5 ways to improve your wellness program: Slideshow

(Photo credit: zirconicusso) (Photo credit: zirconicusso)

Almost 80 percent of companies surveyed recently by Fidelity and the National Business Group on Health say they don't know the return on investment in their health-improvement programs.

Here are five suggestions Fidelity and the Business Group offer that can help maximize the effectiveness of your wellness offerings. >

1. Secure commitment from senior management

If the boss isn't trying to get healthy, why should everyone else? Employees are more likely to engage when there is encouragement from senior executives.

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2. Align programs with the health risks and challenges of the work force

Determine what the pressing health issues are (e.g. high blood pressure) and offer solutions. Don't offer diabetes management services if that illness is not a significant health risk for most workers.

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3. Set realistic goals and measure results

Define what the desired behavior is (e.g., weight loss) and track it.

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4. Offer incentives that appeal to the work force

 

How about some cold hard cash or a little added money from the employer to put toward an HSA? Experts say it's important to collect feedback from employees on what is appealing and discontinue incentives that aren't working.

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5. Manage vendors by establishing performance requirements

The National Business Group on Health says that when health care vendor management is neglected by employers it often results in poor service, inability to support scale, lack of flexibility, weak communications and problem solving, incomplete metrics, and missing or incomplete contract terms.

When it comes to their health-improvement programs, employers should consolidate employee data collected from multiple vendors and measure the results. Vendors should be held accountable if the results fall short of objectives.

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