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Good Points Blog

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Corporate wellness programs: What's working and what's not

Recently, our SVP Chuck Christianson along with Healthper Chairman and CEO, David Lenihan led a webinar – “Motivated Wellness” – to discuss health and wellness trends, identify the hallmarks of a healthy corporate wellness program and highlight what motivates employee sign-ups and engagement (hint: tangible rewards are key). If you missed the webinar, here are a few key takeaways:

HR, we have a problem.

Health care costs are rising – faster than inflation – and have become the single largest corporate expense after payroll. Seventy-five percent of U.S. healthcare costs are due to preventable chronic disease. However, the average company spends only a small percentage being proactive (and preventative).   

It’s time to change perspective.

The best employee health and wellness programs focus on changing employees’ perspectives on health – from reactive (after a preventable diagnosis occurs) to proactive (encouraging health and wellness as a preventative measure). To change perspective, though, you have to get employees to not only sign up for wellness programs, but to participate and stay engaged. 

Use incentives to spark change. It’s a win-win.

The right combination of incentives can start a chain reaction, known as a “cycle of wellness,” that goes like this: tangible rewards – like gift cards, travel experiences and merchandise – incent employees to participate in wellness programs. Wellness programs promote healthy behaviors. Healthy behaviors become healthy lifestyles. A healthy workforce is not only more productive and loyal, but can also save employers on long-term healthcare costs, and in turn those healthy employees will continue to earn those tangible rewards.

Which incentives work best?

Find the right mix of incentives for your employees.  We recently conducted a blind study of roughly 1,000 program participants and 500 eligible nonparticipants. The study aimed to uncover the drivers behind employee behaviors and preferences. Here are a few findings:

Eligible non-participants:

  • 46% attributed nonparticipation to lack of incentives offered
  • 50% weren’t interested in the kind of incentives offered
  • 88% say one or more tangible incentives would increase interest in participating

Employees enrolled in programs that offer tangible incentives felt 23% healthier than employees enrolled in programs that offer only financial incentives. That number jumps to 41% when compared to programs that offer only social and/or health incentives.

To see the full study and learn more about increasing both employee enrollment and engagement, and the impact of tangible incentives on health, productivity and loyalty, click here.

Free White Paper: How to Keep Your Employees Healthy and Motivated

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