Optimize a Successful Wellness Rewards Program

wellness rewards program

Nearly 90% of employers offer wellness incentives, or financial rewards or prizes, as a means to engage their employees in creating and sustaining a more health conscious lifestyle, according to a recent survey from Fidelity. Rewards offered today are growing from $260 per employee to an average of $521 per employee. That’s an increase of 57% from 2009.

Learn How Your Company Can Optimize a Successful Wellness Rewards Program

Thursday, March 26
1pm EDT | 12pm CDT | 10am PDT

wellness rewards program

Attend this webinar and learn how your company can optimize the success of a wellness rewards program and create sustainable health for employees and organization.

The Corporate Health & Wellness Association, in partnership with CVS/pharmacy and GiftCard Partners would like to invite you to join this educational webinar.

In this webinar, you will learn:

  • Why gift cards provide the most return on wellness investments
  • How to retain and encourage employees after initial participation
  • Which wellness activities typically have higher participation rates when incentivized
  • Different incentive programs and models
  • Tax implications of incentives based on the Affordable Care Act
  • The importance of changing up the incentive design – variety is key

Meet the speakers!

corporate rewards program

Lauren is the Marketing Specialist here at GiftCard Partners. She enjoys all things marketing and design related; learning about the newest trends and technologies and seeing how we can use them to develop the best experience for our audience and reader base.

Wellness Programs Focusing On More Than Just Cost

Wellness ProgramsWellness programs have typically focused on reducing health care costs for employers, but for many this has not been the most satisfying outcome.  Karen Marlo, VP of the National Business Group on Health says, “There has been a lot of this belief that if we implement health care programs, we’ll have tremendous ROI…but many have felt that was an inflated comment'” leading Marlo to ask, “Is ROI the right measure in general for wellness programs?”

Overall there are six metrics that employers use to track how wellness programs are working.  Those metrics include: health and wellness engagement, absenteeism, and job satisfaction.  As wellness programs have evolved, employers have shifted their focus away from just cost and on to other intangibles such as employee productivity and how wellness impacts the company overall.

Employers typically implement wellness programs to reduce health risks, manage or reduce health care costs, and to improve employee productivity.

Employers also see value in wellness programs when it comes to:

  • Managing/reducing disability claims
  • Improving employee job satisfaction
  • Talent attraction/retention
  • Improving employee morale
  • Impacting business performance metrics and profitability

Executives are really looking for employees to make healthier decisions.  Employers are really starting to shift those decisions to focus on employee and family populations and instill confidence in those employees by providing them with the tools they need to make those healthier decisions.

Read more from Employee Benefit News!

Jennifer DiPietro has been managing B2B gift card programs since 2010. A lover of social media, she has recently decided to get back into blogging as well as delve deeper into the world of marketing. Native to New England, she enjoys the beauty of the coast, but also loves the cold, snowy winters. She is obsessed with Boston sports and the Denver Broncos.

Creative Ways To Incentivize and Reward Healthy Behaviors

Reward Healthy BehaviorsEmployers, together with health insurance plans, continue to look for creative ways to incentivize and reward healthy behaviors. The ultimate goal is to get people on the path to better health or keep them there. Around $25 billion is being spent on incentives, which includes apps, devices, games and more, all devoted to helping people change their longstanding, ingrained bad habits.

Harvard Pilgrim Health Care is utilizing an app called Nurtisavings to reward members for making healthy supermarket purchases. “What we consume has got so much impact on health and well-being, the supermarket should be part of the overall health care delivery system”, stats Niraj Jetly, COO of Nutrisavings. Nutrisavings scores more than 200,000 foods on a scale of 0 to 100, 0 being the least healthy option (i.e. Soda). The score is totaled upon check out and if your average monthly score is 60 or higher, you earn $10. That’s free money just by making modestly healthy decisions when going to the store, some of which you may already be doing anyway.

Another health insurance company will take $5 off of health insurance deductibles for every 30-minute workout. These workouts are at GPS confirmed gyms or connected through wearable technology such as a Fitbit device. A minimum of 3 workouts per week must be logged.  “By smartly adjusting the deductible based on exercise, we can save a small business tens of thousands of dollars a year in terms of their health costs,” says Pact Health co-founder and CEO Yifan Zhang. Pact Health is the company behind this option.

While the possibility of cheating does exist, setting clear rules and expectations beforehand can help to curb that.  You need to show your employees that you trust them, because the overall outcome is a healthier workforce, more productive employees, reduced absenteeism, and most importantly you are letting your employees know that above all else, you value their health.

Read the full article, along with more details on what incentives may work for your company, here!

Jennifer DiPietro has been managing B2B gift card programs since 2010. A lover of social media, she has recently decided to get back into blogging as well as delve deeper into the world of marketing. Native to New England, she enjoys the beauty of the coast, but also loves the cold, snowy winters. She is obsessed with Boston sports and the Denver Broncos.

Growing Workplace Wellness with Digital Health Tools

Digital Health Tools Are a Growing Part of Workplace Wellness Programs article, iHealth Beat

Workplace wellness continues to thrive.  Currently more than 90% of employers with at least 200 workers have some type of workplace wellness program in place.  Employers see unhealthy habits, i.e. smoking, poor nutrition, and alcohol consumption, as major contributors to higher health care costs for employers;  21% of the total national health care spending is due to obesity alone.  For employers there is also a cost due to lost productivity, overweight and obese workers miss an estimated 450 million additional days of work each year compared to healthy workers – an estimated $153 billion dollars just in lost productivity!

So let’s go viral. Digital wellness tools allow employers to more efficiently track and support their employees’ progress towards their health and wellness goals.  As more behaviors become monitored, it’s possible to gain a better sense of an employees health fingerprint and influence people’s behavior in real-time.  Wearable devices can track physical activity, calorie intake, and sleep and mobile apps and software that can remind employees to get up and take exercise breaks are piquing employers interests.  Employees typically appreciate these programs, 93% of consumers participating in healthy eating say they or their family were helped, 85% said fitness activity were useful and 83% benefited from stress management programs.

While digital solutions are useful and allow for many features that were not possible in the past, do not rely too heavily on just digital solutions alone.  Digital can be more efficient, but not necessarily better, it really depends on what exactly a company is trying to achieve.  Digital health solutions will continue to grow, and there will be many more innovations seen over the next 5 or so years, which will benefit both the health care system and workplace wellness programs.

Learn more tips for your employee wellness programs at iHealthBeat!

Jennifer DiPietro has been managing B2B gift card programs since 2010. A lover of social media, she has recently decided to get back into blogging as well as delve deeper into the world of marketing. Native to New England, she enjoys the beauty of the coast, but also loves the cold, snowy winters. She is obsessed with Boston sports and the Denver Broncos.

Ten More Tips for a Successful Wellness Program

We can’t say it enough, a successful wellness program can benefit both employees and companies in drastic ways. With reduced healthcare costs for both employee and company, more productivity at work, and less absenteeism, workplace wellness has been shown time and time again to be a smart investment in a time of rising healthcare costs.

Here are 10 more tips for implementing a successful wellness program:

1. Understanding your workforce: Reviewing items such as prior health insurance claims, health assessments, and employee surveys can help you to understand what concerns your employees have with their health.

2. Create a plan: All programs should have some kind of plan in place, start by developing a plan with both short and long term goals, along with a budget and expected outcomes.

3. Include everyone: Make the plan available to all employees and their spouses/domestic partners.

4. Offer biometric screenings: Many employees do not know the current status of their health. Offering screenings during work time or during company health fairs allow more employees to participate in screenings.

5. Select wellness leaders: Set up a wellness committee with wellness leaders to help drive wellness programs. Choose highly respected employees.

6. Communication: Communicate your wellness program as much as possible with things like, company emails, flyers, and in-person meetings.  Employees can only participate if they know the details.

7. Offer incentives: Gift cards, reduced premiums, cash bonuses and discounts on various health and wellness based incentives (i.e. gym memberships) will significantly increase employee participation.

8. Provide employees with digital tools: Online, mobile, and tablet updates can help employees keep track of their health and healthcare costs.

9. Track results: Assess your wellness program on an annual basis. Assess both the costs benefits with your healthcare provider as well as evaluating employee participation.

10. Solicit Feedback: Remain flexible and listen to your employees. Your employees are your foundation for a solid wellness plan.

Following these tips can help maximize your employer sponsored wellness program.  Thanks to Southern Florida UnitedHealthcare President Nicholas Zaffiris for the tips.

Both the CVS/pharmacy and Whole Foods Market gift cards make perfect incentives for your employee wellness program. Learn more about our corporate gift cards here!

Jennifer DiPietro has been managing B2B gift card programs since 2010. A lover of social media, she has recently decided to get back into blogging as well as delve deeper into the world of marketing. Native to New England, she enjoys the beauty of the coast, but also loves the cold, snowy winters. She is obsessed with Boston sports and the Denver Broncos.

Inside the World of Corporate Wellness

inside corporate wellnessCorporate wellness programs have become popular in recent years. Simply put, corporate wellness is any health initiative or program within a company that focuses on promoting good health and employee comfort, rather than dealing with poor health and low morale at a later date.

It should come as no surprise that most of the companies on the top 100 companies to work for list, year after year, offer corporate wellness programs. Companies that offer corporate wellness programs are striving, and people enjoy working for them. Not only do companies that offer such programs have happier staff, but they end up doing better financially.  Research shows that for every $1 spent on corporate wellness, a company saves $4 in sick time, health costs and overall work productivity.

Top Corporate Wellness Programs 

Google is regularly on the top 100 companies to work for list. In fact, it has topped the list for several years. It makes sense then, that Google also has one of the most comprehensive wellness programs in the industry. The company offers on-site gyms, healthy eating options in the dining area, fully paid sabbaticals, volunteer opportunities, and health classes and screenings. SAS, a software developer, comes in at number two on the list. The company offers their employees on-site child care and fitness centers, a multitude of medical staff on-site, reimbursed gym memberships, healthy eating options and dietician services. With compressed workweeks, job sharing, 100% health coverage and paid sabbaticals, The Boston Consulting Group comes in at number three on the top companies to work for list. While these three companies are worlds apart in many ways, they share one common factor; solid wellness programs that ensure their staff is working to the best of their abilities.

Creating a Wellness Program 

It is understandable that not all companies are going to be able to offer the same perks as Google. Google is a behemoth in the business world, with untold amounts of money to spare. Smaller companies, clearly, will be unable to procure the “campus-style” structure of Google, nor will they be able to offer the round-the-clock day care services that SAS gives to their workers, but every company can instill a wellness program that is sure to raise productivity and boost morale. To begin a wellness program a company must work to better understand their internal culture. Once the internal culture is understood, a better understanding of what the employees need out of a wellness program will arise. Before you begin a wellness program ask these questions;

  • What do my employees really need out of a wellness plan?
  • What is the corporate culture in my office?
  • What incentive will work best for my employees to get healthy?
  • How can a wellness program best benefit the employees and employer collaboratively?

Once you’ve answered those questions you can begin working out a wellness plan that will work best for your company and your employees. For example, if you can not offer a gym on-site, because you simply don’t have the sprawling campuses that large corporations do, then consider offering gym reimbursement options. Employees who are reimbursed for this expense are more likely to utilize it. If you can’t offer on-call medical staff, consider offering regular screenings at different parts of the year. For example, after the summer offer a skin cancer screening. Prior to the winter months offer a cardiovascular health screening.

Using Gift Cards in Your Wellness Program 

Gift cards can also be used in wellness programs. Gift cards are an easy way for companies that do not have the space, nor resources to allocate to wellness programs to get more involved in the health and wellness of their employees. Gift cards can be used in lieu of a company dining experience. If employees are offered gift cards to healthy eating options they are more likely to use those options, than to stop by a fast food location on their lunch hour. Alternatively, gift cards can be used as incentives for employees to get healthy and be rewarded for it. Gift cards can also be given for pharmacies and other health outfitters that will help your employees get on a healthier track.

The Bottom Line

While not all companies have the space, time or monetary resources, to institute an all-inclusive wellness program, there are plenty of ways to get a wellness program started, even in a small company. In the end, wellness programs are shown to actually save companies money, boost morale and raise productivity. Every company, both large and small can stand to have revenue saved, morale boosted and productivity raised. In the end, it is a win-win situation.

Wellness Programs Shown to Increase Company Profitability

Working on and measuring savingsConsidering setting up a wellness program for your employees?  New evidence shows that an investment in a wellness program returns two to five times the cost, directly to the bottom line.  For every dollar invested companies are saving between $2 and $5 on healthcare benefits and sick leave payouts.  Wellness programs also improve overall employee engagement.

Healthy employees are more productive in the workplace and cost the employer less.  While absenteeism is the most noticeable, the bigger threat to employers is “presenteeism”.  Presenteeism consists of those employees that continue to come to work every day when they are not healthy, whether mentally or physically.

Though these employees are at work, they aren’t really there.  Heavy workloads and also feeling compelled to be at work when they do not feel well in order to satisfy clients, co-workers, and superiors results in presenteeism.

Employee engagement also ties into presenteeism, as the presentee employee is found at the low end of the engagement scale.

A comprehensive program is needed when setting up a wellness program. Ideally a wellness program is designed by the employees themselves by surveying factors such as work-life balance, respect from superiors, and clear leadership and expectations. Many wellness issues are interconnected to employee engagement, such as bad bosses and a toxic work environment.

It’s vital for employers to consider connections between their current wellness programs and employee engagement programs and how they are both strategic ventures for their organization.

Want to do your own Life at Work checkup?  Click here to take a survey to see your score and risks!

Jennifer DiPietro has been managing B2B gift card programs since 2010. A lover of social media, she has recently decided to get back into blogging as well as delve deeper into the world of marketing. Native to New England, she enjoys the beauty of the coast, but also loves the cold, snowy winters. She is obsessed with Boston sports and the Denver Broncos.

Quick Guide to CVS/pharmacy Gift Cards

cvs cardsQuick Guide to CVS/pharmacy Gift Cards

Our CVS gift cards offer a variety of options for a variety of rewards. With over 7,600 locations in the U.S. carrying a wide range of everyday essentials, what better way to motivate your members or employees than through one of our CVS gift card options? From co-pay costs to beauty products, they cover all of the must-haves. Here are our different CVS gift cards:

CVS/pharmacy Gift Card:

Available in denominations from $5 to $500

The CVS/pharmacy gift card lets cardholders purchase thousands of items, including those from the pharmacy.

CVS/pharmacy Select Gift Card:

Available in denominations from $5 to $500

The CVS Select card is designed to promote wellness. It works the same as the CVS/pharmacy gift card, except it only lets the holder purchase healthy items. That means that, while it works on everything from co-pays to baby products, it actually filters out unhealthy items, including candy, alcohol and tobacco products.

To order or learn more, visit our CVS/pharmacy gift card page.

Reach Peak Office Performance with Employee Wellness

Athlete’s Performance made a name for itself training elite athletes (think NFL and MLB players) in their off-seasons. Athlete’s Performance had recently gone through a rebrand, becoming Exos, and focusing on helping employers reach the maximum potential in employee wellness  in their workforce, both in the gym and in the office.

Taking the Athlete’s Performance philosophy of intense fitness and rising to the top of the clients field transitions directly into Exos’ broader reach theory. Helping employers successfully introduce, apply and follow through on the promise of a wellness program benefits employer and employee insurance costs. Ensuring each employee has their own individual experience and plan to succeed while contributing to the greater goal of the organization is where elite athletics meet employee wellness.

Are you treating your employees to elite wellness? Check out more on how to reach your office’s “peak performance” with this article from FastCompany. 

Rachel Merkin is a digital marketing professional. She has been exploring the worlds of social media and B2B gift cards since 2006. When she is not blogging, tweeting, or finding ways to leverage Facebook as a marketing tool, she spends as much time at the beach as she can.

Last 2 Days to Register: WEBINAR – Complying with PPACA & Building a Successful Incentive Program

Join Gift Card Partners and CVS/pharmacy on Tuesday November 19th, at 2:00 PM EST, as we host a live webinar in conjunction with the Employer Healthcare & Benefits Congress titled: Wellness in the Corporate Environment and Complying with PPACA; How to Build a Successful Gift Card Incentive Program. Presenting will be Ralph Lardieri, wellness manager, Wawa, Inc., Judith Wethall, shareholder, Littler, Finn Pressly, Associate, Mendelson and moderating the Q&A session will be Edward Shulkin, president, GiftCard Partners. How do you plan to improve your workplace wellness program in 2014?

About the webinar
Tuesday November 19th, at 2:00 PM EST: Wellness programs are an effective method to maintain group health plan costs and motivate employees to take control of their health, while assisting employees to lead happier, healthier and more productive lives. Employers seek solutions by offering incentives that are tangible, easily accessible and tailored to the employees work/life balance for voluntary participation.

Prior to the passage of the Affordable Care Act, navigating the legal landscape of wellness programs and incentives could be treacherous. However, the Affordable Care Act seemed to be a clear endorsement of standards-based wellness programs by the government. PPACA generated even more opportunities to get creative with these wellness programs, but it is important to understand the risks.

We will address:

  • Changing an employee’s poor health habits by providing powerful motivators
  • Creative strategies on how to implement a successful corporate wellness program utilizing gift card incentives
  • The permitted incentives for standards-based wellness programs, and the associated
  • requirements to ensure PPACA compliance
  • Other laws that might impact wellness programs, including the ADA and GINA
  • Rewards and consequences that employers may face using gift card incentives

Who Should Attend:

  • Agents
  • Brokers
  • Consultants
  • Human Resources Executives
  • TPA
  • MGUS
  • PBMS
  • Insurance companies
  • Health plans
  • Government agencies
Stacey Sicurella is a 15-year marketing veteran, working in the Boston area for GiftCard Partners. Recent accomplishments include blogging with abandon, acquiring work-life balance and building amazing sand-castles with her children.