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May 23, 2005
The Value of Wellness Initiatives: A Case Study
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s a classic example of doing well by doing good: Motorola's new wellness reimbursement program has saved the company more the $12 million, with a return on investment of $3.93 for every $1 spent.

"We want people to adopt a healthy lifestyle that becomes a habit," said Cheryl Ridall, senior program manager for Club One Professional Services.

Speaking at a workshop at WorldatWork's annual conference, Ridall and Motorola Wellness Manager Nancy Lesch described the integrated wellness initiatives that Motorola and Club One have partnered together to provide to Motorola's employees, including 14 onsite wellness centers throughout North America.

The wellness initiatives include fitness and recreation activities, as well as wellness education and health-behavior-change opportunities.

The Motorola/Club One program came about as a result of Motorola's desire to:

  • Address retention issues, including employee peace of mind, free time, and personal development
  • Align the program with the company's business goals, including productivity and employee satisfaction and retention
  • Address work/life balance issues, including job demands vs. personal needs, and flexibility concerns
  • Address rising healthcare costs.
In implementing such programs, one of the first goals need not be to make people healthier, but rather to "keep people where they are," said Lesch.

A goal of such wellness initiatives is to create a supportive, healthful environment through such methods as prevention screening, fitness and recreation programs, and education and awareness programs, Lesch said.

With 15 percent of employees accounting for 85 percent of a company's healthcare costs, the value of programs that can reduce the number of employees in that high-risk group is obvious.

Motorola's "Wellness Charter" reads as follows:

"Design and deliver valuable healthy solutions to enhance employees' and their dependents' quality of life. Respond to documented, high-quality scientific research and health trend data to provide meaningful services/products that will attract, retain, and engage employees."

More coverage of WorldatWork's 50th annual conference and exhibition is available in our special section.

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