Financial incentives are effective in changing worker behavior, according to the survey. Discounts on health insurance premiums have the highest motivational impact on being physically active, losing weight and receiving preventive care. It ranks second among smokers for motivating them to quit smoking. Proof that employers recognize incentives as good motivators: Nearly half of employers offering health risk assessments offer rewards for completing them.
Workplace wellness programs also contribute to employee loyalty. Employees who participated in
at least one wellness program more often say they like working for their employer and are more likely to recommend their company to others. What's more, employees who took paid time off for doctor's visits and engaged in physical activity at their worksite had higher loyalty scores than those who didn't participate or whose employers didn't offer it.
"Too many of our employees are making bad choices about physical activity and nutrition - add stress on top of that and the impact of our health is going to hit the bottom line," said Greczyn. "Lifestyle and behavior changes are harder to come by. It's going to take a concerted effort on the part of employers to set the standard so that employees can become healthier on the job."
Three North Carolina employers have done their part to set the standard. These organizations are highlighted in the Healthy on the Job report for their best practices:
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