Want healthier staff? Cash incentives work best

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in Employee Benefits Program,HR Management,Human Resources,Leaders & Managers,Management Training

First, employers suggested. Then, they encouraged. Then pleaded. Now more U.S. employers are turning to the almighty dollar to get their employees to change their pound-packing, chain-smoking, sedentary ways.

Despite the sour economy, more employers are creating and expanding wellness programs in recent years. And they’re increasingly turning to financial rewards and penalties to increase participation.

“In previous economic downturns, investments in benefit communication and employee wellness were among the first to get cut from a benefit program,” said Dave Guilmette, director of health programs at HR consulting firm Towers Perrin. “The increasing investment in employee wellness we’re seeing today shows that more employers are beginning to recognize the long-term financial benefit.”

But don’t expect instant magic. It can take three years or more for wellness programs with the right rewards and penalties to boost ...(register to read more)

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