The HERO Forum is always stimulating, but this year it went a step further. If you’re not familiar with the Health Enhancement Research Organization (HERO), it’s an association dedicated to advancing health, well-being and performance through employer leadership. Its members are employers, vendors, consultants/brokers and researchers. Mercer collaborated with HERO to develop a scorecard that helps employers measure their use of best practices in six areas, from strategic planning to measurement and evaluation.
You may recall a study that was released earlier this year that generated headlines like this one: Study Finds Virtually Zero Benefit From Workplace Wellness Program In 1st Year. And while you might think an organization devoted to promoting wellness would want to let this study fade from memory, instead, HERO invited one of the authors of the study, Julian Reif, PhD, to this year’s Forum. His presentation was followed by a panel discussion lead by Ron Goetzel, PhD, with Dr. Reif and two university-based researchers/practitioners who have implemented successful workplace wellness programs. Needless to say, it was a lively discussion. Here are our key takeaways:
Still looking for proof that wellness programs have value? Check out Beth Umland’s post about an analysis of Mercer survey data that found lower turnover in companies who have more wellbeing best practices in place. In a tight labor market, that is worth something. And this article in the Harvard Business Review discusses the challenges of measuring wellness program effectiveness – but contends it can be done.