VOI vs. ROI: The Case For Worker Wellness Program Advantages

Administration typically appears to be like for returns to justify the monetary and labor funding into worker wellness packages, simply as they’d in different enterprise initiatives. Two kinds of views often come up: return on funding (ROI) and worth on funding (VOI). Right here’s a fast take a look at the variations between these two evaluation methodologies.

Return On Funding (ROI)

The essential premise of measuring return on funding is that a corporation’s funding in worker well being can solely be justified by the eventual decrease well being care prices sooner or later. Historically, ROI has been a preferred means for executives to justify a wellness program, particularly for organizations targeted on value containment. Sadly, ROI is a restricted set of objectives, and analysis signifies that employers even have many causes for providing well being and wellness packages outdoors of simply slicing well being care prices.

Moreover, to precisely measure the worth of any program, the metrics must be based mostly on the rationale for initiating it. Given the truth that worker wellness packages are (and must be) based mostly on many holistic enchancment metrics, they can’t be authentically evaluated until extra outcomes are measured than mere medical value financial savings. ROI on wellness packages (decreasing claims and well being care prices) is barely a subset of the true worth of the funding.

Another excuse to be cautious of ROI in wellness packages is that research on this metric have largely been debunked.  The notorious Harvard Enterprise Overview analysis that proved a 6:1 ROI for wellness packages has been confirmed inaccurate. That is additionally true of different business case research that act extra as advertising and marketing supplies than true scientific investigations.

If wellness packages haven’t proved to decrease well being care prices, why are corporations nonetheless investing in such initiatives? Merely put, there’s a lot to be gained from taking good care of worker well being past decrease well being care bills.

Worth On Funding (VOI)

Value and Return on Investment benefits

Worth on funding is a broad measure of all the advantages conferred by worker well being and wellness packages. It is very important word that shifting the main focus to VOI doesn’t imply that there are not any monetary returns available from wellness packages. Reasonably, VOI advantages transcend that and embody different metrics resembling productiveness, worker morale, retention, and satisfaction, all of which impression a corporation’s backside line.

When this broader context is taken under consideration, corporations are capable of obtain an entire view of program effectiveness that goes past dollar-to-dollar value. On the energy of this view, organizations can then fine-tune their wellness packages.

A few of these key value-on-investment metrics are simpler to trace than others, however few are past the attain of information. Examples of such monitoring embody measures of worker engagement, security incidents, absenteeism, turnover, and enterprise profitability. Many corporations already observe this information however don’t analyze it in relation to workforce well being. There’s a direct linkage, for instance, between worker wellness packages and the all-important capability to draw and retain expertise.

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To summarize the distinction between VOI and ROI, take a look at this Whiteboard Wednesday video:


Measuring The Worth On Funding Of Wellness

An organization consists of individuals, and something that promotes a wholesome way of life for these folks will naturally profit nearly all of a corporation’s key efficiency indicators (KPIs). Under are a couple of methods by which these connections are immediately validated.


Productiveness is the third hottest motive for investing in well being.  That ought to come as no shock, provided that unwell staff value U.S. employers about $530 billion in annual productiveness. This is because of each absenteeism in addition to presenteeism, a time period used for employees who present up feeling in poor health.

There are different, subtler results of less-than-optimal well being within the workforce. As an example, one research exhibits that overweight folks exhibit poorer decision-making abilities, and serving to them drop some weight improves cognitive functioning in addition to delivers different well being advantages. Sitting for too lengthy additionally results in cognitive decline, and the availability of standing desks for workers has been demonstrated to end in increased productiveness.

Sixty-two p.c of staff with wellness packages felt their program boosted morale and elevated their productiveness, and 56% reported having taken fewer sick days due to their program. Lastly, the subject of stress and psychological well being has an necessary half in any dialogue about productiveness and wellness. Stress hormones pose well being dangers for human cognitive capability, and understanding that paid sick depart is out there decreases staff’ stress ranges.

Wellness Programs on Employee Productivity

An issue with measuring productiveness is that it’s onerous to trace. In idea, productiveness may be measured by dividing enterprise outputs (e.g., calls made, companies produced, and so on.) by the entire variety of staff. Nevertheless, in a corporation with many departments, only some of which are literally client-facing. Enterprise outputs depend on a small subset of staff whereas different departments work to maintain the enterprise operating within the background with out direct attribution to the merchandise. On high of that, the standard of the output is as necessary as the amount, including one other layer to the evaluation.

The underside line is: measuring productiveness is difficult enterprise, however it may be finished. Many organizations and groups now measure their productiveness based mostly on hitting departmental and private objectives, with standardized methods like KPIs. Moreover, staff can price their very own stage of productiveness. Whereas self-report information must be used with warning, when mixed with the metrics talked about above, present a extra full image. Measuring productiveness this fashion is just not solely good for justifying wellness packages, however it is usually essential in propelling the group ahead from a enterprise standpoint.

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Changing an worker prices between 20% and 213% of their annual wage, in accordance with the Bureau of Labor Statistics, and over 3 million folks give up their jobs each month of 2021. This give up price is almost at a 17-year excessive, and people employees are looking for one thing higher. Right now’s staff, particularly millennials, look for a corporation that cares about their well-being — and backs up that caring with concrete actions.

Employee Recruitment and Retention

In a decent labor market, economists would count on to see wages rising as employers compete for employees. Apparently, this isn’t what’s occurring; as an alternative, reflecting the priorities of employees, advantages of all types have gotten extra beneficiant. Worker retention will increase when corporations reveal that they care about wholesome staff — and this extends even to employees who don’t make use of a wellness program. A survey discovered that 73% of staff with out entry to wellness packages need them, together with 42% who’re “very .”

In comparison with productiveness, worker retention is way simpler to trace. The components is comparatively easy: divide the variety of staff who left throughout a interval by the entire variety of staff on the finish of a interval to get the proportion.


Company wellness programs result in employee satisfaction

Analysis demonstrates that employee satisfaction correlates intently with whether or not or not an employer has a wellness program. Amongst employers providing wellness packages, 67% reported elevated worker satisfaction, 66% reported elevated productiveness, 63% reported elevated monetary sustainability and development, and 50% reported decreased absenteeism.

The most well-liked method to measuring worker satisfaction is the worker satisfaction index (ESI). As a result of there are a number of methods to calculate ESI which are past the scope of this text, head over to the Hubstaff weblog to be taught extra. There are additionally many HR platforms with built-in satisfaction and engagement measurements.


The listing for VOI metrics is lengthy, so let’s throw in a catch-all class known as “different.” On this class are metrics that pertain to the group’s particular enterprise objectives, whether or not it’s income, operation effectivity, scope of impression, and so on.

In lots of instances, wellness program effectiveness may be mirrored immediately within the enterprise end result. That is easy to grasp: workforce members who really feel more healthy and extra optimistic about their job can have an affect on everybody they arrive into contact with.

Metro Nashville Public Colleges, as an illustration, noticed higher scholar take a look at scores after launching a wellness program for lecturers. Contemplating the enterprise goal of the varsity system is to teach college students, enhancing their standardized scores is a trigger to rejoice and a stable motive to proceed to spend money on such a wellness program.

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Employee satisfaction and engagement in communication

Relying on the group’s purpose, this metric will look completely different for various packages. By definition, most organizations are already monitoring these core enterprise outcomes, and easily have to correlate the info with worker wellness program participation.

Performing To Enhance VOI

So, what’s the finest solution to optimize the worth on funding of wellness packages? Generally, it’s merely a matter of enhancing worker engagement and utilization within the wellness program that has been put into place. There are a number of tried-and-true strategies.

  • A number of channels of communication: Staff can not take part in packages that they don’t seem to be conscious of. Organizations can get higher engagement by ensuring to tell staff of this system via a broad vary of communication channels, resembling emails, inner communication instruments, flyers, social media, and so on. Producing pleasure via word-of-mouth is one other efficient channel to recruit members.
  • Number of choices: Essentially the most profitable wellness packages have a variety of choices obtainable to members. It’s because folks have completely different wants, and they’re going to solely have interaction in a program if it addresses these wants. A superb program ought to embody all main markers of holistic wellness, resembling psychological well being, bodily exercise, stress administration, and diet, and is delivered via quite a lot of packages resembling webinars, exercise monitoring, and informational articles.
  • Management assist: A research from the Well being Enhancement Analysis Group (HERO) discovered that leaders of top-scoring organizations that publicly acknowledged staff for wholesome actions and outcomes and served as function fashions for prioritizing well being and work/life steadiness had been extra prone to report worker well being enhancements and medical value enhancements relative to organizations that didn’t have public recognition from management. Packages with out management assist and engagement are merely checking the field. By having management concerned, the group is actually increase its tradition of well being.


Ideally, providing wellness packages ought to result in more healthy staff, which ultimately results in decrease well being care prices. Nevertheless, measuring the return on funding of wellness packages has been an elusive purpose for many employers. As an alternative of specializing in dollar-for-dollar value financial savings, organizations ought to undertake a value-on-investment measurement framework.

As soon as these holistic metrics are captured and analyzed alongside information on engagement in wellness packages, organizers can paint an entire image of this system’s effectiveness and begin fine-tuning their wellness choices.

When the worth on funding of a wellness program is measured, the group’s profitability will replicate the true extent of advantages that come up from a more healthy workforce.