As employers’ wellness efforts increase so has their interest in vendors who provide corporate wellness programs. According to IBISWorld’s 2016 industry report organizations have many options to choose from as there are currently 951 companies who specialize in corporate wellness offerings. IBISWorld projects continued growth for this industry putting revenue at $7.6 billion annually by 2021.
The Evolution of Wellness
Technology has helped expand vendor’s capabilities to include services like telehealth and fitness apps that can provide easy access to employees to create a personalized approach that increases motivation and accountability. These are important capabilities as many companies are expecting a wellness program to control healthcare costs and produce a certain ROI.
According to a recent Workforce article that addresses program providers, transparency is key to a good relationship between a vendor and an organization. It is very possible in the first two years of a wellness program’s introduction to see an initial increase in costs and then subsequent years produce the savings companies’ are looking for.
There are design aspects that employers can work with vendors to develop to their specific culture to help increase the success of a program. Putting in place performance guarantees can help vendors align the right resources to an organization’s goals.
Five Elements to Look for from a Corporate Wellness Provider
Additionally, there are several wellness program elements that are important considerations for employers to seek from vendors:
- Personalization – Employees need a wide range of program choices to meet all their different needs.
- Technology – Vendors who utilize technology to access employees to motivate and personalize their experience will make a positive impact.
- Social Networking – Look at programs that are inclusive of family and friends to help keep employees engaged and accountable for their efforts.
- Incentives – Rely on evidence to offer incentives for initiatives that produce only healthy behaviors.
- Metrics – Employers need to be prepared to provide vendors with starting measurements so progress can be tracked for ROI and VOI.
Wellness programs are becoming a more standard benefit offering and used by employers’ in their recruitment and retention efforts. Finding the right partner is critical, yet there is little oversight of the industry. So one last piece of homework employers may want to verify is if a particular vendor is certified by either the National Committee of Quality Assurance or the Corporate Health and Wellness Association just for a little extra assurance as they pursue the goal of creating a happy and healthy workforce.
Source: Workforce. Weighing the Value of Workplace Wellness. March/April 2017. PP30-48.