The secret weapon in participation maximisation – the incentive plan

A corporate wellness program can be a well intentioned shot in the dark or a strategically designed program that is implemented with passion and persistence and turns out to a be a big success.

There are many key initiatives that can be implemented within a corporate wellness program but the one I want to highlight today has to be, in my opinion the most vital;

The incentive plan.

Managements first thought when it comes to an incentive plan will often be cost.

What we at Corporate wellness Co then try to highlight is the huge associated costs of not implementing an incentive plan, after all even one staff member with one disease profile costs a company on average 1697 aed each year! Multiply this by 5 years for a long standing employee and the figure balloons to 8485 aed.

Then the costs of an incentive plan seem much more manageable.

Key fact: Every 1 dirham invested in a corporate wellness program = 1.6 to 2.3 dirham’s in cost savings and increased productivity to the company.

Back to the incentive programs.

Basically participants are awarded points for completing health and wellness activities.

Commonly participants are awarded incentives when they reach certain thresholds.

Our advice at Corporate Wellness Co is to have cash prizes and three levels.

Other incentives can be offered depending on the balance of cost to the company and the appeal to employees.

The activities within the incentive program are where it gets interesting.

Companies have been known to take a holistic approach when deciding what’s included.

Foundational items may include:
– Health and wellness workshops.
– Bootcamps.
– Work-in classes, yoga, Thai chi for example.
– Smoking cessation courses.
– Preventing disease workshops
– Financial priorities workshops.
– Nutrition counseling.

Other off-beat, more holistic items might include:
– Home safety improvements like checking fire alarms or smoke detectors.
– Changing light bulbs for energy saving items.
– 100% seatbelt usage.
– 100% baby seat usage while carrying babies and toddlers in your car.
– Meditation classes.
– Stress reduction counseling.

It goes without saying that an incentive plan has to be implemented with passion and persistence, one of 6 pillars that Corporate Wellness Co use as the foundation of a well managed and ultimately successful wellness program. The other 5 elements need to be there also including motivated leaders at all the key levels within the organisation, multi layer communications etc, etc.

If your thinking of setting up a wellness program but you don’t have the support of your MD/MG/CEO or that person is the opposite of what a corporate wellness program tries to achieve and isn’t willing to change his or her lifestyle habits for healthier ones then it’s probably a good idea to forget it and leave it for another time as top level managements involvement is a key factor to getting employees motivated.


If you get one takeaway from this blog post it should be that a well designed incentive plan is vital, pays for itself and can generate friendly competition among your staff and add that much needed buzz to your corporate wellness program.

If you need any help in setting up a wellness program then get in touch for a free consultation.

Kind Regards
Tim Garrett.
Corporate Wellness Co
“Corporate Wellness Programs That Work”
Tel: +971 052 699 3955.

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