wellness incentives
Employee Benefits

Are Incentives the Answer to Wellness Program Participation?

Jeff Kirke
Jeff Kirke
Vice President, Employee Benefits

I recently read an article in BenefitsPro titled “More employers tying financial incentives to wellness participation.” It was an intriguing article and made my wheels start spinning on this topic.

The point of the article is that more and more employers are making it “financially worthwhile” for their workers to participate in well-being programs (according to the 10th Annual Health and Well-Being Survey from Fidelity Investments and the National Business Group on Health). Seems like a pretty decent idea. In fact, Brian Marcotte, President and CEO of the National Business Group on Health, said, “More employers view their investments in health and well-being as integral to deploying the most engaged, productive and competitive workforce possible.”

And, if you really want to make a wellness plan intriguing to employees, you may need to think outside the “health” box.  In addition to providing programs focused on physical health, the article went on to say:

  • 92 percent of the survey respondents also provide programs that focus on emotional and mental health
  • 88 percent provide programs that focus on financial health
  • 69 percent provide programs that focus on community involvement
  • 54 percent provide programs that focus on social connectedness
  • 43 provide programs that focus on job satisfaction

Do you agree with this? Can it really work? I think it can, and in fact, at Holmes Murphy, we actually work with our clients to determine what kind of incentives and programs are the right culture fit for their organization. When we meet with our clients to start framing the types of wellness plans they plan to offer, we have them first answer a series of questions called “core beliefs.” Based on the answers to those questions, we come up with incentive ideas and programs that better tie in to the culture of the company.

So, as you’re in the planning stages for what you’ll be offering in the months ahead, think outside the box! But, remember, incentives must be compliant with Affordable Care Act laws. It can be tricky, but given participation results, I think it can be worth it.

If you aren’t sure where to start or are interested in taking part in a core beliefs exercise, please don’t hesitate to reach out to us!

Explore more from Holmes Murphy