Innovation and Engagement Leads in Corporate Wellness Incentives

by: Nichole Gunn June 24, 2011

Employee engagement is a crucial factor in getting employees to actively participate in a corporate wellness program. This comes from AstraZeneca Pharmaceuticals’ executive director of U.S. safety, health, and environment Dr. Joseph Henry. He notes that accomplishing this feat is the “the tough part" of establishing a successful program.

Human Resource Executive Online reported that Henry was a speaker for a summit, Innovations in Wellness, conducted by GlobalFit, a program provider for healthy living.

With a number of brand drugs going generic, causing a great deal of competition for leading pharmaceutical companies, and the lack of innovative “blockbuster” drugs within the industry, workers in this field are finding times difficult. The new source reported that in order to offset this problem, AstraZeneca has designed a number of imaginative strategies to stimulate workers’ interest in hosted wellness program events.

Two creative strategies at the Wilmington, Delaware headquarters is to encourage workers’ to take part in classes focusing on healthy cooking and presented by local celebrity chefs, as wells as a seminar on health advice and tips presented by an Olympic runner. AstraZeneca is utilizing a points program that allows participants to earn points for actively participating in healthy activities. The points can be redeemed for gift cards.

And, thinking ahead, an on-site summer farmers’ market will be constructed as a means of encouraging workers to purchase fresh and locally grown produce.

Another speaker at the summit was the chief human resources officer for the Philadelphia based law firm of Fox Rothschild, Felicia Z. Smith.

Smith explained the law firm is also taking hold of the motivation and incentive reigns by offering a number of successful innovative and enticing initiatives. As a result of its wellness program, healthcare costs from 2007 to 2010 were reduced by 15 percent. She advised on the importance of “keeping things fresh, not letting programs go stale, and understanding that it's better to have a few high-quality programs than lots of different programs that don't resonate with anyone."

In another field, OnRec, a global online recruitment resource, reported that U.S. Joiner accomplished worker participation of 60 percent in its wellness initiative. The company “installs and outfits the marine interiors of large oceangoing vessels” and used a TV (32 inch flat-screen) as the incentive.

U.S. Joiner CEO Jayne Rathburn said that “taking this incentivized approach to wellness has not only gotten our workforce excited about assessing their health, but it has also served as a great way for U.S. Joiner to give back to its employees."


About Nichole Gunn

Nichole Gunn is the VP of Marketing at Incentive Solutions, an Atlanta-based incentive company that delivers advanced, agile B2B customer loyalty and channel sales incentives programs.