Workplace Wellness

How to Incorporate Wellness Prizes in Your Employee Wellness Program

Written by Kate

Imagine a scenario where you’ve implemented a comprehensive employee wellness program in your organization. From valuable resources,  mental health workshops, and exciting challenges to fitness classes, your wellness committee has ensured it included every element of an ideal wellness program essential for employee well-being and a vibrant work environment. 

However, despite your invested time and efforts, you notice the employee participation rate is low. The workforce is not engaging with the wellness program as much as you expected. It makes you wonder: why are employees not embracing an employee wellness program that works in their favor?

There can be several reasons behind the employee engagement gap: 

  • Your employee wellness program might not be effectively communicated to the employees.
  • The employees know about the wellness programs but have limited motivation to participate or stick to the wellness journey.
  • Perhaps they are tied between work and personal commitments and struggling to find time for their health goals.

How do you bridge this gap and inspire your employees to actively participate in their wellness journey? 

The basic human psychology towards gift giving can help you out here. Although gifts may appear trivial to some, we all love receiving rewards, be it in the form of prizes or gifts. They represent feelings of appreciation, like a good pat on the back for hard work.

Thus, employee wellness gifts can serve as powerful incentives in your corporate wellness programs. They spark excitement and create a sense of appreciation. By making your wellness activities tempting through prizes and gifts, you can unlock the full potential of your corporate wellness program.

wellness activities

In this blog, let’s explore how you can offer employees wellness gifts to the staff to bring a transformative impact to the wellness program. We will also explore common types of wellness gifts and prizes your company can offer to your employees.

How Wellness Prizes for Employees Can Help

Houston Methodist, a leading medical center, has provided its employees with over 11,000 Fitbit devices as a part of its wellness program. It has launched internal competitions for the highest step counts and offered cash prizes for winners. As you can imagine, the employees loved this perk. Moreover, since the company started this program and offered wellness gifts, its Fortune ranking for ‘Best Companies to Work For’ went up.

This is just one example of how wellness prizes and gifts can become a catalyst for creating a culture of well-being within the organization. It’s simple: if you and your organization’s wellness committee incorporate a well-structured wellness gift for your employees, it can unlock tangible benefits for your company. You can click on each of these topics to read more:

Understanding the Purpose of Employee Wellness Programs

Setting Clear Goals

Create a wellness program that leaves no room for ambiguity. Your HR team and wellness committee should be clear about what your company wants to achieve with the wellness program. 

Do you want to save money on employee healthcare costs? Or wish to enhance their productivity and work efficiency? Perhaps your goal is to imbibe a positive work culture and make employees feel appreciated. Or you’re aiming at a blend of all these goals into a comprehensive wellness program. In any case, articulate your objectives clearly.

Being Organized and Strategic

Random fitness activities and appreciation gifts would only result in scattered efforts. Instead, create a comprehensive incentive plan that addresses different key areas of employee wellness. A well-structured and consistent program with a clear process will result in enhanced employee engagement.

Making Tailored Efforts

A one-size-fits-all approach rarely cuts it. The best wellness gifts and programs are tailored to the unique needs of workers. Hold conversations or take online surveys to understand what resonates with them. Also, consider the demographics, preferences, work habits, and work environment of your employees.

Having a Defined Process

An effective employee wellness incentive program is not a matter of chance. If you want to drive meaningful change by introducing gifts and prizes, you need a well-crafted process that guides every step of your program. Also, ensure you communicate the program clearly to your employees to inspire their engagement.

setting a clear goal for wellness

Using Employee Wellness Prizes to Boost Engagement

Offering wellness gifts arbitrarily is not enough. If you wish to drive employee engagement in your employee wellness gift program, offer strategic gifts for employees. 

You can kick start by conducting pulse surveys or other forms of employee feedback. It will help you understand what kind of wellness benefits would work for your workers. Next, plan the structure and components of your incentive plan. We recommend breaking down your wellness goal into small, achievable milestones so they offer a sense of accomplishment to your workers.

For example, a workplace biometric screening shows a high risk of cardiovascular disease in workers who smoke. Your HR and wellness committee decides smoking cessation is a priority. Here are the measures you can take to help workers quit smoking and adopt healthy habits:

  • Set a goal to reduce the number of cigarettes workers smoke each day. 
  • Incentivize workers when they have a smoke-free day.
  • Break the smoking cessation program into small milestones – a day without smoke, then a week, then a month, and finally a year.

Things to Consider When Offering Employee Wellness Gifts

When it comes to gift giving to your office workers, how do you decide what to gift to boost employee health, wellness, and productivity? There are steps that can help you decide and reduce the waste of resources while maintaining your company’s wellness budget:

  • Assess whether the employee gifts align with their health goals and aspirations.
  • Choose wellness gifts that fit within your allocated budget and reinforce healthy habits. 
  • Pick gifts that are practical and easy to use. If it’s not convenient to integrate into daily life, workers would not use it.
  • Recognize the unique characteristics of your workforce and add them to the gift selection to personalize your items.
  • Prioritize sustainable gifts that show the organization’s commitment to eco-friendly practices.
  • Ensure you seek timely feedback from workers to keep refining your wellness program.

15 Examples of Employee Wellness Prizes and Gifts

If you wish to inspire and motivate your employees, here is a list of thoughtful employee wellness prizes and gift ideas:

Monetary Wellness Prizes

1. Paid Gym Memberships

Almost every worker in your office has once thought of joining a gym to boost their physical health and develop the healthy habit of exercising regularly. However, most people find it difficult to commit. In fact, 6.3% of Americans buy gym memberships and never even use them. 

Although everyone is aware gym workouts are good for physical fitness, we lack the motivation to be consistent at it. Additionally, gym memberships are not cheap. According to RunRepeat, 46% of all gym membership cancellations are because of cost. For that reason, discounted memberships can be an effective way to promote active and healthy living. Regular physical activity will reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease and boost overall employee health.

2. Employee Wellness Gift Cards

Given your employees’ unique wellness needs, wellness gift cards can motivate them empower them to take charge of their well-being. Options can range from fitness classes to spa retreats and healthy snack deliveries to mindfulness workshops.

However, ensure you offer gift cards to those businesses that exclusively sell healthy products and services. If there are unhealthy choices, your employees might gravitate toward them.

3. Extra Paid Time Off

Offering extra PTO can help you stand out by highlighting that you prioritize a culture that values rest and rejuvenation. It’s not just a simple wellness gift, but an investment in your employees’ well-being and work-life balance, as timely breaks will enhance productivity.

work-life balance

4. Health Savings Account (HSA) Contributions

If you want to invest in your employees’ health and financial well-being, an additional Health Savings Account (HSA) contribution could be a powerful tool. This monetary wellness gift offers a financial cushion for employees and helps them cover their medical costs. Be it doctor visits, prescriptions, physiotherapy, or other wellness activities, HSA funds can reduce your employees’ medical out-of-pocket expenses. Moreover, it encourages them to take preventive steps toward their health.

HSA also reassures your employees that their well-being is your top priority. It demonstrates a culture of proactive health management and financial security.

5. Tickets to Events

Event tickets are enjoyable employee wellness gifts as they offer an experience where employees can unwind. It shows that the company cares about good work-life balance and good times outside of the workplace. Common offerings are concert tickets, theater tickets, or sporting event tickets.

Physical and Mental Wellness Prizes

1. Fitness Trackers

Give your employees the ultimate fitness companion with functional and stylish health wearable devices. With fitness trackers, they can enjoy several features, like step tracking, heart rate monitoring, sleep analysis, and calorie counting. Your employees can set health goals and achieve them by daily tracking. 

Fitness trackers are one of the best employee wellness gifts as they’re like a personal trainer strapped to the wrist. They will provide real-time tracking, feedback, and actionable guidance to boost their physical wellness.

2. Healthy Snacks

It is common for snacks around the workplace to be high in calories, salt, sugar, and cholesterol. Yet, snacks can be a good way to promote healthier nutrition. Consult with a nutrition team and get assortments of healthy gift sets of snack boxes. Ensure they are high in essential vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants and do an excellent job of satisfying your cravings. You can include protein bars, trail mixes, and dried fruits and nuts in the snack box.

3. Refillable Water Bottles

To promote hydration, water bottles can make excellent employee wellness gifts. To make it more interesting, consider offering water bottles with an infuser. Your employees can infuse their favorite fruits, herbs, or vegetables in their water and give it a refreshing twist. Water bottles featuring the company logo make great company swag — a great gift with a personalized touch that workers can use for personal use at home too.

4. Paid Subscriptions to Health and Wellness Services

You can offer subscriptions to virtual fitness or yoga classes, good nutrition coaching, diet tracker apps, or meditation apps to your employees. These options will act as their wellness coach, helping them focus on their overall well-being and self care. The best part about this employee wellness gift is that employees can navigate through these plans at their own pace and convenience.

5. Yoga Equipment

If your employees are interested in yoga practice, they would appreciate a gift of yoga equipment. It’s a great way to promote a holistic approach to wellness.

High-quality yoga mats with a non-slip surface can offer great support ad comfort to employees. They can use it even for meditation and stretching breaks during work hours. You can also gift yoga blocks and straps to help them boost their yoga practice.

yoga equipment as a wellness prize for employees

Lifestyle Enhancement Prizes

1. Essential Oils and Diffusers

If you want to transform your home or office into a calming space, diffusers are great wellness gifts. All it takes is adding a few drops of your favorite essential oil to the diffuser, and it will spread a soothing aroma into your environment. 

A set of essential oils would make for a great self care gift set as they can reduce stress and promote focus. Also, they create a relaxing atmosphere that supports emotional and mental health.

2. Sleeping Masks

Quality sleep is vital to maintain overall well-being. No one can be productive and energetic on very little sleep. Soft and lightweight sleeping masks block out unwanted light and can make you fall asleep more quickly. The best part about these masks is that employees can use them anywhere – at home, on a flight, or while catching a quick nap at work. It will help them keep their minds recharged and energized. You can get your company logo or a motivational quote printed on it.

3. Ergonomic Office Accessories

According to the International Journal of Occupational Medicine and Environmental Health, most office employees have a defective posture while working, which leads to neck pain. Ergonomic office accessories can help solve posture problems in employees.

Many workers feel a strain on muscles and joints during long hours of work. Accessories like ergonomic chairs, adjustable standing desks, wrist rests, and lumbar pillows can help employees prevent discomfort and physical stress. Offer them as a part of your employee wellness gifts for a healthier workplace.

If your team is working from home, it may seem challenging to offer wellness gifts. However, these office accessories work for employees who work remotely.

4. Bath Bombs

This employee wellness gift can turn an ordinary bath into a soothing and luxurious experience after a long, tiring day. With invigorating scents and skin-nourishing ingredients, they work as stress relievers that calm your mind and body. Gifting them will encourage your employees to unwind and rejuvenate after work hours. 

You can also offer a gift set of shower steamers to your employees. It will provide a spa-like relaxation treatment and begin their day with freshness.

5. Desk Plants

Many employees work at their desks all day long and experience little to no interaction with nature. Desk plants can help bridge that gap with greenery that can help them with improved cognitive function and creativity.

According to a research article, interaction with indoor plants may reduce psychological and physiological stress in young adults. Giving indoor plants to your employees as wellness gifts can liven up the workspace.

Final Thoughts

In today’s corporate world, workers prioritize a workplace where health and wellness are a part of the company culture and not an optional element. It is exactly what wellness gifts can do for your staff. 

Corporate Wellness Benefit Managers having a discussion while looking at an electronic tablet.

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