HRM Five: Incentives for your employees to go healthy

Incentives for staff to go healthy are now the trend, with plenty of long-term savings and productivity boosts for workforces that have a healthier edge.
By: | August 25, 2019

With health at the forefront of employers’ concerns, many are resorting to creative ways of incentivising their employees to stay fit and healthy. It can be as simple as getting them to sleep more, or to even quit harmful habits like smoking. These schemes have proved effective especially for those awarding more days of leave. It looks like you can achieve anything when you reward your workers strategically.

  1. Financial rewards

One way to get employees to be quit harmful habits like smoking is to give them financial rewards. In a move to get employees to live more healthy lives, companies have resorted to giving out straight cash rewards for successful lifestyle changes. Quitting smoking will improve the health of people in numerous ways. Money or vouchers can be used to encourage them to quit and to stop. Such schemes not only work in workplaces, but also in clinics and hospitals.

2. Give more leave

In a Japanese workplace, it was observed that smokers stepped away from their desks for significant periods of time – much to the chagrin of the non-smokers left behind. The management then decided to reward those non-smokers with six more days of leave per year. This scheme proved so successful that some of the smokers switched sides and quit.

3. Points for sleep

According to a survey by Fuji Ryoki, a health-products maker, more than 92% of Japanese adults say they are not getting enough sleep. One local company has decided to award points in a system to reward those who ensure they have a good night’s rest, as tracked by an app. Employees can redeem points at the company cafeteria, and they can be worth as much as JPY 64,000 (US$603) per year.

4. Onsite fitness classes

There are now companies that offer yoga on site and even dancing classes on their own premises or nearby. Employees respond very well to these fitness classes. They help in improving the bonds between employees, and keeping to some companies core values of `keeping it fun’, and also offer an employer branding advantage with potential recruits.

5. Offer equity

A number of startup organisations in the US are now offering equity to workers based on the state of their health and fitness. This aims to encourage them to go to the gym in a bid to stay healthy. There could be less sick days taken and higher efficiency at work. Some CEOs put their own spin on it by giving equity that increases the longer an employee stays with the organisation, and the more their health improves.