Collecting data to reveal your overall employee health and well-being.

AdvantageHealth, based in Minnesota, designs each corporate wellness program based on clients’ business plans and culture, and then implements, manages and evaluates it throughout its existence. Over the next 7 blog posts, we will discuss the seven foundational elements of employee wellness in detail as identified by the Statewide Health Improvement Program (SHIP) and Living Health in Washington County (LHWC).

This week we will discuss STEP 6: ADMINISTERING AN EMPLOYEE HEALTH ASSESSMENT: Collecting data to reveal your overall employee health and well-being.

The sixth step is to administer an employee health assessment. This online or paper-based tool is typically about 50 questions and is designed to assess all areas of well-being. It will identify health risks and suggest what preventive actions participants can take to achieve and maintain optimum health. The health assessment is typically implemented by your health plan or a third party vendor in order to preserve employee privacy.

In addition to individuals receiving a personalized report on their health, the organization will receive de-identified aggregated reports in order to assist with wellness program planning and evaluation. To help make this implementation a success, employers should incent completion and clearly explain that the results are confidential and how they will be used. The higher the participation in the health assessment, the greater picture that you will receive about your groups health risks.

Collecting data should be done every year ideally, or at a minimum, every other year. This data will serve as a current snapshot of your organization’s current health status as well as allow you to determine when changes in health occur over time. In addition to the health assessment, the following are valuable data collection points as well.

  1. Health Culture Audit: This tool will assess things like your company’s health norms, your employees’ individual attitudes about health, and the personal perceptions that exist concerning health and well-being as it relates to your organization.
  2. Health Needs and Interest Surveys: This will allow you to find out what’s important to your employees and make them feel part of the process. To develop the survey, conduct focus groups with your employees or work with your wellness committee. This should include a diverse and representative group. Use open-ended questions to engage in conversation. Then create questions using simple yes/no options or a Likert type scale.
  3. Onsite Biometric screenings: This typically includes cholesterol/glucose, blood pressure and Body Mass Index, and is tied into the health assessment roll-out. 
  4. Medical Claims Analysis: Your benefits broker or health plan should be able to provide information about where the bulk of your organization’s medical claims are falling and if those are tied to preventable health behaviors. 
  5. Absenteeism Records: If available, the data showing how often employees are absent from work and for what issues is important to assess the link between health risk status and missing work.

If your business is unable to collect health assessment data, you can use the following data. In a typical worksite of 25 Minnesota employees you will find:

  • 16 are overweight or obese
  • 13 have two or more risk factors for developing heart disease
  • 12 are age 50+ and never had a colonoscopy or sigmoidoscopy
  • 10 don’t regularly wear a seatbelt
  • 7 have high cholesterol
  • 6 binge-drink
  • 6 have not seen a dentist in the past year
  • 6 are women 40+ and haven’t had a mammogram in the past two years
  • 5 smoke
  • 4 have high blood pressure
  • 4 get no leisure time physical activity
  • 3 have had a heart attack or stroke or have been told they had heart disease
  • 3 are women who haven’t had a Pap smear in the past three years
  • 2 have asthma
  • 1 drinks heavily

See all 7 foundational elements of employee wellness:

If you need additional help with creating a vision and mission that generate a buzz as well as the other steps, contact AdvantageHealth. Check out AdvantageHealth’s CONSULTING SERVICES for additional expertise with this area or CONTACT AdvantageHealth.

Grundy Studios-14_blog post_web

Kristine Keykal, Co-Founder & CEO of AdvantageHealth, has been helping businesses create custom, award-winning corporate wellness programs for over 20 years.