Is More Always Better in Designing Workplace Wellness Programs?: A Comparison of Wellness Program Components Versus Outcomes

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Abstract

Objective:

Assess whether adding more components to a workplace wellness program is associated with better outcomes by measuring the relationship of program components to one another and to employee participation and perceptions of program effectiveness.

Methods:

Data came from a 2014 survey of 24,393 employees of 81 employers about services offered, leadership, incentives, and promotion. Logistic regressions were used to model the relationship between program characteristics and outcomes.

Results:

Components individually are related to better outcomes, but this relationship is weaker in the presence of other components and non-significant for incentives. Within components, a moderate level of services and work time participation opportunities are associated with higher participation and effectiveness.

Conclusions:

The “more of everything” approach does not appear to be advisable for all programs. Programs should focus on providing ample opportunities for employees to participate and initiatives like results-based incentives.

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