Skip to content

Incentives for Wellbeing Programs


Incentives for wellbeing programs

Providing support through wellbeing programs that your employees will love is only half the battle for industry leaders. There’s no use in offering a wellbeing program if your employees never actually participate, which is where incentives come in.

If you’ve already gone as far as to provide a wellbeing program for your employees, you understand the benefits of having happy, healthy workers. Wellbeing programs help instill healthy habits that employees can maintain for the rest of their lives, minimizing costly expenses that are initiated by health problems. 

Below we’ll get into how you can encourage and stimulate a vibrant wellbeing engagement rate in your employees. 

Types of wellbeing programs

Before we get into the kind of incentives you can integrate into your wellbeing program, let’s cover what type of wellbeing programs are available to you.

  • Limited wellbeing programs only provide support for a limited number of wellbeing needs. They might focus on health and fitness, for example, but not cover mental health and financial wellbeing. 
  • Comprehensive solutions are all-in-one tools. They cover everything from health and fitness, diet and nutrition, mental health, sleep, financial wellbeing, and more. 
  • Screening-based tools provide a wide range of screening services, but don’t offer life-style or medical support. The screening can range anywhere from blood, vision, and cholesterol to behavioral issues and mental diagnoses. 
  • Intervention-focused wellbeing programs are the opposite of screening-based tools. They will typically focus on health and lifestyle wellbeing concerns with limited screening opportunities. 

Part of what makes wellbeing solutions so difficult to integrate is how different your employees are. Segmentation has taught us about the importance of personalization, but it also presents a new challenge to HR departments: how do you make all of your employees happy with their varying needs and goals? 

Wellbeing and engagement based on wellbeing type

An all-in-one wellbeing solution that takes on a multi-pronged approach is a good answer to the problem of varying needs, and by investing in a comprehensive wellbeing solution, you ensure that there’s something valuable for every employee. 

That also means that you will need a wide variety of engagement incentives to encourage your employees to participate in your wellbeing program. You can use whatever HR segmentation you’ve already integrated as a layout or foundation for your incentives program. On top of that, you can always survey your employees to better understand what their wellbeing goals are and cater your incentives to those goals. 

Wellbeing program engagement: incentives vs penalties vs rewards

You can frame your incentives program into three categories: incentives, penalties, and rewards. Each comes with its own pros and cons, and can you utilize a combination of the three 3 to create a dynamic and effective incentives program that inspires participation and engagement from your employees. 

To give a basic definition of each category, incentives can be either positive or negative. They are the promise of a reward or punishment as a result of achieving or not achieving a wellbeing goal, and they can be used to motivate and encourage healthy behavior and habits. The reward is the actual product or prize that employees receive, and penalties, like percentage increases on health benefits, are used to ensure employees meet their goals. 

Below are a few key points and incentive frameworks that can help inspire change in your employees:

  • Incentives can be positive or negative, resulting in a reward or a penalty
  • Studies are showing, like this one out of the University of Pennsylvania, that penalties can be more effective than rewards in galvanizing wellbeing engagement
  • Positive incentives are still important because they help instill a better sense of morale
  • A varied list of incentives, both rewards and penalties, are necessary to encourage different employees
  • Rewards can include raffles, cash prizes, gift cards, more time off, trips, and penalties can include increases on the cost of health care or wellbeing plans, less time off, and losing access to fun events or company parties. 

Incentives are only as good as the benefits included

Incentives can only inspire if the benefits are worth the effort, which means that companies need to be selective in the wellbeing program that they invest in. For most companies, especially large companies, it will be difficult to curate programs to fit the unique needs of all your varying employees. This is why comprehensive and all-in-one wellbeing solutions are so effective.

Comprehensive wellbeing solutions have something to offer for most employees, and these solutions will often provide the kind of personalization that employees value already integrated into their software. So employees can create unique profiles, set their own schedules, and cull together their perfectly matched set of wellbeing classes, videos, or resources.

Grokker can help plan your incentive structure

Grokker is the perfect rewards vehicle for your incentives program because it has something for everyone, regardless of their wellbeing goals or level. Employees can reach their sleep goals, financial wellbeing goals, fitness and health goals, nutrition goals, mental health goals, and more. 

Grokker offers thousands of wellbeing videos, guidance from wellbeing experts from all over the world, and digital gamification features that encourage healthy habits.

Try Grokker and incentivize your employees with a worthy and transformative wellbeing solution.



Caring For Remote Employees

Many organizations continue to work in remote and hybrid models as the pandemic winds down, but many employees, when given the option to return to work, would actually prefer to continue working remotely. Our new guide, Taking Care of Remote Employees: The Key To Business Success Beyond the Pandemic, gives you actionable steps to ensure that your employees feel supported no matter where they are working. 

Download your guide