Happy October! This is the month of falling leaves and falling temperatures. Change is in the air! With worksite wellness, “change” is what we’re measuring with Wellness Council of America’s (WELCOA) seventh and final element to a successful worksite wellness initiative…carefully evaluating outcomes.
When evaluating your programs, here are a few things you might to consider:
1. Why are you evaluating?
- To get feedback to improve your efforts
- To demonstrate your program’s value & efficacy of different interventions
- To measure change
- To secure continued funding
- To establish accountability
2. What are you evaluating?
- Participation & satisfaction rates
- Changes in behavior, productivity and/or work culture
- Changes in Health Assessment and/or Biometric measures
- Changes in medical claims
3. How do you evaluate?
- Program registration sheets
- Pre/post surveys, Health Assessments and/or Biometrics
- Focus groups or interviews with participants
- Year to year medical claim comparison
4. When is the best time to evaluate?
- Ongoing – for immediate feedback like after a specific wellness initiative
- Annually – for Health Assessments, Biometrics, employee interests surveys
- Bi-annually – for changes in productivity, medical claims, work culture
The evaluation process shouldn’t be overcomplicated. It’s a basic tool that’s used to set a baseline upon starting your programs and then used to measure and monitor progress as your programs evolve. The why, what, how & when to evaluate your programs should be something you consider right in the beginning stages of your strategic planning. This is an important step, so don’t overlook its importance. If you haven’t evaluated your programs in a while, well, what are you waiting for?