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Don't Ask Me For the ROI of Workplace Wellness

Posted Feb 24 2012 5:15pm

D on’t ask me for ROI.

If you ask me for an ROI of workplace wellness, I’ll expect you to recite the ROI of your janitorial services, your landscaping, or the maintenance of your office equipment.

You’re probably spending more money on these things than you do on your employee wellness and you’re doing it without hesitation.

You wouldn’t dream of running a company without cutting the grass, trimming the hedges, emptying the trash, cleaning the toilets, maintaining the copier, or washing the windows, but when i tell you that it might be a good idea to get your employees to be more physically active, eat properly, or manage stress better, you want to know what the return on investment is.

When it comes to ROI for wellness, ROI stands for Rationale of Idiots.

“Wellness initiatives aimed at a corporation’s workforce do hold enormous promise for addressing escalating healthcare costs, but the industry has a long way to go in accurately measuring ROI for these initiatives.”

“Edington is not a great believer in using ROI as an indicator of the success of a wellness program. “I gave up on ROI a long, long time ago,” he says, laughing. “We do do them occasionally, but in general I don’t believe in ROI studies. I think they are seriously flawed.”"

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