ERIC Number: ED286013
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1986-Feb
Reference Count: N/A
Using Incentives To Promote Employee Health. WBGH Worksite Wellness Series.
Yenney, Sharon L.
The use of incentives by businesses is a well-accepted pattern of management-employee collaboration. Increasingly, U.S. businesses are using incentives to encourage employees to stay healthy. Research in the field of behavior modification indicates that positive reinforcement, negative consequences and restrictions, and feedback have great potential as strategies for encouraging employees to stay healthy. Although many program planners feel that cash is the strongest motivator, other companies have achieved success in motivating employees by offering noncash positive incentives, negative incentives, and social support. Location, convenience, and cost have also been found to be important in encouraging employees to make long-term health changes. Some possible types of incentives to encourage healthy life-styles in businesses are corporate policies and practices, facilities and equipment, personal recognition, tangible rewards, teams and competitions, and health care benefits. Whatever the incentive used, incentive programs have had the greatest impact when they include rewards for employees who are already healthy as well as those employees who wish to make changes in their health practice patterns. Incentives are not effective if they are viewed as coercive or manipulative. Small, visible, quickly earned rewards seem to encourage people to take the first steps in health promotion and can be effective when starting a program or when attempting to increase participation rates. (Twenty-seven examples of companies that offer incentives for participation in worksite physical fitness programs are included in this document.) (MN)
Descriptors: Adult Education, Corporate Education, Cost Effectiveness, Employee Assistance Programs, Employer Employee Relationship, Fringe Benefits, Health Programs, Incentives, Motivation Techniques, Personnel Policy, Physical Fitness, Positive Reinforcement, Recognition (Achievement), Rewards, Well Being, Wellness
Prevention Leadership Forum, Washington Business Group on Health, 229 1/2 Pennsylvania Avenue, SE, Washington, DC 20003 ($15.00).
Publication Type: Information Analyses
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: Public Health Service (DHHS), Rockville, MD. Office of Disease Prevention and Health Promotion.
Authoring Institution: Washington Business Group on Health, Washington, DC.
Note: For related documents, see CE 048 292-305.