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Archive for the 'Employee Wellness Programs' Category

11 29th, 2011

We loved this article on CBS Money Watch by Jeff Haden.  We consult with clients about their employee recognition programs on a daily basis.  Our first recommendation is to remind them that the best approach to employee recognition is almost always the simplest one.  The award industry offers a vast array of recognition systems from which to choose and for whatever reason corporate America rarely starts their investigation of employee recognition using the KISS principle.  They often choose the most complex way of handling an issue that should fundamentally be very easy and straightforward.  And in the process they commit large budget dollars to the administration of these systems, essentially taking those dollars away from getting to where they will do the most good….the employees themselves.   

When you think about it, recognizing an employee should be a simple (and happy) thing to do.  But for some reason everyone wants to complicate it. 

Over the years, the recognition companies have dreamed up elaborate schemes to sell their awards, often priced substantially over retail.  But are these elaborate systems what you really need?  We’ve seen countless numbers of them that have feature after costly feature that are rarely used.  One of these features is a training program to teach your management how to recognize employees.  Frankly it’s a shame that has to be done.  Every manager, good and bad and ugly should have at least the ability to thank someone for doing a good job.  If they don’t, they shouldn’t be a manager in the first place! 

When you are thinking of implementing a recognition program, you would do well to start with the list comprised in this article.  Throw out the complicated stuff and just tell your managers to simply recognize their employees for doing a good job whenever and wherever possible.  Measure the managers to make sure it gets done, and give them a budget to do it. Copy this article and send it to all your management.  It’ll save you a lot of money and time and you’ll wind up with a much better program and more satisfied employees. 

If you think you need to give a tangible award there are a lot of choices to pick from.  Do what you think makes sense and within your culture.  If you want a good one with terrific flexibility and value, check out Award of Choice. 



Weight loss is always a key ingredient of any wellness program as it is one of the health problems that effect so many diseases, including high blood pressure, high cholesterol, heart disease and diabetes.  If we could better manage weight loss we would have a head start on managing our overall health.

But as been noted by psychologists, the managing of weight loss is often more of a behavioral issue than a physical one. Granted, there reasons medical reasons for weight gain, but it is also clear that the choices people make in their everyday lives that have a great effect on weight gain.  Often, the knowledge of what and what not to eat and how much is a good way to start people on the road to weight loss. 

Corporations are engaged in many ways to influence their employees to gain interest and action on weight loss.  As mentioned in the article from Corporate Wellness, a good way to start an engagement on weight loss is to sponsor a Nutrition Fair.  Some ideas fun things to do might include:

Nutritional Menus…teams bring prepared foods for competition with a nutritionist as the judge.  The foods are examined based health considerations and taste, after which a cookbook of recipes can be distributed to the employees and winning teams receive a prize.

Control Cholesterol Club”…individuals are invited to voluntarily join and get a screening and are then given a variety of help such as the Gordian Health Solution management program.  They can receive a simple award for joining, and then an incentive to continue the process and achieving the desired goals.

Label Reading Contest”…choose specific foods or food category each week.  Employees search out and find the products in the category with the highest and lowest fat (or sugar, salt, etc) content in the supermarket.  Awards are given for the ones who find the highest and lowest products

Healthy Food Samples”…provide food samples based on label information and compare to less healthy options

Coffee Taste Test”…have decaf and caffeinated coffee available and have a taste test to determine which is which.  Winners enter a drawing for a prize

Healthy Desert Bake Off”…taste test and voting on the offerings provided, with 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place winners

Vegetable Dish Taste Test”…same as Desert Bake Off with winners for the best recipes, or have a guess the veggies used in the recipe

The Award of Choice is a terrific way to award for any of the various games and contests mentioned.  It is an inexpensive and fun way to support the overall wellness effort,  It is a low cost but effective way to reinforce the folks who take part in these efforts.



Today it seems that it’s almost de rigueur for us “experienced” incentive sales types to say to a client that we are completely “Award Neutral” when it comes to recommending the right award solution for their incentive program.  But what does that really mean?  And are we being totally honest with the client?  

In the “old days” 

Back in the early 1970’s I was pounding the pavement of the San Francisco bay area looking for unsuspecting prospects to listen to my well rehearsed presentation on the merits of sales incentives.  When the motto of the company back then was “Motivating Men to Sell Your Product,” do you think it was a different time?  How do you think that motto would fit into our world today?? 

At that early time in my career, I was taught never to approach a client initially about awards.  It was drilled into me never to take our beautiful hard bound deluxe book of merchandise awards to the first meeting, and often not the second or even the third.  My job was to learn as much about the client as I could.  The theory was that if I learned about their company, organization, products, distribution, pricing etc. I would be in the best position to recommend a program that would produce results.  And, my teachers were right.  Approaching the business from this perspective allowed me to concentrate our resources on building the best solution for the client before we discussed what they should use to award the participants for results.  We didn’t have to worry about being “award neutral” because in fact we were.  Of course it helped that at that time all the industry had to sell were two rewards, merchandise, and group travel.  Read the rest of this entry »



Whether it’s old age setting in or just a little nostalgia, I often find myself thinking back to my early days in the industry and contemplating how things have or haven’t changed.  I see articles written on subjects that aren’t really different from what was said many years ago.  It’s almost as if we just dust off old philosophies and restate them in today’s terms and for today’s audience.  One thing’s for certain, the philosophy of why and how to motivate performance hasn’t changed much.  The tenets and rules we used in the 60’s and 70’s are just as valid today as they were then…and in some cases even more so.  Have generational changes brought us back to the future?  Read the rest of this entry »



05 3rd, 2011