Conducting an evaluation of a wellness program is a key requisite throughout the life of each activity. Using the appropriate measuring tools will assist you in determining how a program is performing and if it is aligned with the wellness vision.
The CDC describes program evaluation for public health as the “examination of the worth, merit, or significance of an object.”
Is YOUR program working?
How will you know? When will you know? What needs to be put in place in order for a thorough evaluation to take place?
A break-even analysis, a Return On Investment, and more frequently The Value of Investment (VOI) can measure aspects of a program. VOI can be measured through identifiable improvements, level of engagement, and level of satisfaction, and when thinking about your own organization, you may want to consider how you will use VOI to measure areas such as:
The holistic approach to wellness is a shift from solely looking at the bottom line and other healthcare drivers to embracing a broad and more complete attitude towards well-being and what it means to be healthy. While VOI analysis may not show a direct monetary result, evaluation will reflect information such as:
A realistic timeframe is important otherwise a program will either be evaluated too early or too late. If it is conducted too early, there may be insufficient data, or the poor results may indicate that a program is not working when it has simply not had sufficient time to develop into a positive outcome. Different programs require different times to mature in order to be assessed, for example:
Finally, be creative when communicating the acquired information to your organization. For example:
Creating a wellness program is an amazing opportunity to embrace new healthier practices that, with the right environment, will grow and develop into lifelong habits.
Margaret Stockley is the founder of the Professional Organization for Wellness Certification (POWCERT) and CEO of the Aspire2 Wellness Group.
She is also the author of “Transforming Workplace Wellness and co-author of “Inner Knowledge”.