Worksite Wellness Program Incentives
If you are in charge of your company’s worksite wellness program or you are trying to get a program started, you may have a difficult job getting people to participate.
Much like sticking to diets or quitting smoking, participation in wellness programs is often fraught with excuses from those who need the program most. Some individuals may even deny that they need the program.
Your job can be divided into three portions: generating interest, getting the participants started, and maintaining membership and participation.
These tasks can all be accomplished through the help of worksite wellness program incentives.
Step One: Generating Interest
It’s well known by advertising executives that the one word people like to hear most is, “Free.” Although wellness programs in the workplace are almost always free, you could suggest these worksite wellness program incentives:
- Free health screening by certified medical personnel
- Coupon for a free dinner out at a healthy restaurant for committing to the program
- Free exercise monitoring device of some kind, such as a heart rate monitor or pedometer
Step Two: Getting Started
Much of the secret to your program is staying organized. However, you could also offer incentives for those who carry out the commitment they made to the program during Step One.
For instance, you could offer wellness days off for those who participate in a certain number of activities. Try offering a half day off per month or a full day for a certain number of months as wellness program incentives for consistent participation in weight loss programs, anti-smoking campaigns, or other programs. For employees who don’t need weight loss, healthy eating, or coaching to give up bad habits, offer them a de-stress exercise or yoga class. De-stressing is a big part of staying healthy even for healthy employees.
Step Three: Maintaining Membership
While the idea of “free” might get people interested in your program, offering constant free meals or devices may not work. Instead, think about changing the external motivation into internal motivation for long-term success. Here are some ways to do that.
Offer Feedback. Regular feedback on successes will help keep people motivated. Instead of saying, “Well your goal was to lose ten pounds but you only made five,” you could offer the feedback positively. “Your goal was ten pounds but that was probably too aggressive for the beginning of a program. You lost five and that’s a great start!”
Offer Rewards for Lowered Health Insurance Costs. It’s no secret that high risk equals high cost in the insurance industry. Work out a plan of wellness program incentives with your health insurance provider: offer rewards for those who do their part to reduce premium payments.
Days Off. You could also consider continuing a days-off campaign if you started one in Step Two. For those who stick with the program longer than six months or a year, try a lunch time party and door prize of a trip to a day spa—these are inexpensive wellness program incentives and help encourage well being.
Writer Bio: John Bates is a leading wellness industry consultant and prolific writer about all aspects of health and wellness programs. His work can be found on many health promotion and wellness related websites.