Let me tell you -- times have changed.
More and more of our clients are asking about outcomes-based incentive programs -- tying incentives not just to participation but to actual results. Other companies tell employees that if they don't participate in certain ways, they'll have to pay up
CVS learned a tough lesson this week. When news broke that their wellness program will require employees to share certain health information or pay a $50 monthly penalty, the reaction in the media was swift. The move was seen as a corporate power-grab; a giveaway to "Big Pharma"; Big Brother run amok. At least so far, CVS is (unfortunately) losing the public-relations battle.
We're working on a white paper that discusses outcomes-based incentives, so stay tuned. In the meantime, let me offer a little off-the-cuff advice to HR professionals and benefits brokers. Rather than focus on penalties, earn employees' trust and participation the old fashioned way:
- Get upper-management support and make sure they're vocal about the purpose of the program.
- Be crystal clear about how participants' data will be used and who will have access to it.
- Ask the population what they want. Survey them! And be sure you're working with a wellness vendor that designs unique, tailor-made wellness programming. (I know of one!)