According to the inaugural 2014 Incentive Safety and Wellness survey by Incentive, budgets for safety and wellness incentive programs are increasing. The survey also found that the primary reason behind companies’ expanding investments in safety and wellness is program effectiveness.
Nearly three quarters – 73.5 percent – of respondents viewed their safety incentive program as either very effective or extremely effective. 22.4 percent said their program was somewhat effective. Reducing accidents and preventing injuries were the most commonly stated program goals (61.2 percent) with over a third (34.7 percent) listing financial benefits such as reducing healthcare costs, workers compensation costs and absenteeism.
Wellness incentive programs are primarily geared toward improving employees’ health; the reason given by 64.5 percent of respondents. 27.4 percent said improving productivity, reducing healthcare costs and decreasing absenteeism were primary goals. Wellness incentive programs encouraged employee participation in a variety of activities – with these as the most popular:
- Physical fitness activities such as walking or jogging – 74.2 percent
- Regular medical checkups – 61.3 percent
- Smoking cessation programs – 58.1 percent
- Health risk assessment surveys – 53.2 percent
- Monitoring health conditions such as hypertension or diabetes – 51.6 percent
Our clients often maximize effectiveness by implementing wellness with other companywide recognition and incentive initiatives (such as safety). If you are revising an existing program or designing a new one – consider the following suggestions as best practices.
- Management support and involvement is imperative. Executives, managers and supervisors should all take an active part in the program’s execution and activities.
- The incentive component isn’t enough. Safety and wellness incentives can keep safe and healthy practices top-of-mind, but it’s also crucial to reinforce safety training and operating procedures.
- Award leading behaviors – not just safety performance. Use incentives to encourage key activities and behaviors.
- Taking safety training
- Conducting safety training sessions for team members
- Reporting near misses and unsafe conditions
- Participating in safety meetings
- Identifying workplace hazards and developing solutions
- Maintaining proactive safety attitude
- Involve everyone. Encourage, recognize and award employees who take part in safety suggestion programs, accident investigations, safety committees and inspections – and allow them to participate during their regular work hours. Wellness incentive programs are most effective when teams are involved. Social activities and accountability will improve long term participation and results.
- Program communication is essential. The program should be communicated globally throughout the company.
Contact us to discuss how QIC’s safety and wellness incentive programs can benefit your organization.