Encouraging Participation: Health Risk Assessments
Posted Feb 02 2010 12:00am
Whenever we launch a new wellness program, the first step is often to have employees complete a health risk assessment questionnaire, which evaluates the population's risk factors. To ensure privacy of health information, companies receive only aggregate data about the population as a whole.
When it comes to planning relevant wellness initiatives, the HRA is an invaluable tool. For example, if you know that your population struggles with inactivity, you can design programs that get employees moving. Additionally, the HRA can help measure success--and return on investment--from year to year.
But as a recent article in Employee Benefit News points out, HRAs only work if employees fill them out. Some companies mandate that employees complete an HRA to receive health benefits, but for the author of the Employee Benefit article, that approach wasn't an option. Even with other incentives, her HRA participation rates were surprisingly low.
Working within an organization's culture is key. One of our clients is an agricultural company, and many of their employees lack internet access. To accommodate them, we offered the HRA in paper form. And because employees were encouraged to fill out the HRA during the biometric screening itself, participation rates were exceptional.
What methods have you found effective to motivate your employees to complete the HRA? Let me know in the comments section.