Guide To A Successful Health and Wellness Incentive Program

BY Lucy Fang
Jun 08, 2017
incentive program, strategy, Participation, Rewards, Workplace Wellness, Employee Health, Wellness Program, reward management platform, platform provider, Health and Wellness incentive provider, Prepaid card

No health and wellness incentive promotion is foolproof without the proper wellness program strategy. It doesn’t have to be a complicated process as long as you cover the basics when setting up or making changes to an existing program. First and foremost, without a sufficient amount of participants in the program, the results will be less than adequate. It is fundamental to your program to ensure proper planning is met to increase participation in your health and wellness program. Listed below are a few basics to help guide you to boost participation rates for your health and wellness platform.

Enroll Participants

-You need a well designed and thought out program where candidates can reach their goals.

-The more candidates, the better.

Build Excitement

Allow sufficient amount of time to build up interest (several weeks or so) for your health and wellness program. A string of educational information and announcements released over the course of your build up period will peak interest. Examples include:

  • Brochures dispersed explaining the program and its benefits.
  • A mini flyer placed in payroll checks (check stuffer) that promotes the health and wellness program.
  • Posters placed in high traffic areas highlighting the program.
  • Detailed information in a company newsletter.
  • Mail out information to go to the employee’s home address explaining the program (a spouse or family member may want to participant if applicable).
  • Host an all department meeting where the program and its’ benefits are presented, and questions can be answered.

Helpful Tips:

-Use a visual presentation

-Demonstrate a few examples

-Pass out questionnaires and enrollment packets for those who would like to enroll on the spot

-If applicable, prepare testimonies for those who have already participated in the program

Prevent Obstacles

Create a small market study group of employees. This group can help brainstorm preventative measures to avoid program obstacles that could potentially prevent others from joining. Here are a few examples to help get the focus group started:

  • Pick an evaluation that is simple to complete.
  • Try to keep questionnaires and screenings short, that way not too much time is taken away from work.
  • If applicable, blood draws, and any health tests that require fasting should be scheduled early in the morning to prevent going too long without eating.
  • Some tests, such as blood draws, should be optional for those who would like to opt out.
  • Testing should be available early in the morning or later in the evening for those who have busy days or spouses that would like to participate and only have a certain time frame to make the test.
  • Create a privacy policy to ensure participants that their information is safe and secure.

Build an Enjoyable and Fun Event

It’s all about atmosphere, if fellow participants aren’t feeling the pizzazz, then they may not want to continue the program. For instance:

  • Decorate! Blow up balloons, put up banners, posters, signs, etc.
  • Offer refreshments, once testing has been completed.
  • Play music!
  • Hand out rewards for participation- movie tickets, gift certificates, t-shirts, company promo gear, etc.

Offer Participation Incentives

  • Rewards
  • Money
  • Lottery Tickets or Scratchers
  • Free trip for two, free golf, dinner at a nice restaurant, etc.
  • Hand out 1-2 larger prizes and several smaller item prizes
  • Discounts towards a fitness center or gym membership
  • Offer a deduction on their health insurance premium
  • Rewards for meeting health goals after six months
  • Financial compensation towards 5ks, riding their bike to work, health seminars/classes

Motivate Participants to See The Value

Health and wellness programs and tests are a privilege to participate in; help candidates understand that.

  • Provide an appointment card and include the value amount. For example, “Value of $75, completely covered by your employer”.
  • Limit the attendance. Offer the program to the first 15% of the population that signs up.
  • After a few months, offer the program to additional employees.

Present Various Testing Sessions

There will be those who are hesitant to start a new program and those who will wait until others have tried to see the outcome. Many companies reported that their employee participation had nearly doubled after offering the same program a month after the first launch. A few health and wellness statistics have been provided below.

  • Medical costs fall by about $3.27 for every dollar spent on wellness programs.
  • 28% reduced sick leave, and 26% reduction in medical costs for workplace wellness programs. –
  • 19% reduction in absenteeism, and a savings of $264 per employee, per year for on-site employee wellness programs. –
  • 70% fewer sick days for employees participating in wellness programs than those opting out. –

Set an Expectation That Everyone Will Join

  • Include an appointment card with time and date already set when handing out the lifestyle questionnaires. Let the group know that appointments can be changed or altered.
  • Ask participants what screening session they would like to join, don’t ask them if they would like to participate.

Combine Participation with Benefits

  • Some benefits need to be contingent on if they participate in the program.
  • Implement this scenario: If they do not keep up on their health, then their expenses will be greater, therefore they will have to pay more for their insurance premium. Set up health insurance co-payments based on their participation, making up the difference if they don’t participate $500- $1000 per year.
  • Extend the invitation to spouses, allow them to participate as well.
  • Offer a big reward, such as an exotic trip, for those who have continuously participated in the program all year.

Set An Example

In essence, administration must set the tone that everyone should participate in the health and wellness program. This goes a long way and sets the example that your organization leads by example, is innovative, and believes in good health.

  • A message should be sent out or posted that everyone is expected to participate and the importance behind it. Administrators will also be actively participating, so make that a point as well!
  • Most prefer visuals, a picture showing departmental heads participating in health screenings or wellness programs will go a long way!
  • An event planned for your organization’s board members to participate and try the program can help get their input and support.

The team at All Digital Rewards can help you develop a health and wellness incentive program solution that best fits your needs and that of your employees. Contact ADR at 866-415-7703 for a quick demo and learn how we can add value to your program with our health and wellness incentive program.