What Strategies Do You Use To Measure Employee Engagement In Workplace Wellness?

This question was posed by a member of our Workplace Wellness Management Group over on LinkedIn. It’s a good question.

As you know, workplace wellness managers are always concerned about employee participation in programs. So it begs the question – how do you measure employee engagement in workplace wellness programs? So we posted the question on the Wellness Managers’ Discussion Group on Yahoo.

The answers were rich in information and helpfulness:

“I think it is important to first define terms. Are employee engagement and participation being used interchangeably because they can also mean different things,” said a long-time member of the group who has multiple wellness-related certifications.

“Measuring participation is fairly straight forward – the number and percentage of employees who register, attend and complete a multi-session program, as an example, can all be tracked and measured,” he wrote.

“I think measuring engagement is trickier,” he continued. “While there are tools out there to measure employee engagement, I am not sure they specifically address wellness program engagement. As I think about wellness engagement, I am thinking that pre- and post- knowledge testing might be used as a measure of learning engagement, while pre and post changes to individual behaviors might be a measure of engagement from the behavior change perspective. I am sure there are others the list can come up with as well.” ———————————————————————————–

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A physician member of the group said, “The only effective way you can measure the value of any wellness program is to measure outcomes. Sure, one can count the number of participants and one can actually observe people participating, but actual outcomes are the ultimate measure of effectiveness. A monitoring process has little or no value and confuses the issue.

“The easiest, cheapest and most significant outcomes to measure are: waist circumference, blood pressure, HgbA1c, C-reactive protein, triglyceride level, HDL level.

“Active participation + Effective engagement = Desired Outcomes.”

Robin Foust, a consultant in wellness, wrote: “We use a system (www.myCatalyst.com) for our clients that captures data related to participation in programs by program type – no matter how many vendors are involved – and if they are active or the case has closed; risk levels for those who took a health risk assessment, lab/biometric data; and in our physician guided care coordination networks, we can also capture other outcomes and biomarker data for the participants through data import and/or through outcome-based codes. With risk information we are able to track and report migration of risk by percentages.”

“One factor we also capture is tenure which is critical to making sure participants have had enough time to get those desired outcomes or performance targets,” she said. “If the population size remains stable and is large enough we are also able to track costs and trends.”

Click here to join our Workplace Wellness Management Group  on LinkedIn.

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