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3 Reasons Incentives Are the Answer for Your Wellness Program

Posted, by Deborah Merkin
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As younger generations enter the workforce and regulations surrounding health and wellness programs continue to evolve, there’s a lot to consider when developing your own program. Today, more companies choose to use incentives to engage employees and reward them for healthy behavior.

What’s to account for this rising trend? Here are three reasons why incentives are so popular in health and wellness programs.

1. Rewards work better than punishment

As the saying goes, you catch more flies with honey than vinegar. The promise of a reward can be more motivating than the fear of punishment. In fact, there’s been a jump in the number of U.S. businesses using non-cash rewards from 26% in 1996 to 84% in 2016. That’s because companies that acknowledge achievements in the workplace send a message that their employees’ efforts aren’t going unnoticed. In turn, employees feel positive and reaffirm their commitment to the business.

Join experts in our upcoming webinar & fireside chat on implementing incentives in wellness programs on November 14. 


2. Not just beginning, but maintaining healthy habits

We all know how easy it is to start healthy habits and how much harder it is to maintain them year-round. Using incentives is a simple way to both motivate and reward employees for keeping up good habits over time. Incentives act as a goal employees can work towards, or they can encourage employees to keep doing what they’re doing. Either way, the healthy behavior is reinforced so employees are more likely to maintain healthy habits.

3. Incentives can accommodate everyone

The current U.S. workforce currently has employees spanning across 4 generations, and they all have different expectations and wants from their workplace. Although finding ways to encourage healthy behaviors across a wide spectrum of life experience can be a challenge, incentives are an easy way to reach everyone in your program. More companies are turning to non-cash incentives, such as gift cards or experience-based rewards, because of their flexibility, ease of use, and attractiveness for the employee. Just last year, 70% of all U.S. businesses used gift card rewards in their programs, and the trend is on the rise. 

Whether your program is focused on motivating initial participation or supporting ongoing healthy behaviors, finding the right way to incentivize increases engagement across the board. Companies are turning towards incentives to boost their efforts and reach everyone in their program for maximum effectiveness.


Interested in incentives for your program? Last month, we presented overcoming challenges in administering incentives at the 2017 Employer Healthcare and Benefits Congress (EHBC). Due to its popularity, we’re expanding on what we talked about into a free webinar. Register now to save your seat!

Using incentives to drive engagement in wellness webinar

Topics: Workplace Health & Wellness, Employee Engagement, Employee Incentives & Rewards

Learn how gift cards can work for your business

We work with companies of all shapes and sizes to find the best gift cards for your program or audience.

Using gift cards to reward and engage

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