How to Incentivize Engagement in an Employee Well-Being Program

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  • Employee well-being programs are an excellent way to improve employee health while reducing the cost of their healthcare benefits.
  • Engaged employees take advantage of the perks of a wellness plan, such as biometric screenings, immunizations, and health education.
  • Employee engagement benefits the employee, the company as a whole, and the entire group captive.
  • Incentivizing strategies include providing engagement tools, discounts and perks; educating and reminding your employees; and effectively distributing program information.



Incentivizing employees to engage with a company well-being program is a great way to get the most out of your group captive insurance plan. Positive employee buy-in will result in a healthier workforce and reduce your company’s healthcare spend. A well-thought out program can even provide a healthy increase to your bottom line.


How Employee Well-Being Programs Affect Your Bottom Line


Employee well-being programs benefit not only employees but also the company as a whole. According to Harvard Business Review, investment in well-being programs can pay off with:


  • Reduced absenteeism
  • Greater employee engagement and productivity
  • Less unscheduled paid time off
  • Fewer workers’ comp claims
  • Greater employee retention
  • Increased employee satisfaction and morale
  • Demonstrable competitive advantage


It’s hard to argue with results like these; employees who participate are happier and healthier, and your company saves money. A 10% increase in employee engagement investment can increase profits by $2,400 per employee per year.


It clearly pays to motivate your employees to take part in a company well-being program.


You don’t have to just take our word for it, either. Four of the biggest mega insurance carriers offer well-being incentives to their own employees. Why does their plan design matter? The biggest health insurance carriers not only have their own health insurance data, but everyone’s data. The programs they implement themselves are a strong indication of what really works.


Well-Being Plans and Employee Behaviors


The goal of a well-being plan is to offer employees multiple opportunities to take care of their health. Well-being plans typically include education on:


  • Health-related topics, such as diet and nutrition and cancer prevention
  • Primary care utilization
  • Company gym memberships or discounts
  • Biometric screenings
  • Immunizations
  • Mental health screenings


They can also offer guidance on weight-loss, smoking cessation, and other lifestyle-related changes that benefit health and well-being.


Identifying Engaged Employees

Engaged employees take advantage of wellness plan perks by:


  • Showing up for screenings and immunizations
  • Reading and discussing educational materials
  • Engaging with online questionnaires or courses
  • Changing eating habits and losing weight
  • Utilizing company gyms
  • Participating in company-sponsored sporting events
  • Using free mental health visits
  • Asking questions about the wellness plan
  • Spreading the word to other employees


In many cases, employees who participate in well-being plans outwardly change their appearance and behaviors in healthy ways. This often motivates others within the company to join them in taking advantage of program benefits.


Identifying Unengaged or Reluctant Employees

Unengaged employees do not take advantage of the wellness opportunities offered by well-being plans. They may be unaware of the program or how to engage, or they may feel they don’t need the services.


These are the employees you want to take extra steps to reach. Non-engaged employees negatively affect your bottom line because they’re more likely to have:


  • More frequent visits to the ER
  • More costly surgical procedures
  • Increased risk for catastrophic diagnoses resulting from chronic, unmanaged health conditions


Incentivizing Healthy Behaviors


using dumbbells


At Roundstone, health and well-being is a core value. We encourage employees to be healthier and bring positive energy to all they do. And we reward those who make the effort.


You can incentivize employee engagement in a well-being program in several ways.


Use Employee Engagement Tools

Make it convenient and easy for employees to use their coverage by implementing employee engagement tools. You’ll find partners with mobile applications that help maximize the value of your benefits program by sending reminders for specific conditions and delivering educational pushes.


Transparent data analysis through software like our CSI Dashboard gives employees and employers insight into costs, care quality, and health population management. Access to this data allows employees to make more informed decisions on care and providers, giving them control over their treatment and expenses.


Reward Involvement with Discounts

It’s often possible to reward those who engage with the plan by lowering their costs. For example, you can institute a plan where employees who use gym memberships or take other wellness actions pay a lower premium for their insurance coverage.


Encourage Participation by Spouses

When you encourage spouses of enrolled employees to join the plan, the coverage benefits entire households. This creates discussions and more interest in the available programs, which can lead to a healthier lifestyle.


In most cases, it’s easy to add a spouse or domestic partner to a plan by contacting the group administrator. Ensure employees know that they can make these changes to their coverage at any time. This means if employees enter into a relationship during their employment term, they have the option to involve their partner in the plan.


How to Engage Reluctant Employees


smiling group outside


When employees don’t understand their coverage, they’re less likely to engage with the insurance plan and take preventative measures to protect their health. To engage employees who are reluctant to use their coverage, there are a few actions companies and employers can take.


Educate Your Employees

Encouraging engagement needs to go beyond a single meeting about the benefits of participating in a company well-being plan. Plan members will benefit most from monthly or quarterly refreshers on the benefits they have access to.


Regular reminders are important. It also pays to be sure your employees understand that their insurance costs are directly tied to their healthcare decisions. This realization benefits employees and companies as it promotes engagement and lowers costs for everyone.


Change How You Distribute Information

Understanding that not all employees retain information from a single meeting is critical to boosting engagement with your well-being programs. Get creative about how you’re distributing the plan information to members, and do so periodically throughout the year so it’s always fresh in their minds.


Following a meeting about your well-being programs, you can also share information via:


  • Email blasts
  • Company newsletter
  • Posters in the break room
  • Company intranet
  • Handouts


One key to overcoming employee resistance is to make it easier for them to understand their provider network and how to access the services that are available to them.


Roundstone Makes It Easy


Roundstone’s group captive plan has several features that make it easy to identify well-being programs to offer your employees that will both improve their health and save you money.


  • Plan flexibility. Because flexibility is built into your plan, you can implement custom-fit incentives that make sense for your business and employees.
  • Data transparency. With Roundstone, you have full access to your claims data. You can see exactly where your healthcare dollars are being spent and areas that might benefit from employee incentives.
  • Support from our Cost Savings Investigators. Our CSI team is on the job year-round, comparing your data with national benchmarks to identify cost-saving opportunities that are a good fit for your company and your employees.


Get Your Well-Being Program Template


Download this free template for tips on launching your own well-being program, based on the success we have had with our own company.


To learn more about how a group captive plan with Roundstone can benefit your employees’ well-being while saving you money, request a proposal and benchmark review today.


guide that could save you thougands cta

Material for this article was drawn from Innovative Ideas and Incentives for Employee Engagement, a roundtable discussion at the 2021 Medical Captive Forum led by Jasmine Bibb, Director of Customer Experience, and Marcy Leonard, Program Analyst and Wellness Coordinator, both at Roundstone.




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