The GiftCard Partners team is still buzzing about everything we learned at the
7th Annual Employer Healthcare & Benefits Congress. Thousands of professionals, from HR executives, brokers, insurance companies, service providers and more showed up to get insight into all aspects of the changing healthcare landscape through forums, sessions and speakers. It was our goal to get a better understanding of the priority level (if any) being placed on corporate wellness programs and the level of engagement that was being seen within them. Wellness programs are a huge topic and have been for quite a few years but it's important to understand what exactly makes them successful. Here are our 3 takeaways from the show (from a corporate wellness point of view).
1. Health & wellness programs are almost mandatory.
If you don’t have a wellness program at your company yet, the time is now. Having structure within your business to maintain employee wellness has positive impacts like reducing absenteeism or sick days and reducing the overall cost of your organization's health plan. The demand for variety and personalization within a wellness program has also grown. This has opened the door for providers to offer different components for companies of all sizes, whether they are in the early stages of implementation or have a fully integrated wellness program already in place.
2. Rewards & incentives are a key piece of the puzzle.
Rewards and incentives are a critical component to any health and wellness program. When it comes to the type of incentive or reward offered there's a lot of discussion about what really works to encourage lasting engagement. What we can tell you is that whether you are using premium reductions, pooled drawings, spot rewards, or gift cards, make sure to keep the rewards coming through each step of the engagement process for lasting success.
3. Cash is not king.
In Tuesday's session, “Improving Health and Wellness Outcomes with the Use of Incentives”, our Co-CEO Deborah Merkin, Matthew Smith from Shapiro+Raj, and Sally Luck from Hallmark Cards, discussed the importance of offering rewards or incentives in a tangible format. Using cash or premium reductions does not always make the health and wellness world go round. In order to have a lasting impact with employees providing an experience is just as important as the reward. Think about it this way, you reward your employees weight loss goal with a gift card to a retailer that they redeem for a new outfit. Now every time they wear that outfit they remember the experience of getting rewarded for their hard work.