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Ways to Boost SMB Wellness Participation

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    Posted: Jun 27 2013 at 12:25pm

By Todd McGuire

It is no secret that healthy, happy and productive employees result in lower healthcare insurance costs, reduced turnover, higher attendance and higher profits.   While some SMBs may consider having a wellness program a luxury, many others are finding that an incentive-based program is a valuable asset.  "If you build it, they will come" is a valid philosophy when employees use the program to generate measurable results for your organization.

Easier said than done?   Not if you can induce your employees to achieve genuine behavior change through sustained long-term participation. Replacing old habits with new, healthier ways of living is a journey.   A successful wellness program is within reach -- if you avoid 10 common pitfalls common to most organizations:

1. No Incentives: It's tempting to take the position that "good health is its own reward, so everyone should sign up for this program." Unfortunately, this doesn't get most people to take action.

Solution: Wellness programs attract the most people when incentives are involved.  Instead of expecting your employees to leap at the opportunity to improve their HDL cholesterol, try appealing to their inherent interest in rewards. Incentives are the spark to get your employees to take notice.

2.  Misplaced Incentives:
Early attempts at incentive-based wellness programs were tempting but resulted in short-term programs with participants who were not committed to changing their behavior.

Solution: Align the incentives with measurable outcomes. If your program is focused on reducing hypertension, offer rewards for blood pressure level improvements. Do the same for weight loss and other health issues. This shift from "pay for participation" to "pay for performance" is crucial to create a long-term culture of health.

Continued on - 10 Ways To Boost Welness Program Participation

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