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Posted by Michael Winter on 02/21/2020

An easy way to engage your staff with a health and wellness program

An easy way to engage your staff with a health and wellness program

Having trouble getting your employees to engage with your wellbeing programme? Or maybe you’ve created an incentive programme for your employees, but your employee engagement ideas just aren’t as sticky in action as they were on the whiteboard.

Employee wellbeing programs are expanding across the board to support employees in the full lifecycle of health and wellbeing. 

Only 18% of employers see daily engagement in their wellbeing programme, and the majority (60%) state that employees’ competing priorities are the biggest barrier to increased participation.

So, what’s the secret to engaging your workforce with your wellbeing programme?

Though there’s no one-size-fits-all answer, creating incentive programmes for employees that fit the needs of your budget, wellbeing programme and employee population will enable you to make your wellbeing programme something that complements, rather than competes against, your employees’ priorities.

Here are 3 simple, yet effective, tips to help you create better employee incentive programmes.

1.Your incentive game plan: turning extrinsic rewards into intrinsic rewards 

Extrinsic vs intrinsic — How do these different types of rewards differ? An intrinsic reward is the reward (or joy!) that comes from simply performing the activity itself. This could be, for example, baking cookies because, well, you like baking cookies.

Extrinsic rewards, on the other hand, are external motivators such as money, competition, recognition, you name it. For example, you can offer extrinsic rewards such as cash, discounts, gift cards, a point or leaderboard system, and so on. These rewards are a great catalyst to get your employees eating better, completing annual health risk assessments, increasing levels of physical activity or even utilising partnered resources, to name a few.

Once they feel the positive effects of the activity itself, whatever it may be, participation in that activity then becomes the intrinsic reward that creates daily habits and drives behaviour change.

2.Best practices for employee incentive programmes 

It may sound intuitive, but to create incentive programmes that works and make your wellbeing programme stick, you have to offer rewards that work for your people.  These rewards can be, and should be discussed with the individual or company who is providing the service to you. They might not know your staff as well as you, but they should have an idea of some rewards and incentives related to the activities.

Here are some best practices to keep in mind:

Prioritise small and frequent rewards 

Rather than higher milestones with a larger lump reward, incorporating a multi-level gamification structure will incentivise your employees to go above and beyond and interact with your programme more frequently.

Reward healthy behaviour with healthy rewards

Promote the correlation between health and happiness! This can include free workout gear, gift cards towards health-forward restaurants, fitness trackers.

Implement a point system or weekly challenges 

Publicly recognise your champions through email, announcement, or newsletter! Who doesn’t appreciate being recognised for putting in high effort and achieving quality outcomes?

This is also a great way to build up that organisational culture of health and wellbeing without having to dig deep into your pockets.

3.Get feedback on your employee incentive programme 

Whether its weekly step challenges, premium discounts, or gift cards: you might think you know your workforce best. But obtaining your employees’ feedback allows you to build even better rewards that feel personal and keep your employees increasingly motivated. Since you’re creating an incentive programme for your employees, they should be an integral part of your process.

At the end of the day, creating incentive programmes for employees should be a continuous learning process. Do what works for your employees and align it with the vision and goals of your organisational culture, and you’ll be sure to see success.

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