The Cost of Incentives
I recently came across a story that talked about how employers are beginning to use cash incentives to motivate employees in their wellness programs. Two examples by Disney and Centrix Bank found that their cash incentives resulted in greater participation. The reasoning is perfectly sound and while it may be difficult to find that magical amount that buys the most engagement at the lowest cost, it’s clear that people will do certain things for money that other spiffs just won’t entice them to do.
Large employers, like those cited above, may have an easier time than small employers finding extra cash in the budget to persuade employees to participate in wellness programs, but all companies need to find creative, less expensive ways to get the same result. In today’s economy, companies need to leverage their health costs and plan design to encourage behavior change as well as educate employees about the why and how. Done correctly, people will take more ownership and behavior changes come naturally. Done incorrectly, people will become demoralized at best and bring lawsuits at worst. Approach your heath care plan strategically and the cost of your incentives, whatever they are, will soon pay off.