Encourage Healthy Employees with Wellness Incentives

January 8, 2020 | 980 views

Encourage Healthy Employees with Wellness Incentives
Encourage Healthy Employees with Wellness Incentives

We all want to be healthy, and we want our employees healthy, too. A company wellness program is designed to encourage employees to adopt healthy behaviors and then maintain them. To achieve this within your organization, it is helpful to use small incentives combined with interactive programs to engage employees in ways that get them on the road to sustained health.

All aspects of health can be promoted as part of your wellness program. After all, it is not just body mass index or advanced yoga poses that prove a person’s health status. Health check-ups and food choices matter, too.

  1. Organize Physical Challenges. Maybe have a plank challenge where the winner is the one who successfully adds 10 seconds each day for two weeks. Or make daily steps the goal requiring at least one mile per day every day for 30 days to qualify for a raffle prize. Or use a sleep app to reward those who get the most nights with at least 7 hours of sleep over a full month. Prizes can be simple and practical gift cards. It’s the competition that is fun and gets the office chatter going. 
  2. Positive Mental Activities. Share things that instill gratitude. A shared board or document with the many things we cherish and appreciate will spread positive energy and good feelings. Research overwhelmingly supports the benefits received by practicing gratitude on a person’s emotions, happiness levels, and motivation. 
  3. In-Office Ideas. Provide healthy snacks, or offer stand-up desks or balls for sitting. Dust off the ping pong or foosball table. Bring in a chair massage therapist or host a healthy cooking class. Focus on healthy options, and set an example in the office where employees see its impact every day.
  4. Target Specific Needs. If a smoke-free life is wanted by many, then raffle off $100 to those who successfully complete a program. If weight loss assistance is more valued by employees, pay a portion of a weight-loss program to get them onboard.
  5. Pay Up. Reduce health premiums for those who meet certain health guidelines or who participate in monthly telephone coaching sessions if they have a specific health risk. Insurance is expensive, and any discounted premium equals a direct wage increase to an employee. Try offering $100 or a full day off to those who complete a series of baseline steps (health check-up, blood tests, developing a healthy action plan and following it for 6 months). Pay a portion of a gym membership.

No matter what you can afford and choose to implement in your organization, the benefits of making wellness a priority will show improvements in employee health and moral. Small incentives in your company wellness program promise big payoffs for your organization and employees.

Author Profile Jon Forknell is the Vice President and General Manager of Atlas Business Solutions, Inc., a software marketing company specializing in employee scheduling software, including ScheduleBase employee scheduling software, and other business software solutions. In the past, Jon has been recognized by the U.S. Small Business Administration as a SBA Young Entrepreneur of the Year. Atlas Business Solutions was named as one of Software Magazine’s Top 500 Software Companies in 2004 through 2007, and 2010, 2013, 2014, 2016, 2017, and 2018.

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