Creating Incentives to Drive Healthier Behaviors

Helping your employees find motivation that will keep them interested in maintaining good health is important for many reasons. Healthier and happier employees are much more productive,[1]  and therefore less expensive.[2] But also, creating a culture that emphasizes the importance of good physical and financial health can help employees feel more allegiance and loyalty to their job.[3] Some ways to create incentives to drive healthier behaviors are:

 

  1. Traditional Employer Incentives:

    Participation-based, incentives can work well if they are structured correctly. Participation incentives get employees to notice the wellness program offering and at least give it a fair shot.  This is great, but it can also have its downfalls. Participation based incentives can often create a downward curve – showing high engagement in the first few months that then tappers out in the months following. Outcomes-based incentives have the ability to reward the people who are giving it their all – or at least putting some effort into the program. When rewards are outcomes-based, individuals learn how it feels to improve their health and hopefully take that, itself, as an incentive moving forward.

  2. Incentives to Financial Accounts:

    Depending on the laws in your state and/or industry consider giving your incentives as matches, or contributions toward your employee’s retirement accounts. This is especially important for financial wellness programs, which can show you care about your employees’ financial well-being and comfort in retirement as much as they do!

  3. Family:

    Including your employees’ families in their benefits can make a big difference. While inviting them to the annual company picnic is a fantastic way to create an inclusive environment of comradery, take it one step further – include them in your wellness program. It can take a support system, when making lifelong changes, so including family

  4. Lifespan:

    Your health and lifestyle choices can significantly impact your life expectancy. Someone with poorly managed Type II diabetes has a life expectancy of about 75 years. Other conditions also have the ability to impact your life expectancy. Something as simple as taking your medication as prescribed can significantly increase your life expectancy. Sharing this information with your employees can be a very powerful motivator. HealthyCapital can help all of your employees find this information, individualized to themselves, in the privacy of their own phone.

  5. Money:

    Being healthier can make you money! As you become healthier, you often need less healthcare, which means that your healthcare costs decline, and you have more money in your pocket. You may not see a significant change in the first year, but as the years go by, if you pay attention to your diet and exercise, you’ll be saving thousands of dollars a year in healthcare because you’ll be taking better care of your body. You can show your employees exactly how much money they can save by using HealthyCapital. Once they fill out a quick questionnaire, they can see exactly how much they can save.

  6. Praise:

    Keep in mind: “It’s nice to be important, but it’s more important to be nice”. This is not only true for positive employer/employee relationships, but also for employee productivity.[5] A simple “thank you” goes a long way because everybody likes to receive recognition for hard work, and whether it’s a work- or health-related achievement, you’d be surprised how far a shout-out in a meeting or a “thank you” goes in terms of employee motivation!

 

It’s important to have a healthy and happy employee base. Not only will you have a more productive workforce, but your healthcare costs will be lower. Plus, employees often appreciate a company that emphasizes and encourages a physically and financially healthy environment.

 

 

[1] Hafner, Marco, Christian Van Stolk, Catherine L. Saunders, Joachim Krapels, and Ben Baruch, “Health, wellbeing and productivity in the workplace: A Britain’s Healthiest Company summary report.” RAND, 2015. https://www.rand.org/pubs/research_reports/RR1084.html.

[2] Comaford, Christine. “Why Leaders Need To Embrace Employee Motivation.”, January 20, 2018, https://www.forbes.com/sites/christinecomaford/2018/01/20/why-leaders-need-to-embrace-employee-motivation/#525f28441272.

[3] Miller, Stephen. “Is 2017 the Year of Employee Financial Wellness Programs?”, January 17, 2017, https://www.shrm.org/resourcesandtools/hr-topics/benefits/pages/financial-wellness-trend.aspx.

[4] Nauert, Rick P. “Family and Peers Have Big Impact on Health.”, August 8, 2018, https://psychcentral.com/news/2011/10/07/family-and-peers-have-big-impact-on-health/30146.html.

[5] Schwantes, Marcel. “A Study of More Than 50,000 Employees in Over 1,000 Companies Says These Are the 10 Things Workers Need the Most to Succeed.”, July 26, 2017, https://www.inc.com/marcel-schwantes/a-study-of-more-than-50000-employees-in-over-1000-.html.