Carrot or Stick?
Many businesses are at the end of their ropes with rising health care costs. Employees are shouldering more and more of the burden. Many of us are one major illness or accident away from financial catastrophe. But I don’t think that punishing their employees for unhealthy behaviors with financial penalties is good business. Despite the housing market woes, unemployment numbers are still quite low. Recruitment and retention are still a top concern for many employers. It makes much more sense to reward healthy behaviors. Employees that feel supported and appreciated are much more likely to work harder, smarter and longer. Wellness programs should be structured with retention and recruitment in mind. Reward your employees – but not with chocolates, cakes or donuts- reward them with fruit platters, carrots and onsite fitness programs. Reward them with pedometers, healthy vending machines, and time in their day to stretch or take mini walking breaks. Save the sticks for the hockey players and lacrosse players of the world.