Can Employers Create a Healthy Workplace?
  • What Is a Comprehensive Workplace Health and Wellness Program?
  • How to Structure a Comprehensive Wellness Program

Chapter 3—Evaluating Workplace Wellness Programs

  • Why Measure or Evaluate Workplace Wellness Programs?
  • What Is ROI?
  • Is Anyone Measuring ROI?
  • Barriers to Measurement
  • Is Bigger Always Better? Evaluation for Small Businesses
  • Where Can Employers Get Support?

Chapter 4—Tools for Evaluating Workplace Wellness Programs

  • Establishing a Baseline Measurement
  • Benefits Cost Analysis
  • Drug Costs
  • Absenteeism
  • Short- and Long-Term Disability Costs
  • Workers’ Compensation Claims
  • Employee Assistance Programs
  • Productivity at Work
  • Turnover
  • Recruitment
  • Employee Satisfaction and Engagement
  • Corporate Reputation
  • Organizational Culture
  • Customer Satisfaction

Chapter 5—Measurement Framework for Workplace Wellness Programs

  • Steps/Programs
  • Outcomes/Impacts
  • Metrics/Measures

Chapter 6—Government’s Role in Supporting Healthy Employees

  • Determinants of Government Involvement
  • How Can Governments Support Workplace Wellness?

Chapter 7—Conclusion

Appendix A—Lists of Interviewees

  • Employers Interviewed
  • Key Informants Interviewed

Appendix B—Metrics Checklist for Employers

  • Demographic Information
  • Group Health
  • Prescription Drugs
  • Short-Term Disability
  • Long-Term Disability
  • Casual Absences
  • Workers’ Compensation
  • Employee Assistance Program
  • Health Risk Assessments
  • Smoking
  • Turnover
  • Workplace Environment
  • Other

Appendix C—Sample Calculations

Appendix D—Return-on-Investment Calculation: An Example

Appendix E—Bibliography

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