Health and wellness programs are one of the few employee programs that benefit both employers and employees directly. These programs lower healthcare costs for both parties and provide benefits to physical, mental and financial well-being that allow employees to bring their best selves to work every day.
Boosting the effectiveness of health and wellness programs is critical to ensuring substantial return on the investment of establishing the programs. Gift cards can be a powerful tool to add incentives into your program, include a material component to employee recognition within the program, motivate employees, and expand the program beyond mental and physical wellness. Read on to learn more about real-life examples of how gift cards can boost the impact of any employee health and wellness program.
1. Add Wellness Incentives
When considering adding a wellness program to your employee experience, you are asking employees to change personal behavior. Incorporating incentives into this task makes it more likely that employees will adjust their behavior, engage with the program and establish long-term habits to live a healthier life. Using gift cards for wellness incentives:
- Adds a material component to the program, beyond healthcare savings
- Can help employees get involved or stay engaged with the program
- Supports employees in building a healthy lifestyle
Wellness incentives enhance a health and wellness program particularly when the incentive can be used to help employees create or maintain healthy habits. CVS® gift cards are a great way to motivate employees with incentives that won’t just provide memorable experiences, but will help them build the lifelong habits employees need to stay healthy.
2. Consider Financial Wellness
When establishing an employee health and wellness initiative, the primary focus tends to be on physical and mental well-being. However, there exists a significant opportunity to integrate financial wellness education and activities into these programs. A client of GiftCard Partners, located in New York (identity withheld), has ingeniously utilized American Express® Virtual Reward Card as rewards within their financial wellness program. This approach offers a compelling method to:
- Give employees flexibility in their budget to implement program elements
- Recognize employees as they make financially healthy choices
- Provide motivation to maintain financial health over the long-term
Financial wellness is an important component to a comprehensive employee wellness program. Incentives and rewards play an equally important role in program engagement for financial wellness components as they do when employers are incentivizing employees to manage their physical or mental health.
3. Incorporate Employee Recognition
Boosting employee health with gift cards provides a natural opportunity to add a recognition component to your wellness program. While it may seem straightforward, employee recognition doesn’t have to be boring. Recognition within a wellness program can take many forms such as:
- Traditional recognition where employers recognize employees who are high performers within the program
- Peer-to-peer recognition where employees recognize each other for engagement or achievement within the program
- Group recognition where a group of employees (like the team who takes walking meetings or the group that goes on lunch walks) gets recognized.
Diversifying how and why recognition occurs within a wellness program will help keep employees motivated to stick to their program goals. For another GiftCard Partners client (name withheld), gift cards have become an important piece of recognizing employees participating in their wellness program. Providing material rewards as part of the recognition makes the achievement memorable and longer-lasting.
4. Build Momentum and Motivation
Employee wellness programs require an initial launch, but also require a continuous build of momentum across your employee base and require employees to be motivated to continue to participate in the program. After the initial excitement, gift card incentives can play a critical role in:
- Keeping the program top of mind for employees
- Motivating employees to continue to maintain their healthy lifestyle
- Attracting new employees to join the program as they join the company
Rewards, like gift cards, are powerful tools to maintain employee wellness programs. Using material rewards to dangle “carrot” rewards for employees can ensure a long-lasting return on investment for the company and the benefits that come with that, like reducing health care costs and maintaining a healthy employee base.
Boosting employee wellness with gift cards is a great way to build and maintain any employee wellness program. Understanding what drives employees to make healthy choices throughout their time in the wellness program is critical to the programs’ success and to building and maintaining holistically healthy employee lifestyles.
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