Employee wellness incentives: creating a healthy workforce and a healthy bottom line.

Employee wellness programs have risen in use in recent years. At their best, employee wellness programs make sense for all involved, as lower medical costs always please insurers, employers and workers alike. The question is, how can companies effectively implement employee wellness programs to ensure widespread participation while providing reasonable wellness incentives? In short, how can companies promote employee wellness without breaking the bank with financial incentives for participation? There is a big push to provide outcome-based programs for employees. In these programs, participants earn points for reaching wellness goals. If participants achieve their goals, they can receive a variety of wellness incentives, including financial incentives, with a lower insurance premium rate a common reward.

There is evidence that outcome-based plans tied to financial incentives can motivate employees. According to health insurer Cigna, and via Business Insurance magazine, 55 percent of participants in outcome-based plans took part in biometric screening in 2014, compared to a 20 percent participation rate previously without the incentives tied to wellness results. Biometric screening is an important component of wellness programs, as it provides data that can be used to tailor plans to improve employee wellness.

On the other hand, there are some who wonder if financial incentives are a cure-all when it comes to wellness participation. Bank of America, for instance, allows employees who reach wellness incentives to make a donation to charity, as MobiHealthNews.com notes.

Furthermore, companies can find other ways to promote employee wellness. Take the example of Beehive PR. According to Forbes, the company had employee sick days reduced by 30 percent after redesigning its workplace to add natural lighting and enhance air quality.

There’s no argument that creating a wellness program does take time and money, and wellness incentives might have to be a key part of such a plan. But with higher productivity and lower medical costs potentially at stake, companies are figuring how to offer these incentives in unique ways to bring better health to their workforce and promote corporate growth. Whether financial incentives are the wellness incentives offered to employees or not, the point is to get people to the doctor and bring any health issues to the forefront before they become big problems.

For more strategies to develop an employee wellness program, or simply make a current program more effective, contact The Plexus Groupe today by calling 847.307.6100, or by visiting us at plexusgroupe.com.

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References

Dunning, Matt. Cash motivates employees to succeed in wellness programs.” Business Insurance, 22 September 2015.

Pai, Aditi. Employee wellness: Bank of America, Southwest value intrinsic incentives over cash.” Mobihealthnews.com, 6 October 2015.

Valet, Vicky. Facebook, Zappos and Beehive Leaders Share How To Build A Wellness Program That Lasts.” Forbes, 21 September 2015.

Cigna.com, Incentives drive health and affordability: 2014 Cigna Study Shows How Incentives Improve Health and Make Health Care More Affordable.” Cigna, 22 September 2015.