The simplest ways how to incentivize employees without money to participate in your company wellnesss program may be simple competitions. You don’t have to wait until March Madness every year to put into place something that will gamify your employees’ experience. Not only will their health and wellness improve, but it will support better results for your workplace organization and customers while helping everybody have a little more fun in the process. 

How to Incentivize Employees Without Money to Better Their Health & Wellness

Studies show that employees are 60% more likely to engage with some level of gamification. Across all of the companies and clients we have helped here at WellSteps, these are 5 basic incentive models that have stood out to be the most effective with this idea. Give one of these a try with your next campaign or challenge in your wellness program and see the difference in how your employees participate.

Incentivize Employees Without Money By Rewarding High Levels of Participation

There doesn’t have to be one award just for the single team or winner in a challenge competition. You can reward employees and departments by their increased levels of participation. Be sure to have measures in place that your employees know about in order to hit the marks you want them to hit. Then everyone participating at a healthy and more involved level is rewarded in some way.

Many employees are often deterred by competitions at work because they may be competing against other employees who are already super-fit or extremely healthy to begin with. This is not what you want to happen at all. So be sure to have a benchmark that is achievable by everyone that participates so that their desire to be involved is not based on only comparing themselves against the best of the best.

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Challenge the Company to Meet Specific Goals

Group Goals

Perhaps you have a specific program outcome that you want to reach company-wide. This requires everyone to play a role, not only employees but mid and upper level managers as well. For example, if everyone knows that their steps or exercise time is adding up into one giant pot, they know that their input is going to make a difference. Or perhaps you want a certain number of employees to enroll into a campaign that locally supports a charitable cause. You’re more likely going to have a higher number of employees participating when it’s alongside a cause that they care about supporting.

Individual Goals

Another great goal that you could challenge everyone in your company with is to support them in improving individual health challenges they struggle with. For example you could have a wellness day where a number of Biometrics are measured for everyone and employees can choose at least one to improve upon personally. 

incentivize employees without money doing biometric challenges

Then over a period of time, help them get those Biometrics measured again. If you see across-the-board the majority of employees have improved their biometric, not only have their personal goals been reached, you have improved a baseline for every single participant in your company.

RELATED:  The Best Way to Conduct Biometric Testing and Wellness Screenings 

Challenge Everyone to “Beat the Chief” in an Unhealthy Behavior

This challenge is where your employees are competing against the senior-level leadership in your company or maybe even the very top CEO. Depending on your company size you’ll be able to decide which may be more realistic. But who knows? The CEO may be a competitive person and have no problem sharing an aspect of their personal medical data.

In all fun, this can look like taking the CEO’s worst biometric that they have, or unhealthy habit they want to improve, then the average improvements of all participating employees can be measured against the improvement of just the CEO’s metric. Whoever comes in with a better result after a period of time has won the challenge. 

Be sure to reward your employees in a way that keeps them thoroughly motivated. They could have a day off of work to add to their yearly holidays. Or it could be as simple as everyone watching the CEO get a pie in the face. I’m sure you will be able to decide what is best.

RELATED:  13 Fun Workplace Wellness Challenge Ideas Your Employees Will Enjoy

Recognizing Departments and Managers with High Participation Numbers 

This type of reward is best when you already have good participation in your company wellness program. But maybe you want to take it up a notch and you’re having a hard time coming up with enticing rewards. You can give independent choice and free reign over your rewards to the mid and lower level managers. Whatever the challenge or competition may be, your managers decide how they’re going to reward their team. 

Based on different work areas and department requirements, not every prize or incentive makes sense for every employee. If you have a great group of managers they are going to know how to best motivate their teams in order to improve their own health and reward them as such.

customer testimonial

Encourage Competitive Spirit Above All Else 

We all know a few people who probably take competition a little too far. This is never the intent with healthy workplace challenges that have rewards attached to them. The incentive and competitive nature of what is taking place is intended primarily for fun and improving everybody’s well-being. Keep in mind any feedback that you may receive so that next time certain competitions or rewards are in play, the experience can be better than the last for everyone participating.

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Next Steps on How to Incentivize Employees Without Money to Better Their Health & Wellness

If this is your first time rewarding employees for participating in a wellness program and it seems overwhelming, don’t worry. Here at WellSteps we have many campaigns and challenges, incentives and tools that you can use to make this process simpler, more beneficial, and effective. Not only for your wellness committee but also everyone going through your company’s program. 

Feel free to schedule a demo with one of our guides here so you can discover how adding incentives and rewards into your wellness program will help it to become a much more enjoyable benefit to your entire company.

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About The Author

Dr. Steve Aldana

Dr. Aldana is the CEO of Wellsteps, a worksite wellness solution that leads the nation in wellness program deployment and engagement. Dr. Aldana authored over 75 scientific papers and 7 books on health risk management, healthy living, and health promotion programs. He has given over 350 keynote speeches across the U.S. on the ability of good nutrition and regular exercise to prevent, arrest, and reverse many chronic diseases.

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