Businesses are using a variety of creative incentives to encourage good health among their employees by making wellness programs fun, instead of drudgery.

Consider these real-life examples:

  • Encourage “Big” steps. Company A revamped the stairwell next to an escalator by making the steps light up and play musical notes, based on the scene with Tom Hanks dancing on a floor piano in Big. The result: employees started running up and down the stairs.
  • Use cardboard cut-outs. Company B put cardboard cut-outs of a physician holding a dry-erase board in various departments. “Wellness champions” in each department wrote messages on the boards for their colleagues.
  • Shut off the elevator. Company C closed the elevator during the morning rush hour, posted a sign-in sheet on each floor in the stairwell for employees to use when they reached their floor, and then posted a daily e-mail giving the number of stair steps each worker logged – a great way to encourage friendly competition.
  • Tune elevator music to wellness. Company D replaced its “on hold” elevator music with wellness messaging delivered to a captive audience.
  • Get marketing involved. Company E bases the performance review of its marketing department in part on how well it “markets” wellness to employees.
  • Send screen saver messages. Company F replaced the screen savers on its desktops and laptops with wellness messages; After six months of using this strategy, employee use of preventive care benefits increased 30%.
  • Let employees choose. Company G gave employees a choice between getting a flu shot or wearing a medical mask for the entire influenza season.

What steps are you taking to get your employees involved in wellness programs?

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