Employee Wellness: What are Outcome-based Incentives?

Outcome-based Incentives are the new buzz words in Employee Wellness. As employers look to employee wellness plans to minimize the rising cost of healthcare and keep employees productive and engaged, there is a growing emphasis on outcome-based incentives. Furthermore, with the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) encouraging the use of Outcome-based Incentives, their use is expected to spread. Therefore, what are outcome-based incentives?

Outcome-based Incentives are employee wellness programs where employees receive a financial reward for meeting specific health outcomes. In some programs there may also be a penalty for failing to meet the health goals. A primary purpose of Outcome-based Incentives is to increase participation by employees through the motivation of financial reward. Read more of this post

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The Most Overlooked Critical Piece of an Employee Wellness Plan

AfamilyEmployee wellness is catching on. Organizations are creating employee wellness teams and displaying wellness posters throughout the facilities for their employees. Some employers invite their employees outside for an additional 15 minutes at lunch for Friday Frisbee. Others hand out pedometers and offer “Lunch & Learns” for employees on healthy eating and how to read food labels.

Notice, however, the key word – Employee. If all of the focus is on the employee then our wellness programs may fall well short of the intended results. The most successful wellness initiatives target Read more of this post

The Five Most Dangerous Trends in Employee Wellness

The standing room only crowd evidenced the growing interest in employee wellness. Even the late afternoon time slot couldn’t keep docattendees at the 2012 SHRM National Conference in Atlanta, Georgia from cramming into the room to hear Brad Cooper, CEO of US Corporate Wellness speak on the topic of wellness.

The message was succinct and pointed as he highlighted The Five Most Dangerous Trends in Employee Wellness:

1.   Check the Box

In most of life, showing up is a good start, but not enough. Like the guy sitting on the exercise bike at the gym reading his magazine while leisurely pushing the pedals, effective employee wellness without strategic effort will have little impact. Lining up employees for a Health Risk Assessment (HRA), Lunch and Learns, or hanging wellness posters are good, but if they are simply Read more of this post

Who Qualifies to Be Your Corporate Wellness Champion?

ChampionThere is a significant misconception in many organizations who aim to birth an employee wellness strategy. This misconception revolves around the question of who qualifies to be the Wellness Champion for the organization. The prevailing opinion will often be that the only people worthy of leading the wellness strategies are either nutritionists, dietitians, nurses or fitness gurus. While having an understanding of nutrition and fitness certainly is helpful to whoever is leading the wellness program, it is not the primary qualification. I likened it to the latter section of a job description where the recruiter will list qualifications that are “a plus” but not necessary.

Effective Wellness Champions are first business oriented. They are equipped with a well-rounded set of business acumen skills. Holly Firestine, Manager for Wellness and Worklife at Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta, affirms this. She comments, “A business approach to wellness, where there is a true strategic approach to programming and measurement that aligns with corporate strategy, is critical to the success of anyone seeking to lead Wellness in the workplace.” She continues by adding, “The Wellness Leader must have the ability to sustain the culture through stakeholder engagement throughout all leadership and staff levels in order to establish credibility and authenticity with all employees.”

Your athletic trainer may be effective in a Zumba class, but can she effectively lead in helping the organization meet its strategic initiatives? Employers are wise to look outside the circles of Athletic Trainers, Iron Men and Nutritionists when seeking to fill the position commonly referred to as the company Wellness Coordinator. Read more of this post