In order for your employee wellness program to succeed, you need active participants. Incentives are one of the best ways to encourage your team that it’s in their best interest to get with the program. Here are a few suggestions for some outside-the-box employee incentives that will motivate and encourage participation across the board.

Incentive #1: Vacation Days

This incentive costs your company nothing out of pocket AND will motivate participants to reach their predetermined goals. We’re not suggesting that you offer up a whole week, but just a single extra vacation day might be enough to encourage your employees to push themselves harder to meet their goal. (Bonus— well-rested workers are productive workers. You’ll be getting a happier and more productive employee after their extra day off.)

Incentive #2: Discounted Fitness Tracker

Wearable fitness trackers, like the FitBit or Garmin, are very motivating. Not only do they track activity, but they serve as a reminder to prioritize fitness. (Plus, gadgets are fun!) Some companies buy fitness trackers in bulk, and offer them to employees at a significant discount. You can even offer payroll deduction, so employees only have to pay a small fee every month to purchase their fitness tracker. You can set company-wide goals that are related to the fitness tracker, such as number of steps taken each day, or distance walked/run.

Incentive #3: Discounts on Healthy Food

Encourage employees to eat better by offering discounted healthy food. Whether you decrease the price of healthier options in the cafeteria, or combat the lure of the junk food in the vending machines by buying healthy snacks in bulk and offering them to employees at cost ($.25 for a bottle of water vs. $1.50 for a bottle of soda? It’s a no-brainer!), make it not just easier to access good-for-you food but make it a smart financial decision, too. Your employees will feel better and they’ll avoid the mid-afternoon sugar crash that kills productivity.

Incentive #4: Partner with Local Businesses for Prizes

Bring the rest of your community on board by partnering up with businesses located near your company to offer prizes that are relevant to your workers’ life outside of the office. Movie passes, gift cards to restaurants (preferably those offering healthy choices to cement your commitment to wellness), and passes to a local spa or fitness center are all fun and relevant rewards for meeting goals that your employees have set for themselves.

Incentive #5: Reimburse for Running

Want to encourage your staff to participate in a 5K? Offer to compensate them for their entry fee for their first 5K, and pay half their entry for any subsequent race. Be sure to publicize any races happening in the area, and celebrate the people who finish. Creating a culture in which participating in 5Ks is the norm will only reiterate your company’s focus on movement and health.

Incentive #6: Corporate Competitions

You’ll need to decide whether this is appropriate for your particular team, but if you’ve got some (sportsmanlike) competitors, they might enjoy a friendly contest. You can do a ‘Biggest Loser’-style competition, using percentages rather than actual numbers. Or, you can have a challenge board featuring the people with the most steps logged every week, with a prize being awarded to the person with the most steps on a monthly basis.

Incentive #7: On-Site Massage

What better reward for hard work than a mid-day massage? Pay to have a masseuse on site every couple of weeks, and offer 30-minute massages to people who are participating in the wellness program. This will give participants something to look forward to, and send a relaxed and rejuvenated employee back to work, increasing their productivity.

Ready to implement a wellness program for your organization? Request a demo to see what Fitspot can do for you!




Sammy is the COO and Co-Founder of Fitspot. Sammy is an attention-to-detail aficionado who brings a blend of grit and imagination to the zillions of tasks that confront every startup. She has always thrived in operations, working as a production assistant in LA and managing operations in the fashion industry. Sammy wears many hats at Fitspot, doing everything from sketching app screens to managing the customer experience. Sammy has a B.F.A. from the University of Miami, and hails from Australia.


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