Corporate Wellness Program – Collecting Data is the Key for Success May 20th, 2010, by Ken Buckley

When you decide to build and then measure the success of your corporate wellness program, it is essential to collect data from your employees and managers, at the beginning of the process and along the way.

There are several types of data that need to be gathered; however there are three primary sources, mentioned below, that should always be collected. By analysing these data and showing them to your corporate Health provider, you will be guaranteed a solid foundation for a successful corporate wellness program.

1. Health Risk Appraisal (HRA)

A health risk appraisal is an electronic or paper-based questionnaire designed to gather important information about your employees’ health behaviours and risk factors. There are nowadays very good quality HRA tools available for employers, that cost approximately AU$12 per employee for the electronic version and AU$18 per employee for the paper-based version.

The HRA process should ideally be conducted once a year so that each employee has an ongoing account of their health status and you have record of health trends in your organisation.

To help you drive up participation rates and not get stuck with a very low result, prepare a solid communication plan highlighting several key messages, such as ‘we care about you and your health, and use appropriate incentives to motivate your employees to fill out the questionnaire.

2. Individual Interest Survey

The objective of such a survey is to uncover your employees’ health interests. It can uncover hidden opportunities that can help move your wellness program forward. It also allows your staff, protected by anonymity, to tell you what is important to them.

More importantly, it gives your employees the feeling that they are part of the overall wellness programming process, which in return makes them more committed and successful in their progress.

To help you develop an interest survey, start by conducting a series of focus groups. The groups should include a diverse group of employees who represent the typical users of the wellness programs.

Then once you’ve collected enough information from the focus groups, it’s time to develop the survey itself. Before launching the survey to the entire organisation, you might find useful to pilot it with a small sample of colleagues and employees.

3. Health & Productivity Questionnaire (HPQ)

The HPQ was developed by Professor Ron Kessler to support the WHO global burden of disease initiative. It’s a survey instrument that generates valid data about the indirect workplace costs of employee health problems. It focuses on assessing presenteeism, absenteeism and critical incidents on the job.

The survey has short-term, intermediate and long term goals. Short term it provides information about the direct costs of untreated health problems. The intermediate goal is to evaluate the ROI of your wellness programs, and long term goal is to provide you with ongoing quality assurance once changes in employee’s health show a positive ROI.

The HPQ will help you evaluate the ROI of new investment decisions regarding employee health benefits and programs. It’s also incredibly useful for multi-site companies, enabling them to test programs at one site and track effectiveness as the program expands to other sites.

Overall it will help you determine what’s needed and what works, ensuring you’re confident in your health and wellness program decision making and can justify continued expenditures.

For more information on corporate wellness programs contact Healthworks on 1300 90 10 90 (International: IDD 61-2-9954-1888 ) and be sure to quote: “post280” for eligibility of Healthworks latest online offers and Corporate Health initiatives.

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