As health care costs are on the rise many companies scramble to find the best way to counter the issue and the answer could be ‘in the incentives.’
Aon Hewitt just released a survey from 800 large and mid-sized U.S. employers, representing more than 7 million U.S. employees and found that 83 percent offer employee incentives for participation in a variety of wellness programs that strive to improve employees health. Out of these 83 percent:
- 79 percent offer incentives in the form of a reward
- 5 percent offer incentives in the form of a consequence
- 16 percent offer a mix of both rewards and consequences
Employers saw a number of positive results stem from the sue of incentives:
- More than half reported improved health behaviors and/or an increase in employee engagement
- Almost half believed there was positive impact on employee morale, satisfaction and/or attitudes
- 44% saw changes in health risks
While reducing health care costs is a top concern, developing a health-conscious culture within your workforce should play a major role. One great way to set a healthy atmosphere is to reward employees with healthy incentives like low denomination gift cards to Whole Foods Market or CVS, partnering with a local gym to offer membership specials, or give extra vacation days to those that meet the goals like weight loss or lower cholesterol.
Fostering a healthier workforce doesn’t need to be looked at as a challenge, but rather an opportunity. One that, if done right, could decrease high absenteeism, increase employee engagement and motivation, and in the long run could lower health care costs for both employees and the company.
Lauren McAuley is on the marketing team at GiftCard Partners. She is a recent graduate who enjoys diving head first into several aspects of the business including social media, graphic design, marketing, business development and public relations. Her passion for challenging herself keeps her trying new things every chance she gets, vegetable lasagna this week, maybe skydiving next week?