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Does Your Employee Wellness Program Need Incentives?

employee wellness incentives program
by Hanson Medical Systems

Does your employee wellness program need incentives? This question would have been nearly meaningless just ten years ago, but today this is one of the key questions facing corporate health care providers. Many businesses are choosing to both create their own healthcare provision (through onsite clinics and the like) while simultaneously focusing on employee wellness as a cost-cutting measure. In the days of soaring insurance premiums and increased regulation from the ACA and its overseers, anything that can eliminate health care spending seems like a godsend. Wellness certainly does the trick, but how can you convince your employees to take part?

People don’t always exercise if they don’t have to. It makes sense. Exercise is hard. Fitness is a struggle. For people with good jobs and satisfying personal lives, there can be little incentive to slim down or tone up. This is why many American employers are adding fitness incentives in addition to the POC tests at their onsite clinics. This combination of value-adding convenience and carrot-on-stick incentivizing can achieve results. It just takes the right programming and the right company culture to get the results you want.

For one, achieving corporate health savings is not always as easy as throwing money at the problem. An investment in employee health is an investment in health care cost savings, this much is true. Providing financial incentives for employees who get fit can be a tricky game to play. This practice is in a legal grey area, smacking of favoritism, discrimination, and the overstepping of bounds to many employees. What’s more, financial incentives can add an extra tax burden to those saddled to higher rates of tax burden, due to their “winnings” or “earnings.”

Financial incentives aren’t all out of the question. Have Accounting take a close look at any policies you hope to roll out. If financial incentives prove kosher in your regulatory region, go for it. These can often be very effective. Just as effective and often much less nettlesome with regulatory compliance are non-financial rewards for hitting fitness goals: gift cards, consumer goods, workplace advantages, etc.

Certain businesses help their employees get fit by modeling fitness from the top of the corporate ladder. When overseers and managers make fitness a priority (not out of showmanship, but as an important part of life), their example is bound to spread around.

A combination of company cultural factors and fitness incentives can help you meet or exceed your company wellness goals. Just because your employees are a little behind the curve doesn’t mean that wellness won’t work in your office. Hanson Medical Systems has a lot of experience optimizing corporate health and employee wellness plans. We know how to make this stuff work. Contact Hanson Medical Systems today to find out how. We’ll be happy to work with you to create a perfect incentive balance for your workplace and your unique employee culture.

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