This Week's Herman Trend Alert

Leadership in Normal 2.0

  The Herman Trend Alert

May 4, 2016

Bribing Employees to Stay Healthy

Paying employees to stay fit and healthy is not new. What is new is using branded, high-demand electronics as the bait.

An Apple Watch for $25
Imagine receiving an Apple Watch for just $25? If you work for a handful of companies, you will soon be able to earn the right to receive a USD$350 Apple Watch for only USD$25, on one condition. . . that you stay healthy. That "staying healthy" takes different forms, depending on the company. Some companies require employees to meet exercise goals for two years.

Other, more traditional options
More traditional programs allow employees to redeem points from fitness activities for various rewards, including gift cards. In some cases, they can earn insurance discounts, when they submit to biometric screenings and nutrition classes.

Vitality is leading the way
A company called Vitality, a company offering disease-prevention and lifestyle programs, is providing its services for the United States employees at three companies and John Hancock's life-insurance customers. They already tested the program in South Africa for four months.

The Affordable Care Act has affected employers
Since the passage of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), employers have offered ever-larger incentives to motivate workers to stay healthy. As any small or medium size business owner will tell you, since the passage of ACA, they are struggling to pay for their employees' health insurance. Any program that will reduce their insurance premiums is certainly worth considering.

Keeping employees fit pays big dividends for employers and insurers
Through Vitality, employers in the US are taking steps to reduce their insurance payments, but they are not the only ones. Last month, United Healthcare, the giant US insurer began offering up to USD$1,460 in credits annually toward deductibles for meeting daily goals, when insureds wear a custom tracker. And the fitness tracker people Fitbit is working with employers like Indiana University Health and Emory University to subsidize fitness trackers for their employees.

Hot meals work, too
Motek CEO, Ann Price noticed that her employees were coming back from lunch with bags from fast-food chains. "That couldn't be healthy", she thought. And she created a program to bring in a subsidized hot lunch for her employees. For their pre-tax contributions of USD $3 to 5 per day, Motek employees enjoyed a hot lunch or a salad from a local caterer or restaurant. The result: an impressive 17 percent decline in her insurance costs, far more than her investment in hot lunches. Plus, all the employees participated; they loved the food and the opportunity to relax together. No shop talk allowed!

The beginning of a worldwide movement
Following in the footsteps of these leading edge employers, companies across the globe will embrace the value of keeping their employees healthy and fit. Besides the reduction in insurance benefits the continuity of internal and external customer service adds directly to the bottom line by reducing employee turnover.

Special thanks to The Associated Press, Forbes Magazine, and Ann Price for bringing this important topic to our attention.

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