The use of financial rewards tied to health management programs increased by 50 percent from 2009 to 2011, according to the Tower Watson Staying@Work survey released this week.

And by 2012, four out of five companies said they plan to associate some type of reward to individuals who participate in their company health care program.


These stats are no surprise to us at Walkingspree or the corporate wellness industry. Employers know that participation in any wellness program is critical to keeping health care costs under control. But how do you get your people to participate, to care about themselves? Rewards, and a lot of fun.


A well designed wellness program that targets the needs of your employees is essential. And one that incorporates “carrots” will keep them motivated and engaged.


Walkingspree has seen this time and time again with our current clients, big and small.


Our challenges use the principals of gamification to engage people and keep them moving, to shift them from sedentary employees to active employees, resulting in a lifelong healthier lifestyle and a healthier bottom line.


After all, who doesn’t want to earn points for reaching a step goal that goes towards an incentive raffle or earn extra points if your team has surpassed another team or department on a virtual walk.


In a 2010 survey conducted by Buck Consultants, employers spent on average $220 per employee for wellness incentives. This number has increased by 35 percent from their 2009 survey where the average was $163 per employee. With health care premiums continuing to rise, the budget for wellness incentives becomes an important tool in controlling costs. Budgeting rewards and providing relevant “carrots” to your employee population will keep your program from getting stale and keep employees engaged and healthier, the goal of every wellness program. In looking at our block of business, -clients who budget an average of $25 per employee per year have seen excellent success with their corporate walking program.


Our goal at Walkingspree is to provide a simple turn-key solution that is customized and integrated into your wellness program. It engaged your employees and helps them create healthier lifestyle habits. Incentives are one of the key factors in developing that successful wellness program. It can critically impact whether an employee opts in or opts out of the program. In using the ideologies of behavioral economics to identify the ways people act and think, it’s easy to see that incentives and the incentive structure are a foundation for participation. By providing incentives that are both gratifying and worth the effort, and by creating an environment where people are recognized for their accomplishments, is a good step in the right direction.