Over the last few years, organizations in India have started investing more on wellbeing activities at work to ensure that their employees are leading a healthy lifestyle. However, introducing employee wellbeing programs alone is not enough. Organizations need to be able to measure how they benefit from it for which they usually use the traditional method of calculating return on investment (ROI). ROI helps in focusing on the tangible parameters that can be measured like absence and benefits usage.
However, not all aspects of employee wellbeing can be tangible which is why meaningful measures of success must go beyond ROI. Value on investment (VOI), a new method that is becoming popular with HR professionals, is a softer measurement tool that helps in gauging the invaluable benefits of employee wellbeing initiatives on the basis of parameters like employee morale, decreased use of sick leaves, higher engagement, increased productivity and talent retention.
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Measuring VOI involves an in-depth analysis of all the factors that contribute to workplace wellbeing by collecting figures and facts from several sources including employee engagement surveys, onboarding and exit interviews and customer service statistics. The main advantage of the VOI approach is that it helps the organization focus on prevention for the majority of the staff while ROI, covers only the ones who were ill or injured.
Reducing the cost of healthcare and improving the quality of life are often viewed as the most important parameters to assess if an employee wellbeing program can demonstrate value. However, factors like employee turnover, change in policies, concerns over privacy and new insurance carriers can make it difficult to determine the ROI accurately. This is why VOI might be a more effective way to evaluate the success of wellbeing programs for employees. When determining the VOI, HR must evaluate factors like:
- Improved culture of wellness
- Increased employee awareness on health, high risk health behaviors and adopting a healthier lifestyle
- Improved health status of employees
- Honest feedback from employees through surveys
While VOI is more effective in measuring the long-term impact of workplace wellbeing initiatives, it might not necessarily be the best tool to measure the impact of short-term interventions. Also, VOI method, depends a lot on the behavior of employees which makes it a little more subjective and based on certain assumptions.
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The adoption of VOI has been quite low in Indian organizations and they still prefer the ROI method to measure the outcomes of HR interventions. However, as they mature, Indian organizations might consider using VOI or at least a combination of both to gauge the benefits of their employee wellbeing programs. As organizations are taking employee wellbeing more seriously, VOI will make more sense in the long term as they aim to add value to the employees which in turn adds value to the organization as a whole.
While it is important for organizations to know if the employee wellbeing programs being conducted are cost effective or not, it is even more important to understand if it has been successful in improving the quality and longevity of life for the employees. However, it needs serious commitment from senior management to build a workplace culture that promotes health and happiness of employees by looking at employee wellbeing beyond ROI.
- Is VOI better than ROI to measure employee well-being programmes? – Kartikay Kashyap – HRKatha, 9 October, 2019
- Wellbeing: Why measuring VOI is better than ROI – John Greenwood, 9 November, 2018
- Are You Measuring the Real Impact of Your Employee Wellness Program? – Alan Kohll, 27 February, 2018
- Shifting from ROI to VOI When Measuring Your Wellness Program’s Success – 07 February, 2019