Do incentives help change behaviour?

What matters is ongoing promotion, not the size of the prize
By Shannon Klie
|CHRR, Report on Healthy Workplaces|Last Updated: 04/18/2008

In a perfect world, eating right and exercising would be their own rewards. Everyone knows the benefits of a healthier lifestyle: increased energy, decreased stress and increased resilience to illness. But, unfortunately, getting started on, and sticking to, a diet or exercise regimen is notoriously difficult. The same is true of workplace wellness initiatives.

“Everyone would wish that learning more about healthy lifestyle factors would be intrinsically motivating, but the truth is we all need a little extra something to get us going sometimes,” says Sue Pridham, president of Oakville, Ont.-based Tri Fit, which manages customized health and wellness programs for organizations.

That’s why many organizations use incentives to encourage employees to participate in corporate wellness programs.