ROI vs VOI
As the National Sales Manager for Impact Health, I am often asked, “What can we expect as a return on our investment (ROI)?” My answer to them has always been, “Determination of ROI for wellness programs has proven to be elusive. This is well documented. Our position is that the value wellness brings to an organization is based on factors such as decreasing absenteeism and presenteeism, lowering disability claims, improving employee morale and increasing productivity. When this is accomplished health care costs will decrease.”
Willis’ Health and Productivity Report 2015 was released in October confirming Impact Health’s belief that biometric screenings and wellness should not be based on ROI, but rather VOI (value of investment). According to the report, more organizations are focusing on the VOI of wellness programs. Employers are realizing that there is a considerable value to a healthier workforce that extends beyond lower medical costs.
Impact Health promotes biometric screenings as the foundation of a comprehensive wellness strategy. According to the Willis report, 60% of the 703 respondents report that “engagement” continues to be a major issue. It would be in the best interest of these organizations to drive participation in biometric screenings as the starting point of their employees’ journey to wellness.
Through biometrics, an organization can identify risk factors in their population, establish targeted intervention and implement employee engagement programs based on the biometric screenings, determine incentives, and schedule re-testing to demonstrate the value of the investment.
Will using VOI instead of ROI make a difference? ROI has typically meant that employers have looked to justify their investment in wellness programs based on lower health care costs. ROI from a wellness program is a long term measurement. VOI, on the other hand, can be recognized quickly. VOI measures the impact that the wellness program has on employees through increased productivity, higher employee morale, and a reduction in absenteeism.
The bottom line is while both ROI and VOI are important to employers, it is important to understand that you cannot have one without the other. Happy, healthy employees who care about their health will utilize their benefits to stay healthy through annual checkups and screenings, thus saving the company on large medical claims.