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Incentives in Corporate Wellness Survey

Posted, by Deborah Merkin
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While the number of wellness programs continues to grow, we can’t help but wonder which incentives in corporate wellness are truly motivating employees to participate in programs and, most importantly, to stay well. There is still so much to learn about what works best in wellness and we are quickly learning that there is no one-size fits all motivator and motivation can be both
intrinsic and

Do you manage or participate in a Health & Wellness Program? If so, we are looking for your feedback.

Take our 10-minute corporate wellness survey now!

The Cost of Wellness

Corporate wellness programs are helpful for employers in managing healthcare costs. Half of all Americans receive health insurance through an employer and that benefit
does not come cheap. The average annual cost for health insurance premiums is more than
$5,000 for individual employees and $14,000 for families. Spending more on employee wellness programs can save on overall health insurance costs incurred. Preventative healthcare, management of chronic illness, and healthier behaviors will keep employees from having to constantly use health insurance, be absent from work, and have a drop in their productivity. The potential savings from a well-designed wellness program can save employers anywhere from $2,000 to $9,000 annually per employee!
Employee Wellness Program Spending Trends

  • 2015: $693/employee
  • 2014: $595/employee
  • 2010: $430/employee

Legal Implications

Last spring, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) proposed rules that classify wellness programs voluntary as long as the employer rewards (or penalizes) employees no more than 30% of the cost of coverage. "The EEOC [proposed] rules are good news for employers and employees. They offer clarity and acknowledge that incentives play a role in fostering engagement," says LuAnn Heinen, vice president at National Business Group on Health, which represents large employers' perspectives on health policy issues. But not all employers are onboard with the proposed rules, feeling that a 30% cap would limit them too much. While both rewards and penalties have been used in the past, strong evidence shows that penalties are NOT the best choice when looking to motivate. They can prevent participation and can cause a detrimental effect on the well-being of employees. They do not motivate employees the way we may have expected, so the majority of employers are looking to rewards, like gift cards, cash bonuses, and premium reductions.

Evolving Corporate Wellness

The design of corporate wellness programs and incentives will continue to evolve as healthcare reform changes. As companies shift away from the one-size-fits-all idea of wellness to individualized programs, they now take into account everything, from an employee's genetics, personality, and willingness to change. Focusing on changing the
workplace to a
healthier environment will help employees become more intrinsically motivated and embrace a culture that focuses on physical, emotional, and financial well-being.

Incentives in Corporate Wellness Survey

Do you manage or participate in a corporate wellness program? We'd like to get your feedback on wellness programs.  Take our brief 10-minute survey.

Start the Survey

Topics: Gift Card Incentives & Rewards, Workplace Health & Wellness

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