Initial engagement in employee health and wellness programs doesn't always drive long term participation like healthy employee cultures. While new employee health and wellness programs often drive short term engagement through the first few months, or maybe even the first few years, creating healthy employee champions and a culture of wellness is what creates long term employee participation. Providing non-cash rewards as a component to a healthy employee culture is a great way to drive long term participation. One example of this was offering a discount in the employee portion of the health insurance premium which almost doubled employee participation in
Herman Miller Co's employee wellness program; jumping from 40% to 79% year over year for the first 3 years, but seeing a plateau in participation levels in subsequent years. Offering small denomination gift cards to retailers like GNC, Nutrisystem and CVS/Pharmacy are another way to promote a healthy employee culture by assisting employees in forming a healthy lifestyle. Instead of using typical carrot tactics to get employees to change habits, providing an environment for creating a healthy employee culture will provide longer term results that will have a greater impact on your workforce and healthcare costs.