About Wellness Corporate Solutions

Monday, February 11, 2008

From Punishments to Incentives

Here's a great story from the Chicago Tribune that describes how yet another employer fell into the trap of trying to use punishments instead of incentives to support healthy living. And it was another healthcare company that made the blunder.

The short version: Clarian Health Partners of Indianapolis wanted to hike high-risk workers' medical premium by $5 per paycheck for each risk (up to $30 per check) they weren't doing something about--quit smoking, lower blood pressure, etc.

After the inevitable employee revolt, Clarian turned the $5 punishments into rewards. Employee buy-in is 95 percent. No surprise to anyone who's been following the carrots-vs.-sticks employee wellness issue. Carrots outperform sticks every time.

Interestingly, Tribune Co, which publishes the paper in which the article appears, charges smokers $100 monthly "medical fees" unless they enroll in a quit-smoking program or actually quit.

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