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Corporate Wellness – Part II: What Works and What Doesn’t; A Global Perspective

During my three days at the Corporate Wellness Conference in Los Angeles last month, I sat in on a discussion given by Buck Consultants. This was a fascinating review of a survey they had taken on Wellness Programs.  The goal of the survey was to find out what factors drive wellness programs and to compare those variables cross-culturally.  47 countries participated in the survey.  The discussion was much more comprehensive than what I will share with you here. I will spare you the details and give you the information you can use to

  • improve your wellness program goals
  • improve compliance rates
  • save your company money

So what is driving the implementation of wellness programs?? Well, in the US, it is health care costs.  In the rest of the world, it is productivity, absence and morale.

What health issues are corporations focusing on?? In the US, it is exercise.  In the rest of the world, it is stress.

Do you need to spend a lot of money on incentives to get good HRA compliance rates?  NO. IF (and I repeat, IF) your company demonstrates good support of the wellness program from the top executives and there is good communication within the company, you don’t have to spend as much money on incentives to get the same compliance rates as companies who don’t have internal, top-down support.

What incentives work best?? This is a difficult question to answer. As the guys at Buck Consultants pointed out, one incentive might work like gangbusters for one company and not work at all for another. What the survey did reveal is that benefit-integrated incentives produce better program compliance than cash incentives.  So it is better to offer a lower rate on an employee’s monthly health care premium, than to give an employee a gift card as incentive for healthy behaviors.

So lots of beneficial information there to help you fine-tune your wellness program and improve your ROI. Leave me a comment if you implement any changes based on what you have read here. I would love to know how your company is doing.

Go to www.bucksurveys.com if you want more detailed information.

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