StayWell experience indicates that a strong culture is better than financial rewards in achieving long-term behavior change from well-being programs

Yardley, PA (May 24, 2017) – If you’re trying to inspire meaningful, lasting behavior change in your organization, cash rewards might not be the solution, according to a new Incentives Guide from The StayWell Company.

The new report from the leading health solutions company examines national trends and pulls from StayWell’s expertise in the research, design and implementation of behavior change programs to explore both how employers are currently using incentives and how they could use them more effectively.

According to the guide, “The Changing Tide of Health Care & Wellness Incentives,” while offering financial rewards can drive participation in transactional activities like completing a health assessment, lasting behavior change is far more likely to occur in a workplace culture that aspires to make healthy choices the norm. StayWell experts illustrate in the guide that if employees change behavior only to get a reward, they are very likely to revert to their old ways once the reward is removed.

“Incentives play a helpful role in a comprehensive workplace well-being program, but we’ve learned a lot over the years about using incentives more judiciously to benefit both participants and employers,” said StayWell co-founder and adviser David Anderson, Ph.D. “Our new incentive guide offers insights on best practices for implementing an incentive strategy that fits with organizational culture, health goals and employee values, while also aligning with current health reform regulations.”

The report offers pros and cons of common incentive approaches and easy action steps employers can take to effectively integrate incentives into well-being programs. Highlights include:

  • Creating a workplace culture that supports well-being and healthy choices,
  • Changing the conversation with employees to focus on lasting behavior change,
  • Understanding what motivates employees to guide the design of incentives,
  • Why progress-based incentives may be a better choice than outcomes-based incentives, and
  • The importance of aligning an incentive strategy with an organization’s employee health goals.

The full report is available for download here.