Hi-Tech Wellness Encouraging Employee Participation

hi-tech wellness

As employee wellness programs increase in popularity, hi-tech wellness can help employers engage employees in their programs and keeps programs light and fun. The range of ways to incorporate technology into wellness programs is growing. Between apps, wearables, and dashboards, hi-tech wellness is becoming a tool to drive wellness program success for employers and employees alike. Here are three ways that hi-tech wellness can work for you.

  1. Allows employees to engage at their own pace: Tracking activity and calorie intake can be a great way to get employees started. More advanced metrics can follow later. For employees who are reluctant to get involved in a wellness program, a simple Fitbit to track their steps and try to reach a preset goal of 10,000 steps a day could be a gateway to independent goal setting and striving for more. According to digital agency Acquity Group, 22% of consumers own an activity monitor and that number will double within the next three years. Both the employee and the employer can track these metrics, allowing the employer to see the direct impact of their program as it is happening.
  1. Keep it social: Social media consumes our lives. Everyone is posting their whereabouts on Facebook or a picture on Instagram. So why should wellness programs be any different? With internal private dashboards for your organization only, or large public apps like MapMyFitness, employers and employees have options for socializing their wellness efforts, and employers their wellness programs.
  1. Wearable options lead to adoption: With so many options in the growing wearable market, employees can now find the right activity monitor to meet their needs. Options range from a simple pedometer, 6 types of Fitbits (along with 2 basic pedometers), countless brands joining in the quest for the perfect wearable, all the way to the Apple Watch. Employees are able to research and find the right activity tracker to fit their tech preferences and fitness style. This leads to an easier adoption of trackable technology, and ultimately can mean a higher participation rate in employer wellness programs.
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.

Tangible Incentives in Wellness Programs

The Affordable Care Act, sound familiar? While we haven’t talked about it on our blog lately, it doesn’t mean its effects aren’t still causing changes across the country. More and more organizations are jumping on the wellness program bandwagon as the ACA has made it even more compelling. These wellness programs can range in their complexity while one struggle is felt across them all, how to increase both participation and engagement.

In the recent article, Wellness Incentives Encourage Participation and Engagement, the OH&S explains that the struggle with participation and  engagement is due to factors like poor program design, unattainable objectives, poor communications, and the big one, proper incentives are not being used.

The right kind of motivation. The article goes on to explain the difference between intrinsic motivation and extrinsic motivation. Intrinsic motivation would entail an employee doing something because they enjoy the process and tasks, they want to participate or are driven to engage, while extrinsic motivation requires a little more, like inspirational leadership, compelling communication, team support and yes, tangible incentives. While many employers hope intrinsic motivation will be enough, in most situations people need extrinsic motivation to both start and keep going until intrinsic motivation kicks in.

Touching on tangible. Tangible incentives can include merchandise items, gift cards and cash, and can be used for a variety of reasons, in many different ways, and for varying amounts. The important thing is to identify what tangible incentives match best with your particular wellness program and to look for incentives that will leave a lasting impression on your employees. For example, while using cash as rewards and incentives may have been an obvious go-to in the past, when receiving electronic paychecks many times the value of the reward is lost and and holds no long-term effect. The turn to more tangible or memorable incentives, like gift cards, have become more popular in the recent years.

Learn more about the use of tangible incentives in wellness programs here.

Lauren is the Marketing Specialist here at GiftCard Partners. She enjoys all things marketing and design related. Learning about the newest trends and technologies in the b2b gift card world and seeing how we can use them to develop the best experience for our audience and reader base is our goal.

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.

Holding Employees Responsible in their own Quest for Wellness

As we enter the new year everyone is trying to maintain a healthier lifestyle, or shed those holiday pounds. Employees returning to work in the new year find their employer’s health and wellness program to be beneficial, these programs work because they hold employees accountable for their behavior. Based on a new industry study 78% of employers offering wellness programs are using metrics, such as biometric testing or health risk assessments to make employees aware of their health status.

This testing is meant as a tool to reward employees who improve their health, and penalize employees who consistently make bad health choices. Gift cards are a great way to reward employees for healthy choices. Retail outlets such as CVS/Pharmacy, which can help employees along their road to wellness, further encourage the desired behavior. These employee decisions affect the employers health care costs and so to ring in the new year employees are going to be increasingly held accountable for their health and wellness choices.


To read more about trends in employee responsibility in health and wellness programs check out the Columbus Dispatch story.

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.

Health and Wellness Employer Gift Card Successes

You spoke and we listened. We’re gathering and publishing results of our 2011 Gift Card Usage Survey and we’ll be including success stories in each eNews.

Health and Wellness Incentives

Wellness incentives have become good business. They reduce health care costs for employers and increase employee productivity.  To enhance participation, rewards are given to employees for filling out HRA’s (Health Risk Assessments). HRA’s are used to assess the lifestyle risk behaviors of individuals as part of the annual Periodic Health Assessment, work-site wellness program, or other community health activities.  Health and Wellness Programs are measurable; rewards can be given via a points system or for participating in healthy activities like joining a gym, or for achieving healthful milestones like losing weight, decreasing blood pressure or taking daily walks during breaks.

Here are a few ways that our survey respondents are using gift cards to engage, motivate and reward:

  • From a hospital in PA: “Our organization provides gift cards to employees for successfully completing our Wellness initiatives.  By offering the gift cards we have increased our participation from 15% to 39%in the first year.  We also provide gift cards to employees as a token of appreciation for a successful year each year in December.
  • A Blue Cross provider in PA: “By looking to take better care of the employees’ health, they are given credits toward gift card purchases as a reward, like going to see their PCP with regularity, exercising, nutrition counseling, etc.”
  • Medicaid providers and some US states are providing incentives to consumers for keeping up with recommended and annual doctor visits. It has been proven that regular adult and child well visits (on the doctor recommended schedule) helps doctors catch illnesses early, resulting in fewer ER & hospital stays, thereby saving the US government money.
  • A New York blood center gives “Gift cards on a measurable basis to keep our most loyal donors and supporters engaged to positively impact our frequency and retention metrics.






Established in 2004, GiftCard Partners is an award-winning leader and outsourced solution provider for merchant B2B gift card programs through key distribution channels.

A Health and Wellness Cultural Revolution, Make Your Workplace a Part of it!

This article was brought to our attention by GCP’s co-founder, Ed Shulkin (thank you Ed!).  It’s enlightening and heartening to know that there are companies out there that, like GCP, are
striving for a complete balance of work-life. This article outlines the importance of promoting 5 factors of well-being into the workplace lives: career, social, financial, physical and community well-being. BUT, the true gems of this article are in the depth of the interviews and stories of how these factors are integrated into the cultures of companies like Zappos.

From Return on Performance eBook

We are introduced to the concept of empowering workers’ real personalities to come forward, which allows hidden special talents to shine through, thereby creating a full-on well-centric workplace culture. Sounds like simple and basic HR-speak? Not if your one of these companies doing it right…it’s brilliant and often overlooked.

I hope this article inspires you to adopt a well-being workplace philosophy…summarizing won’t do it justice, read on:  Creating a culture of well-being by Return On Performance Magazine(ROP).




Established in 2004, GiftCard Partners is an award-winning leader and outsourced solution provider for merchant B2B gift card programs through key distribution channels.

Businesses Ramp Up Wellness Programs

Wellness programs are a fantastic way for businesses to monitor their employees health, and control health care costs.  84% of employers and health plans across the country have at least one wellness program, and 91% expect to have wellness plans in place within the next 12 months, according to a survey conducted by the Continuum Care Alliance.  At TeamHealth in Tennessee employees are offered significant rewards including $50 quarterly health care credits for good performance on a health risk assessment test administered online.  Wellness programs are gaining popularity because they provide results in conserving revenue for businesses.  For more information on wellness programs and their expanded implementation click here.

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.

Announcing our newest client: Nutrisystem

We’re happy to announce our newest client – Nutrisystem. FOR Health & Wellness Program Incentives, Weight Management, Fitness, Healthy Lifestyle, Fundraising Programs, Loyalty Incentives, Sales promotions and Gift with Purchase Programs. Check out our Nutrisystem website for gift card information & ordering. Also, see what WebMD has to say about Nurtisystem…they are a great brand for GCP to offer!  Click here for WebMD on Nutrisystem.

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.