Monday, June 30, 2014

7 Unique Wellness Program Incentive Ideas

Though VISA gift cards and cash prizes are often the go-to for wellness incentives, it can be more engaging to offer a unique award that fits within your company culture. When coming up with the prizes its important to keep your employees’ personalities in mind in order to develop a wellness incentive that sparks their interest and increases their participation. Here are 7 unique incentive ideas that can help kick start your creativity: 

  1.  Pick Ones That Fit Your Culture. A great example of offering unique incentives that fit within a companies culture is a technology and IT client of myInertia's. They offered prizes like a Star Wars cook book, a Bear Grylls survival kit, Light-up lightsaber chopsticks and a mini office dart board for participating in their wellness program.

  2. New Fitness Clothes. We often hear from our members that when they start getting healthier their clothes no longer fit. So we developed a earn a new fitness outfit incentive. Have employees earn points each time they workout and use the points towards an entire new work out outfit. Start with 50 points for a sweatband, reach 60 to get new socks,150 points the new shirt, and so on until employees earn an entire outfit. Allow employees to pick out the color/style/size of each item for a truly customizable incentive. 

  3. Social Recognition. This is an often undervalued but highly effective & inexpensive incentive. Highlight the winner of the challenge, or someone who showed great success at getting more active or achieving a healthier weight. Personally congratulate the employee and ask them to share their success stories with others during a company meeting, or share their story in an upcoming newsletter. These personal stories and examples help other employees follow suit and get inspired to create their own story.

  4. Traveling Trophy. Harness the pride your employees have in their company by competing in a walking/weight challenge with another local company or a different office location. Whichever company wins gets a traveling trophy and bragging rights. Host the same challenge a couple months later for a chance for the losing company to earn the trophy back. 

  5. Give “Splurge” or Luxury Items. This includes things that employees may not spend the money on themselves. Some fun ideas could be an hour-long hot stone massage, a pair of expensive designer jeans, or a family photo shoot. 

  6. Family Friendly Prizes. Offer a prize the employees’ whole family can enjoy outdoors, like a badminton set, or basketball hoop. Prizes like these help reinforce the importance of both quality family time and being a healthy, active family 

  7. Cooperative Team Awards. are another highly motivating concept. Challenge employees to work together as a team to walk the distance of the Great Wall of China by the end of a quarter. If they reach the goal offer a unique prize for the whole company, like a treadmill desk to share, or a couple of bicycles that can be rented out at to bike to lunch to get a quick workout. 

Remember, whatever incentives you choose make sure they help strengthen employee awareness and engagement in your wellness program. Keeping the incentives memorable, fun and mostly health focused can help yield great results.