Businessolver Blog

Are Workplace Wellbeing Programs Worth It?

Are Workplace Wellbeing Programs Worth It?
Posted on Friday, February 28, 2014 by Businessolver Team

In one word, yes. However, the measure of effectiveness is unique to each organization.

Thanks to a recent PepsiCo wellness study and new Affordable Care Act (ACA) wellness regulations, workplace wellbeing programs are getting a lot of attention lately. With conflicting data coming from the PepsiCo study about the return on investment (ROI) of certain wellness program offerings, coupled with new ACA wellness requirements, many employers are left to wonder – Are wellbeing programs really worth it?

CONSIDER THIS: Organizations that are deemed the best places to work are more likely to offer broad-based wellbeing programs, including:

  • wellness screenings
  • health questionnaires
  • lifestyle management programs
  • targeted benefit plan designs
  • incentives and rewards

Many CEO’s want to focus on the ROI of a wellbeing program. The first question that needs to be asked though is, “What is the company’s definition of the ‘R,’ or the return?” For many, it’s hard dollar savings, but when you look at companies with successful wellbeing programs, there is usually more of an emphasis on the other types of “R.” One of those is what we at Businessolver call “delight.”

It is no coincidence organizations that are considered to be the best places to work are more likely to offer wellbeing programs. Wellbeing programs are one way to show employees that they are valued as an asset to the company, which ultimately drives employee delight.


Wellbeing programs have to be about more than just a treadmill in an empty office – that’s not delight. And that’s not going to affect the bottom line. An effective program needs to be customized to each organization, and it should encourage employees to engage with their overall health and wellness. This, in turn, will drive a culture of wellbeing within the organization. Only by changing the culture will the organization have a chance at impacting the ROI and employee delight. Workplace wellness challenges, incentives and meaningful reminders delivered via intranet, mobile, email, for example, are all ways to help employees get involved in wellbeing program offerings.

THE ONE THING: Wellbeing is not just about fitness or eating right, it can be about financial management, stress reduction, social circles and more. Workplace wellbeing programs must be customized to fit the needs of the organization. They must include a comprehensive approach to overall wellbeing and be focused on driving the return on investment that will make the biggest impact for the organization.