Archive for the 'wellness programs' Category
In a recent newsletter, World at Work, the Total Rewards Association, discussed some interesting results of a national survey of employer views on the use of employee health incentives. The research was conducted by the Midwest Business Group on Health in April of 2013. Highlights of the findings are as follows:
- 82% of the companies had some form of incentives or disincentive s in place
- There is a growing interest in outcomes-based incentives (achieving targeted biometric goals)
- Most employers determined that incentives were necessary to get employees to participate
“Our national survey found over 80% of responding employers are using some form of incentives, with 41% using or planning to use outcomes-based incentive to increase engagement and participation in employer-sponsored programs.” Larry Bores President MBGH
- 13% of employers responded that they are currently using outcome-based incentives, 28% are planning to launch them over the next two years and 40% indicated they were studying the issue.
- Of those currently implementing programs, 54% tie incentives to both outcomes-based measures as well as incremental improvement to the outcomes
- 94% of employers used onsite screening to capture biometrics and that employee feedback was overwhelmingly positive
- Of the 18% who did not use incentives, 53% reported it was because it was not a part of their culture, and 47% were not sure it worked.
- The main incentive awards used were reduced premiums at 62%, gift cards at 38% and some type of program merchandise at 35%.
- Employers using disincentives increased the employee share of premium for non-compliance and 14% have higher plan deductibles or out of pocket fees.
- The most incented activities were biometric screenings at 70% and risk assessments at 78%
- The greatest disincentive at 78% was for tobacco use
- 71% of the employers said their incentive programs were very successful and 45% the disincentive strategy was “very successful” or “successful.”
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.
Award giving can be a difficult business. Tastes change, trends fade and what someone may have wanted a couple of weeks ago isn’t what they want today. We all face the same situation when it comes to selecting awards for incentive programs, and for many of us the best conclusion in these fast moving times – let them get what they want!
The gift card has been a godsend for anyone who can’t pick out the perfect thing that someone wants. And they’ve grown in popularity faster than anything else in the retail world. In 2004 we spent $20 billion in gift cards. Last year we spent over 4 times that. Gift cards have gone from being considered impersonal gifts to being the most thoughtful gift of all. The gift card is a sign of the times – tastes change quickly, options should remain open, and you never know what you’ll spot something you just can’t live without!
Why the huge increase in demand for gift cards? Simple. Not only does it let someone buy what they really wanted (but were maybe too polite to say), it also lets them get it at the best price possible. They can wait until the sales, they can take advantage of special offers and maximize that gift. But there’s still a problem – what gift card to give?
You can try and pick the specific store they want to go to, but more often than not they might want to go somewhere else or they don’t get the chance to visit for some time. And those gift cards sit on dressers, or in the back of wallets until they’re forgotten. There is the universal Visa or American Express card, but with those you have hidden fees, fine print and expiration dates. Not the mention the many problems some purchasers have had with these types of cards.
That’s where we come in. The Award of Choice is the ultimate in flexibility when it comes to award programs. It can be redeemed when the time is right, for cards from hundreds of your favorite retailers, hotels, theatres and restaurants. And best of all the certificate will never, ever, expire, so they can take as long as they like to choose where to spend their gift. All this choice, and you can create it right from your computer, customized for your special someone.
We think this is the ultimate award, we know it’s something we’d like to get for every occasion and we hope you feel the same way.
I had a phone call the other day from a very pleasant woman who was selling business lists for email blasts or direct mail. While she knew we were in the “incentive business” (as our company name is Incentives, inc. it wasn’t too tough to figure out) it was clear to me that she didn’t have a good understanding of what this business really is. Actually she didn’t have a clue. She thought that if her lists worked for one “incentive” company it would for work all of them. What she didn’t know is that our industry is quite divergent and depending on what we are selling, to whom and to achieve what result, what we do and how we do it can be light years apart!
I’m sorry to say that many prospective client companies don’t really have a good understanding of our business either. They see us through the lens of their own needs. A meeting planner will see us as a travel company, for an HR specialist we will be a company that sells corporate recognition or years of service programs, for a sales executive we might be a merchandise or gift card company to provide the awards for a sales contest, for a marketing director a premium company for a consumer promotion. All too often, companies will see us through the persuasive selling ability of incentive suppliers calling on them. You can put some incentive companies in a neat and tidy little box; others may have to go into two or three boxes and still others put themselves into as many boxes as it takes to make a sale. Read the rest of this entry »