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      09-30-2019, 11:50 AM   #1
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Company Based Wellness Incentives

As some of you know, I got my old, lazy ass in the gym back during the winter. Since January I have lost close to 70 pounds. This has caused a few of the employees at work to ask how I've lost the weight, to which I have helped several other people here in getting started with their own personal weight loss.

My assisting other employees was noticed and I have been nominated (basically forced) into being our facilities "Wellness Champion." Our company has initiated a wellness program that incorporates reimbursement for gym fees, training equipment and whatnot.

I have a meeting scheduled, for next month, to discuss wellness initiatives for our company. I'm looking for ideas of programs or incentives that can be incorporated at our facility and/or company-wide that I can throw out during the meeting.

Do any of the companies that you all work for offer incentives for employee wellness. If so, what do they offer?

One thing that I have thought about is trying to get free fruit and drinking water for the production employees and possibly having one vending machine in the break room that offers health conscious snacks versus snack cakes/chips.
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      09-30-2019, 11:59 AM   #2
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One of the perks my old company had was that they would buy you a fitness watch (well, they would reimburse up to $100) and then pay you for your steps.

I believe the payout was 1/100 of a penny per step. This doesn't seem like a lot - but figure if you are doing just a moderate amount of exercise, then 10,000 steps is pretty realistic each day.

That equates to $1.

At the end of the year, though, that made you $365. That's nothing to sneeze at. You could then cash it in for gift cards or use it on anything on Amazon.

There were additional items that you could do to get more points as well. I think an annual physical was $10. If you could prove you ran a 5K, that was $10, so on and so forth.

It was a pretty good program. I ended up getting an iPad Mini 2 and a set of Bose noise cancelling headphones out of the program over 2 years. I felt it was worth it.
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      09-30-2019, 12:04 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by Run Silent View Post
One of the perks my old company had was that they would buy you a fitness watch (well, they would reimburse up to $100) and then pay you for your steps.

I believe the payout was 1/100 of a penny per step. This doesn't seem like a lot - but figure if you are doing just a moderate amount of exercise, then 10,000 steps is pretty realistic each day.

That equates to $1.

At the end of the year, though, that made you $365. That's nothing to sneeze at. You could then cash it in for gift cards or use it on anything on Amazon.

There were additional items that you could do to get more points as well. I think an annual physical was $10. If you could prove you ran a 5K, that was $10, so on and so forth.

It was a pretty good program. I ended up getting an iPad Mini 2 and a set of Bose noise cancelling headphones out of the program over 2 years. I felt it was worth it.
Thank you for your reply. That's pretty awesome! Fitbits are currently covered under our reimbursement of up to $200 annually, so we have a bunch of employees who have snagged those. I'll check to see if they would be willing to do something along the lines of doing a pay per step type program. Thank you!
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      09-30-2019, 12:09 PM   #4
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My employer does an annual health screen (BMI, blood pressure, cholesterol, glucose, etc). The idea being they raise awareness of issues and hope you address it early, saving on healthcare costs later on. If you have it done they give a credit for the health insurance premium. $50 per month or $600 annually.
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      09-30-2019, 12:23 PM   #5
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One of my old employers would reimburse half of your wellness costs up to a limit of $1,000 (as I recall). It had to meet the definition of wellness, but it was a pretty broad definition.

I read their policy back to back and used the broad wording to make a case that since there is Olympic shooting, that shooting was a sport, and hence was therefore wellness. While they balked at reimbursing me for a firearm purchase, they did permit reimbursement for ammo and a scope from what I remember. I was the only one that took it that far.

But that's what they did - just submitted your receipts and they would reimburse half, that way everyone gets to do something they like.
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      09-30-2019, 12:25 PM   #6
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      09-30-2019, 12:27 PM   #7
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Contest: Fattest employee who loses the most wins
I trust that you aren't operating in any supervisory role in this day and age are you?
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      09-30-2019, 12:29 PM   #8
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My wife's previous employer reimbursed up to $1K for a varied amount of wellness stuff as well. Sometimes we used it for things like golf lesson or bike maintenance, or parts, and then used it for gym membership. Not sure about her new place, but I know that her group is pretty active, doing things like lunchtime walks or stair sessions, and I would not be surprised if they give her some kind of stipend for her gym membership now.
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      09-30-2019, 12:56 PM   #9
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We have annual screening now - if an employee merely completes the screening they receive a credit on their health insurance. In a year or two that credit will be tied to progress toward a “good” wellness score. Covered family members also will be eased into this. Non-smoking already is given a bump.

We have a very strong safety program and wellness is being linked with it - it is all part of taking care of ourselves, our co-workers and our families. That is the cultural part and really foundational for success.

We have a small gym at each major facility and pay for gym memberships at the other locations. We sometimes provide healthy meal guidance; ran a program a few years ago where a dude came in and provided healthy meals (company subsidized), but it didn’t stick. We have a walking track/trail at our biggest facilities (where there is room). We are pretty flexible with employees using the trail or gym during work hours.

We do a lot of safety give-aways; this time of year it tends to be reflective bands so you can walk in the dark, stuff like that. We did free Hep-A shots last year, always have free flu shots, etc as the need arises.

We do not keep track of the cost of any of this, because it is explicitly not about cost it is about health and safety. And we know one heart attack, diabetes case or injury will cost more than all we spend throughout the year for all of our employees. BTW, I’m CFO.
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      09-30-2019, 01:10 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MrSmartyPants View Post
My employer does an annual health screen (BMI, blood pressure, cholesterol, glucose, etc). The idea being they raise awareness of issues and hope you address it early, saving on healthcare costs later on. If you have it done they give a credit for the health insurance premium. $50 per month or $600 annually.
We do what is called Health Risk Appraisals currently that pretty much the same thing. This year they added an option that if an employee fell within "healthy" tolerances on their health screening, then they saved additionally on their health insurance; then took it a step further. For those that did not fall inside healthy ranges, they were able to take online classes to get a better understanding of how to correct these areas. If the employees completed the courses, they were still given a discount on their rates.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Watching The World Burn View Post
One of my old employers would reimburse half of your wellness costs up to a limit of $1,000 (as I recall). It had to meet the definition of wellness, but it was a pretty broad definition.

I read their policy back to back and used the broad wording to make a case that since there is Olympic shooting, that shooting was a sport, and hence was therefore wellness. While they balked at reimbursing me for a firearm purchase, they did permit reimbursement for ammo and a scope from what I remember. I was the only one that took it that far.

But that's what they did - just submitted your receipts and they would reimburse half, that way everyone gets to do something they like.
That's freaking awesome! Thank you. Not sure I could get them to go that high in reimbursement as we are an multi-national company. I wouldn't even know where to begin trying to determine how many total employees that we have.

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Originally Posted by BdSM n54iS View Post
Contest: Fattest employee who loses the most wins
We do a "Biggest Loser" contest from February to May each year. This gives the employees time to get out of the Thanksgiving/Christmas eating mindset and burn off some of the added weight they gained over the holidays. Problem with this is, that we had a few of the maintenance guys load their pockets with wrenches, nuts, bolts, etc. last year for the initial weigh in. They thought it was funny, then told some of the production employees and that shit spread like wildfire. When the team with guys on it won, that did a number on morale for everyone else.

Thank you for the idea though!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Colodano View Post
My wife's previous employer reimbursed up to $1K for a varied amount of wellness stuff as well. Sometimes we used it for things like golf lesson or bike maintenance, or parts, and then used it for gym membership. Not sure about her new place, but I know that her group is pretty active, doing things like lunchtime walks or stair sessions, and I would not be surprised if they give her some kind of stipend for her gym membership now.
Lunch time walks would be a great idea! Or even possibly having a track made here for employees to have somewhere to walk or run after work. I would be all for paid nap time! Thank you!
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      09-30-2019, 01:11 PM   #11
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I think the idea of credits against health insurance premiums for getting an annual physical (shocking how many people don’t do this) and gym memberships is a good idea. Maybe even paying a portion of personal trainer fees or dietician services, if someone is interested. Same for on-site flu shots and other vaccinations. But this isn’t a straight-forward area. Some people may not like their employer’s oversight in any level of detail. Further, there are some people who are already doing their best to stay well and shouldn’t be excluded from incentives. Specific things like incentives to lose weight or change eating habits could be viewed as intrusive and unfair to those who don’t need or want to participate. So I think general, broad-based incentives usable by everyone would be most meaningful.
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      09-30-2019, 08:35 PM   #12
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My employer has won a gold medal from the county for our employee wellness program. Besides having an on-premises gym, we have measured/marked outdoor walking circuits all over the complex -- and regular daily walking groups that meet every half hour around mid-day for group walks around the circuits.

If you have the ability to form a committee of volunteers, they can brainstorm and make things happen without burdening one person with the whole project.....
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      10-01-2019, 03:33 AM   #13
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Problem with this is, that we had a few of the maintenance guys load their pockets with wrenches, nuts, bolts, etc. last year for the initial weigh in
Nice. Maintenance team for the win!
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      10-01-2019, 09:17 AM   #14
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Contest: Fattest employee who loses the most wins
Quote:
Originally Posted by Watching The World Burn View Post
I trust that you aren't operating in any supervisory role in this day and age are you?
I have an employee who lost a significant amount of weight. She got all bent because someone made a very positive, non-sexual, comment to her that she "looked great." She took that as meaning that she "looks great" now as opposed to NOT looking great before. IOW, "you used to be fat and ugly" is how she interpreted a casual compliment. There's no winning these days; you're F-d no matter what you do.
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      10-01-2019, 09:21 AM   #15
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As some of you know, I got my old, lazy ass in the gym back during the winter. Since January I have lost close to 70 pounds. This has caused a few of the employees at work to ask how I've lost the weight, to which I have helped several other people here in getting started with their own personal weight loss.

My assisting other employees was noticed and I have been nominated (basically forced) into being our facilities "Wellness Champion." Our company has initiated a wellness program that incorporates reimbursement for gym fees, training equipment and whatnot.

I have a meeting scheduled, for next month, to discuss wellness initiatives for our company. I'm looking for ideas of programs or incentives that can be incorporated at our facility and/or company-wide that I can throw out during the meeting.

Do any of the companies that you all work for offer incentives for employee wellness. If so, what do they offer?

One thing that I have thought about is trying to get free fruit and drinking water for the production employees and possibly having one vending machine in the break room that offers health conscious snacks versus snack cakes/chips.
I worked for a company that offered perks for smoking cessation.

Will your new responsibilities involve motivating your nemesis to get off her fat ass and lose some pounds? Are you still sharing a cubical with her? Haven't hear much on that front for a while.

Oooh, I know, come in dressed as Richard Simmons and host a "Sweatin' to the Oldies" lunch hour party.
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      10-01-2019, 02:34 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MrSmartyPants View Post
My employer does an annual health screen (BMI, blood pressure, cholesterol, glucose, etc). The idea being they raise awareness of issues and hope you address it early, saving on healthcare costs later on. If you have it done they give a credit for the health insurance premium. $50 per month or $600 annually.
Same with my company. They also offer a cash incentive for stopping smoking.

Good for you Now_Rudi !

I've done something similar in the past, but getting bitter in my older age has got the best of me as most people don't do what you tell them.

But one thing I did was these monthly "Health Breaks". Once a month, just a quick meeting on a nutrition or exercise point and let people ask questions. You'd be surprised at how often people misinterpret things and have it wrong.

Then we would have competitions every 3 months....total lbs lost, most total steps over a period of time, best gym accountability, etc.

Those who participated and won would get a visa gift card and we would pay out 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place.
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      10-02-2019, 02:41 PM   #17
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I worked for a company that offered perks for smoking cessation.

Will your new responsibilities involve motivating your nemesis to get off her fat ass and lose some pounds? Are you still sharing a cubical with her? Haven't hear much on that front for a while.

Oooh, I know, come in dressed as Richard Simmons and host a "Sweatin' to the Oldies" lunch hour party.
We are offered a reduction in insurance costs for being smoke free. I am a smoker. In fact, I'm a smoker's smoker; pipes, cigars, cigarettes. I just enjoy it, although I realize how horrible it is for me. At least it isn't meth. Due to new policies, if I complete an online training course concerning the dangers of smoking, although I continue to smoke, I still get the credit and savings on my insurance. Counterproductive to say the least.

Speaking of the nemesis, she isn't much of a nemesis anymore. I have finally reached the stage where I just block her out completely. She is still the biggest pain the ass I have ever met, but she doesn't bother me anymore. I spend more time laughing at her stupid shit than letting it bother me. She had some health issue back during the early spring. She was in the process of having gastric bipass/lap band....whatever you call you it and found out that she possibly needed to have her gal bladder removed. She did not have it removed but went through with the lap band surgery anyway. Now I have to listen to her tell everyone how hard having that surgery is and what a difficult road it's been for her. She has lost 50 pounds but she's still fat as hell. She also has a refrigerator behind her desk. My opinion is that if you have issues with food, best not to have a food storage containment device within reach of you while you sit on your fat ass all day. Personally, I feel, that she didn't need lap band surgery, she needs her elbow fused to where she can't put food in her mouth. Even after having her surgery, she still sits behind her desk and eats chips, cookies and candy all day. I don't know how she does it. To go a step further, her fridge has yogurt, protein shakes and fruit cups in it, this is for show. She also has a 4 drawer filing cabinet behind her desk with only one drawer being half used for filing paperwork; the rest of it is full of food. There is no hope for her. I will say that from her daily tanning bed usage, that she refers to as her "therapy" that she has turned a nice shade of orange; which has earned her the nickname of The Great Pumpkin. I asked HR yesterday if I could order a lead vest and a Geiger counter to protect myself from the radiation emanating from her corner of the office. Between her mass and radiation levels, I'm simply waiting on solar flares and for her to start generating her own gravitational pull. When this happens, it's over for me.

BTW, I come in dressed as Richard Simmons every day. It's my new persona after becoming more physically active.
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      10-02-2019, 05:02 PM   #18
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Same with my company. They also offer a cash incentive for stopping smoking.

Good for you Now_Rudi !

I've done something similar in the past, but getting bitter in my older age has got the best of me as most people don't do what you tell them.

But one thing I did was these monthly "Health Breaks". Once a month, just a quick meeting on a nutrition or exercise point and let people ask questions. You'd be surprised at how often people misinterpret things and have it wrong.

Then we would have competitions every 3 months....total lbs lost, most total steps over a period of time, best gym accountability, etc.

Those who participated and won would get a visa gift card and we would pay out 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place.
Thank you kindly good sir.
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      10-02-2019, 05:40 PM   #19
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My office provided everyone who wanted one a pedometer. I rocked it and blew everyone out of the water. They gave me a gift certificate to the local coffee specialty house across the street Really, a coffee cert since I walked more than anyone else BY FAR???
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      10-02-2019, 05:57 PM   #20
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Our hospital is offering pieces of 'whole Health' including yoga and chair yoga, mindfulness meditation, and health coaching. Very limited attendance, probably more of a perk to those employees who run the groups. We also have an 'on site workout gym' that is kind of a joke - I'd think you'd be better off supporting gym memberships or home equipment; walking areas/groups are more practical and get more use, but wicked expensive if you have to actually construct a track (we use local sidewalks and a stadium. Other things I'd suggest avoiding would be the 'biggest loser' style competitions - these seem good on the surface, but often provoke the type of dieting that will end up rebounding (regaining the weight), and the PC issues noted above.

On the useful side, promoting healthy eating is a great tactic - several good studies have been done of settings where they make healthy foods cheaper than junk (or free) with positive results. Same for incentives towards health behaviors as noted above (smoking, routine checkups and screenings, flu shots). Having an employee daycare that will also watch kids while parents are at the gym was something that was frequently requested (but we didn't provide). It may be helpful to link subsidies with measurable gains - like paying for gym memberships IF people demonstrate attendance, or perhaps some measurable health goal like losing 5% of weight, reducing BP, etc - apparently people are even more likely to join and not go if they aren't paying much.

And as long as you don't dress like the prancercise woman I guess it's all good.
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      10-02-2019, 07:26 PM   #21
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My office provided everyone who wanted one a pedometer. I rocked it and blew everyone out of the water. They gave me a gift certificate to the local coffee specialty house across the street Really, a coffee cert since I walked more than anyone else BY FAR???
Our plant did that as well as part of a "step" challenge. The Shipping and Receiving guys figured out that they could make it looked like they were walking if they mounted it on their forklifts.

They were turning in ridiculously high numbers each week....everyone knew they were up to something.

I guess I'm kind of the snob of our facility as I never take part in the challenges. Plus the other people at work said it wasn't fair because I stayed in shape.

Personally I don't really care aside from having the lower insurance rates!
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      10-02-2019, 08:51 PM   #22
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Originally Posted by Watching The World Burn View Post
One of my old employers would reimburse half of your wellness costs up to a limit of $1,000 (as I recall). It had to meet the definition of wellness, but it was a pretty broad definition.

I read their policy back to back and used the broad wording to make a case that since there is Olympic shooting, that shooting was a sport, and hence was therefore wellness. While they balked at reimbursing me for a firearm purchase, they did permit reimbursement for ammo and a scope from what I remember. I was the only one that took it that far.

But that's what they did - just submitted your receipts and they would reimburse half, that way everyone gets to do something they like.
Deloitte? Your details are correct and it was a decent program. I outfitted my home gym with that.

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