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Wellness Programs and Departments Vary in Size and Participation Levels

Worksite wellness program directors are constantly trying to obtain funding and management support, but their health promotion program efforts may be used by hundreds of employees or only a handful of individuals, according to findings of the exclusive ROI survey conducted by Wellness Program Management Advisor.

Department Size

More than 150 wellness program managers responded to our survey; some respondents have a significant number of employees in their departments, while others virtually go it alone, according to the findings.

Thirty-four percent of the respondents said they operate a one-person department; 12 percent said two people comprise their wellness departments and 10 percent said three people staff the department, the study found. Twelve percent said their departments consist of between four and five people, while another 13 percent have between six and 12 department members, according to the findings.

Only 4 percent of the respondents said their departments have between 15 and 25 employees, and only 1 percent said their departments consisted of between 50 and 65 people, the study noted.

Wellness Department Size of ROI Survey Respondents

Percent of Respondents

Department Size

34 percent

1 person

12 percent

2 people

10 percent

3 people

12 percent

4 to 5 people

13 percent

6 to 12 people

4 percent

15 to 25 people

1 percent

50 to 65 people

Source: Wellness Program Management Advisor, 2002.

ROI Survey Results: Employee Wellness Program Participation

Percent of Respondents

Company Wellness Program Participation

75 percent

Less than 50 percent of company employees

25 percent

More than 50 percent of company employees

Source: Wellness Program Management Advisor, 2002.

Employee Participation

Seventy-five percent, or 115 respondents, said less than 50 percent of employees participate in their company wellness programs; however, 25 percent, or 39 respondents, said more than 50 percent of company employees are active members of worksite wellness programs.

"We are always trying to increase employee participation; it’s a constant ‘brain drain,’" said a wellness program director who manages a staff of six for an employee involvement level that falls below the 50 percent mark.

"We conduct in-house surveys to try and determine what types of programs employees need or want," the respondent continued. "Maybe participation isn’t where we want it to be because we’re not addressing the issues that are really important to the people who work here. If that turns out to be the case, we have to correct the situation without delay."

A manager with a staff of three says although more than 50 percent of the company’s workers are involved in the corporation’s health promotion programs, the participation level is never a sure thing.

"Over the past five years, the amount of employee involvement has bounced around quite a bit," the manager noted. "I need to keep those numbers up if I expect to get management support and funding for future programs. If there is a less than enthusiastic response to [the wellness programs] we offer, it is harder to justify expenditures."

Program Evaluation

Seventy-eight percent of the respondents said they evaluate the results of their wellness programs, while only 7 percent said they do not conduct evaluations, the survey reported.

One percent said although they do not conduct program evaluations at the present time, they plan to do so in the near term; another 1 percent said they do not presently evaluate results and do not plan to change their policy, the study found.

Address: Wellness Program Management Advisor, 1913 Atlantic Ave., Suite F4, Manasquan, NJ 08736; (732) 292-1100, www.wellnessjunction.com.


© 2002 Health Resources Publishing