Make a Case for Your Well-Being Program with These Tips

We’re in a new era of employee well-being programs. They’re smarter, more holistic, and measured for value in more ways than one. That’s why adding a well-being program is not only more nuanced than before, it’s practically a necessity to stay competitive for talent and to engage people on a deeper level.

But it’s not always easy to pitch the idea to your company’s stakeholders, let alone convince them to get on board. So here’s our guide to presenting the well-being programs of today in a way that gets the buy-in you need.  

Tackle those common critiques

Your leadership team may have questions about the return on investment of well-being programs: completely understandable. Address these concerns head on. It gives you the opportunity to contextualize them and explain why some studies have reported lackluster ROIbut more importantly, why ROI alone isn’t an adequate measure of a program’s value. 

While many well-being programs are implemented with the goal of reducing the company’s medical spend, only measuring healthcare dollars gives a limited view of the actual benefits of the program. To fully evaluate if a program is working, many companies are adopting the VOI approach, giving more consideration to the employee satisfaction, productivity, and retention data. Introduce this concept to your team to demonstrate how collecting a unique variety of metrics from your well-being program can result in greater insightsand action plansfor the company.

You also may face confusion around new laws pertaining to financial incentives around well-being programs. Involving your legal and financial teams in the conversation early on should help guide how you market the program, measure its VOI, and set expectations for how many eligible employees might participate.

The “new value” of well-being

Even with the aforementioned concerns and challenges, have well-being programs disappeared from the benefits landscape? Far from it. In fact, the Kaiser Family Foundation recently reported that 82% of large employers offer at least one well-being program. 

When employers measure VOI in addition to traditional ROI, they see that well-being program benefits can come in many forms. In addition to financial returns on disease management programs, as described in Health Affairs and the RAND Wellness Programs Study, companies are seeing increased participation in health screenings, a higher likelihood of participants reporting that their employer prioritized their health, more self-reported positive health behaviors, and boosted retention and productivity. 

The sophistication of well-being programs has also evolved. Today, high-quality programs are designed to foster lasting behavior. Take Evive HealthQuests, for example, where people can examine personal priorities and record how they feel after taking a healthy action. The realization of these immediate intrinsic rewards sets the stage for longer-term behavior change, versus simply acting to receive an extrinsic reward. 

Let’s talk branding

In addition to tackling concerns and illustrating the full scope of what you can measure, don’t forget about the perks for employer branding.

Identify opportunities in the recruitment process where your company could highlight the program and its benefits. For current employees, find a fun way to communicate the program’s strengths and what it can do for each person’s personal goals. This is a selling point for your employer brand, as well as a clear support line for employees to achieve lifestyle improvement in the areas they care aboutwhether physical, emotional, or financial.  

Why it matters

Redefining well-being programs for your stakeholders and earning their buy-in is no simple task, but it’s the first step in bringing a better experience for your employees and a strategic evolution for your business. It’s a nuanced process, but as you’ll see in your VOI analysis, well worth it.


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