The cash vs. gift card debate in the reward and incentive world has a common misconception that cash is more appealing, therefore more motivating, to someone receiving it. However, studies show that gift cards are not only more intrinsically appealing, but also more effective at creating positive associations and changing behavior.
Employers, together with health insurance plans, continue to look for creative ways to incentivize and reward healthy behaviors. The ultimate goal is to get people on the path to better health or keep them there. Around $25 billion is being spent on incentives, which includes apps, devices, games and more, all devoted to helping people change their longstanding, ingrained bad habits. Harvard Pilgrim Health Care is utilizing an app called Nurtisavings to reward members for making healthy supermarket purchases. “What we consume has got so much impact on health and well-being, the supermarket should be part of the overall health care delivery system”, stats Niraj Jetly, COO of Nutrisavings. Nutrisavings scores more than 200,000 foods on a scale of 0 to 100, 0 being the least healthy option (i.e. Soda). The score is totaled upon check out and if your average monthly score is 60 or higher, you earn $10. That's free money just by making modestly healthy decisions when going to the store, some of which you may already be doing anyway. Another health insurance company will take $5 off of health insurance deductibles for every 30-minute workout. These workouts are at GPS confirmed gyms or connected through wearable technology such as a Fitbit device. A minimum of 3 workouts per week must be logged. “By smartly adjusting the deductible based on exercise, we can save a small business tens of thousands of dollars a year in terms of their health costs,” says Pact Health co-founder and CEO Yifan Zhang. Pact Health is the company behind this option. While the possibility of cheating does exist, setting clear rules and expectations beforehand can help to curb that. You need to show your employees that you trust them, because the overall outcome is a healthier workforce, more productive employees, reduced absenteeism, and most importantly you are letting your employees know that above all else, you value their health. Read the full article, along with more details on what incentives may work for your company, here!
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