Success StoryThe Well Employee Solution Health and Wellness Program DemonstratesSuperior Employee EngagementINTERMEDIATE OUTCOMES IN AN OFFICE SETTINGCompanies are increasingly implementing employee wellness programs today as more employers recognize thathelping people adopt healthy behaviors is critical to reducing long-term health care expenses and increasingproductivity. Additionally, corporate-sponsored wellness programs that proactively encourage employeeengagement can boost employee morale.The success of any employee wellness program depends on: • the level of employee engagement • the effectiveness of the program in facilitating behavior changeTo help employers create workforce wellness, Wellness Corporate Solutions has developed the Well EmployeeSolution model or W.E.S. W.E.S. is a comprehensive health and wellness program that engages and empowersemployees to make simple dietary and lifestyle changes that can significantly improve their health.The success of the W.E.S program in engaging employees in health-promoting behaviors is demonstrated by aWellness Corporate Solutions client located in the Northeast. This client has approximately 250 employees, mostof whom are salaried employees working in an office complex environment. The biggest challenges in thispopulation are typical of many companies today where time is precious and schedules are tight: employees tend totravel frequently, eat on the run, endure high levels of chronic stress, and have difficulty getting enough physicalactivity. Despite the schedule challenges, engagement in the W.E.S. program has been outstanding and individualfeedback is very positive.In this corporate client’s employee population, health concerns include hypertension (21%) or pre-hypertension(48%), excess weight (33%) or obesity (33%), and elevated (17%) or borderline high (18%) serum cholesterol.Given that pre-disease states such as pre-hypertension and borderline high cholesterol are particularly amenableto management through dietary and lifestyle changes, there is great opportunity in this type of population fora wellness program to move people out of their at-risk categories into a risk-free stage, which in turn offerssubstantial ROI potential.Intermediate variables can predict outcomesThe W.E.S. program features both long-term and short-term components. The program is structured so that evenbefore long-term results are available, intermediate results can be used as proxy variables to predict outcomes,based on the premise that if performance on intermediate measures is good, then end-result outcomes should begood as well.
Reported here are intermediate outcomes that demonstrate the program’s success in engaging employees in threephases: recruitment engagement, process engagement, and behavioral engagement. On all three counts, W.E.S.surpasses or matches industry norms, predicting a high likelihood of sustained success.1. RECRUITMENT ENGAGEMENTRecruitment engagement refers to the program rollout, in this case a company-wide Health Fair. Employeeparticipation at this event reflects how well the company has promoted the program and, to some extent, itsbroader efforts to foster a wellness environment. Measures of recruitment engagement include (1) the number ofemployees who have a biometric screening including blood pressure, BMI, blood glucose and blood cholesterolat the Health Fair and (2) the number of employees who meet with the health coach and schedule a follow-upappointment.RESULTS: 61% of employees completed the biometric screening at the Health Fair – one and a half times higher than the industry standard of 40% for a comparable setting.1 Nearly all of the employees who were screened (95%) also met with a health coach and scheduled a follow-up appointment for personal telephone coaching. ―The biometric screening was an eye-opener for me. It made me stop and focus on my health and realize that I could make some improvements. My blood pressure has moved from the pre-hypertensive range to normal and I feel fabulous!‖ —W.E.S. employee participant2. PROCESS ENGAGEMENTProcess engagement is the extent to which participants who were engaged during recruitment continueto participate in other components of the program. Specific metrics that reflect continued W.E.S. programengagement include the completion of health assessments, use of health coaching and establishment of personalhealth goals.RESULTS: 58% of the entire employee population completed a health assessment, far surpassing the industry standard of 18%.2 Furthermore, 46% of the total employee population used telephone coaching (nearly 5 times the industry standard of 10%),3 and 100% of these set personal health goals. There is currently no standard for setting health goals, as this is a unique feature of the W.E.S. program.Of those who used telephone coaching, 100% set personal health goals. There is currently no standard for settinghealth goals, as this is a unique feature of the W.E.S. program.W.E.S. Engagement Compared to Industry Standards100% ―My experience with the W.E.S. program has been wonderful! My health coach taught me 80% Industry Standard how to make small dietary changes to lower 60% my cholesterol, and I’m actually enjoying the W.E.S 40% . new foods. She encourages me to take my daily walks and checks in with me.‖ 20% 0% Health Coach Assessment1 Wellness Corporate Solutions2 American Institute of Preventive Medicine3 UnitedHealthcare press release June 25, 2008, Onsite wellness coaching for employers now available to Pennsylvania businesses.
3. BEHAVIORAL ENGAGEMENTBehavioral engagement measures the extent to which individuals have actually changed health behaviors and/or outcomes by using the wellness program. W.E.S. behavioral engagement results are available for a short-termteam event called a ―challenge.‖W.E.S. Challenge: ―Maintain Don’t Gain‖A challenge within the W.E.S. program, ―Maintain Don’t Gain,‖ is focused specifically on preventing weight gainduring the vulnerable period from Thanksgiving to New Years Day. Holiday weight gain – even as little as onepound a year – is important, especially for those who are already overweight, because studies find it is notreversed after the holidays and ―the cumulative effects of yearly weight gain during the fall and winter are likely tocontribute to the substantial increase in body weight that frequently occurs during adulthood.‖ 4Measurements of behavioral engagement used in the “maintain don’t gain” challenge include: • Engagement rate = percent of those who enrolled in the challenge who completed the challenge • Success rate = percent of participants who maintained their weight or lost weight • Average per person weight loss only among those who lost weightRESULTS: In this challenge approximately two-thirds of employees who signed up completed the challenge. Normal attrition rates in industry-sponsored weight loss competitions range from 30% to as high as 80%, or conversely, 20% to 70% of those who sign up actually complete the program.5 Retention in the W.E.S. challenge, therefore, is in the range of the best experience in the industry, demonstrating the ability of W.E.S. to engage employees. More than 7 out of 10 participants lost or maintained their weight. The average weight loss among those who lost weight was 2.3 pounds -- quite an achievement given the difficulty of maintaining one’s weight during the holiday season.Put the Well Employee Solution to Work for You! ―Excellent program." It gave me a goal to ―I like the weekly emails with tips on how to maintain achieve… I would truly welcome additional weight, nutrition and physical activity.‖ challenges.‖ —W.E.S. employee participantsThese intermediate results confirm that the W.E.S. program has superior ability to recruit, engage and changethe behavior of participants. Superior program engagement predicts higher success rates for your employees inimproving their health, which can ultimately translate into reduced health care costs and higher productivity foryour company.Wellness Corporate Solutions nutrition specialists work with you to tailor the program for your employee populationand needs, providing a turnkey solution and proactively supporting your program implementation from launch throughall phases.Take your first step on the road to a healthier workforce and a healthier bottom line. To learn more about the W.E.S.program, visit us at www.wellnesscorporatesolutions.com.4 Yanovski JA, et al. A prospective study of holiday weight gain. N Engl J Med. 2000;342:861-67.5 Stunkard AJ et al. Weight loss competitions at the worksite: how they work and how well. Prev Med. 1989;18:460-74.