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As reported in Incentive Magazine, research published by the International Foundation of Employee Benefit Plans shows that incorporating incentives into a wellness program was found to be a key reason why these programs are showing a high return on the investment….up to $3 for every dollar spent.
Many companies are now seeing a direct connection between wellness initiatives and the effect they can have on both employee health and health care plan cost savings. Companies that manage health risks stand to add a great deal of profit to the bottom line. But, to manage those costs you need to have the buy in and enthusiastic support of your employees. According to Wellsource, a leader in health risk assessments there are several things you can do to ramp up the participation, among them are:
- Make it social, people like to be part of something and enjoy the support of their peers.
- Have wellness leaders; find those employees in the organization that are health-minded and ask them to champion the effort.
- Invite significant others to participate, they become a valuable support group
- Offer incentives, they have shown to help achieve participation rates up to 80%
- Recognize accomplishments; anyone who has ever lost weight, quit smoking, maintained an exercise campaign will tell you that being recognized by their management and peers is very motivational.
There are a myriad of behaviors you can choose from to initiate your program that are easy to measure and reward. A few might include:
- Completing health screenings
- Completing healthcare questionnaire
- Getting the blood pressure checked
- Getting body mass or other health indicators checked
And once enrolled, use incentives to keep them enrolled and progressing on the path toward better health. There are many motivational incentives that you can use such s cash, discounts in premiums, gift cards, sports related merchandise or gym memberships. You are the best judge of what award will work best within your overall benefit system. When used properly, incentives are probably more important that communications in producing results.
For a wellness award that is very flexible to use, guarantees that your employees will receive the award they reall want, and is very cost effective, you may want to take a look at Award of Choice.
As 2012 draws to a close, we think it’s a good time to pull together some of the more interesting tidbits we read about this year regarding employee recognition. While rewarding and recognizing employees has been in the business world since the beginning of the 20th century, this year it seemed to have a life of its own.
From the perspective of the incentive and recognition award industry, employee recognition is the Holy Grail. Thousands of companies from the corner trophy and plaque store to the full service billion dollar incentive conglomerates are dependent on selling employee awards. The Incentive Research Foundation just this year estimates that gift cards used for recognition to be over $22 billion. All indications are that employee recognition does matter. Why else would companies spend this money in a down economy?
Other reasons why employee recognition does matter are:
- More than 60 percent of all U.S. companies took cost-cutting actions that involved some sort of reduction in force, oftentimes increasing the workloads of existing employees, freezing salary increases, and reducing bonuses. Recognition helps to relieve this workload stress.
- Gallup did a study that showed engaged employees are more productive, profitable and more customer-service-focused and more likely to stay on the job. Recognition helps to foster engagement.
- A Watson Wyatt study showed that companies with effective recognition programs realized a median return to shareholders about double what companies without recognition programs achieved.
- A Robert Half study, showed that 17 percent of good employees who quit their jobs did so because of lack of recognition
- According to Barbara Mitchell, a respected HR consultant,”recognition shows confidence in employees, and confident employees are more productive.”
- Recognition encourages innovation. It encourages employees to come up with better ways to do a task resulting in higher productivity, lower costs or both.
- Recognition is powerful because it answers a fundamental human need, the need to feel valued in what we do.
- In their book “12: The Elements of Great Managing,” Wagner and Harter drawing on ten million workplace interviews noted that variations in recognition and praise account for ten to twenty percent differences in productivity and revenue, as well as customer engagement.
Robert Cialdini, in his classic book ‘Influence’ noted that the principle of consistency means that when you show recognition of particular behaviors, you are encouraging more of the same in the future. So be sure to recognize what you want to encourage. An added bonus of focusing this way is that, due to the Law of Attraction, you are likely to find more behavior worthy of recognition.
Have a Happy 4th of July!
God Bless This Great Country of Ours!!
If you have used incentive award programs, are using incentive award programs, or are planning to use incentive award programs, this post by Paul Hebert of i2i Incentive Intelligence is a must read.
The fundamental challenge for anyone designing incentive awards is to have a program that will produce results. The essential element to achieve this challenge is to establish the proper goals for your participants. Then and only then can you spend the time necessary to determine the right rules to make it all work successfully.
When considering what goals to establish, there are three different types you should consider:
1. Focus on the behaviors that you want to influence to reach the outcome
2. Focus on what you do want to achieve vs. what you don’t want to achieve
3. Focus on specific details to achieve, not a vague generalized outcome
The “prize” you use in your award program won’t drive lasting results unless you take the time to structure your program properly. And worse, when goals are poorly assigned, you run the risk of spending large budgets with little to show for it.
And, just for shameless promotional purposes, when you do design your program with proper goals, don’t forget to use the Award of Choice card as your award. It has the lowest cost and best choice of any gift card system in the industry.