Opening and running a successful employee wellness program is like opening and running a successful restaurant. You wouldn’t open a restaurant without researching great recipes, researching other restaurants in the area, and seeing whether there is demand for a restaurant like yours, right?
After opening the restaurant, naturally you would evaluate how busy it is. If you found it was only at 50% capacity at most, you’d most likely look into what wasn’t working, right?
Which brings us to our point: creating a successful wellness program is much like running a successful business. It takes a considerable amount of research, feedback, evaluation, and implementation. What happens when you don’t do this is also similar in both scenarios: you waste a lot of time and money giving people what they don’t want, don’t need, or won’t use.
So what should you be tracking? Here is a pretty in-depth article about metrics you can track that will provide you with valuable information regarding your wellness program. However, if you’re just starting out, this can be pretty overwhelming. So here are what we believe to be best starting points for tracking metrics and the absolute bare minimum you need to be tracking:
Participation – This one is probably the easiest to track (which means you have NO excuse for not doing it!). Trust us, you’ll be happy you did. Simply track the attendance or utilization for your offerings. For example, if you’re hosting a yoga class, have a signup sheet for participants, which provides you with quantitative and qualitative records of attendance. The names can be used for raffles or other participation incentives/rewards, and the number of participants can tell you if your investment is being utilized – because if people don’t use it, no one is receiving the intended benefit.
Interest – Remember that we mentioned you want to research what people actually want? This is where tracking INTEREST comes in. You need to consistently solicit feedback from employees regarding what they want to see in a wellness program, what they like, and what they don’t like. This can also help you by providing data that can be paired with participation data for further insights. For example, if 45 people sign up for a yoga class, but only 5 show up, you can gather that there is significant interest but either the marketing, incentives, or class times and dates (availability) may need to be refined. If no one signs up, no one cares. Which means you’re not offering the right thing for your employees.