As more and more organizations decide to invest in a company-wide wellness plan, the pressure to find increasingly interesting incentives becomes more intense. Of course, it’s important to get a comprehensive buy-in for the wellness plan, but are incentives the right way to go? Read on to learn the pros and cons of company wellness buy-in incentives, and decide if they’re right for you.
Pros of Buy-In Incentives
Employee Happiness— When you offer employees a great wellness program at no cost, it’s going to boost their mood. An effective wellness program will foster healthier, happier workers, not to mention the boost in productivity.
Increased Weight Loss— When employees are offered financial rewards, they’re more likely to lose more weight, according to a study spanning almost four decades. These rewards don’t have to be cold hard cash— they can include gift cards, bonuses, or rewards of different amounts dependent on the level of success achieved by the employee.
Competitive Incentives Boost Morale— For some teams, they’re most engaged when they’re in (friendly) competition with their teammates. Not only will it push employees to work harder to achieve good health, it can form stronger bonds between co-workers as they encourage each other and share in a similar activity.
Improved Participation— Say what you will about incentives, they’re effective. People who might be on the fence about participating in their company’s wellness program are more willing to give it a shot if there’s something in it for them (beyond improving their overall health and well-being).
Cons of Buy-In Incentives
They’re Not Sufficiently Incentivizing— According to a report, when employers offered gift cards or movie passes, younger and healthier employees participated, while older employees with more significant health issues passed up the opportunity. However, when the employers changed the incentive to include a reduction in health insurance premiums, they found that the group that was reluctant to join in before began to participate. If you’re not using the right carrot to entice your staff to participate in your program, is it worth the investment?
It Feels Like a Requirement, Not a Request— Some employees believe that being forced to participate in a wellness program in order to get a reduction on an insurance plan that they feel to be too expensive is not just optional, but necessary in order to make their coverage more affordable. In fact, some critics believe that outcomes-based wellness programs could be considered discriminatory against the people for whom they’re designed—the people in poor health. If an alternative method of earning the incentive isn’t presented, these people might never reach the designated goal and receive the necessary incentive.
Some Illnesses Aren’t Linked to Behavior— While exercise and change in diet will reduce the risk of heart disease, diabetes, and high blood pressure for many, some people are genetically predisposed to these illnesses. No matter how much exercise they get, they’re destined for a bad diagnosis. All the incentives you offer won’t stop it— will these employees be penalized?
Overall, wellness programs can be a major boost to your team’s health and well-being, whether you decide to incorporate incentives or not. Ready to get started? Fitspot can help. Take this short assessment to see if your company is ready for an Active Wellness Program.