Benefits Strategy

Paid Time Off As a Low Cost Wellness Incentive

Written by Amber

Sometimes it can be difficult to find room in the budget for employee benefits, wellness benefits, and wellness incentives. This is especially true if you are working in a small business (see our guide to small business employee benefits). One method that employers started using as an incentive to meet wellness goals is rewarding with paid time off (PTO). Allowing employees to accrue paid time off is a technique that can be beneficial for both the employer and employee.

Paid time off is almost free on the company’s part but it still provides strong motivation for employees (mid-size companies often offer this benefit). This is especially true for companies that don’t offer a lot of time off to begin with, making a day off far more valuable. For the companies part, there is no extra line item to add to the budget because the extra hours just get absorbed by the general capacity of employees. There are obviously costs to this, but they are low, hard to quantify, and tend to go unnoticed since there’s no line item on the budget.

Using time off as a reward for an employee benefit program, or wellness program also has the added benefit of reducing time taken for health related reasons, allowing employees to use their paid time off for rest and relaxation. Workers that take more time off are generally happier in both their personal and professional lives. Furthermore, employers that have delegated more paid time off have greater retention rates as well as higher worker productivity.

Think PTO might be right for your wellness program?

Just make sure to set a cap on the amount of paid time off that employees can earn (we think 5 days is a good start) and start setting some wellness goals!

Here are some ideas to get started:

  • 1 hour for every 7 day streak of 10,000 steps
  • 8 hours for every 20 gym check ins
  • 4 hours as a reward for completing or winning a wellness challenge
  • 15 minutes for every night of at least 7 hours of sleep

Rewarding with PTO is a great idea for budgets both large and small. Promoting employees to take time off is important, and using rewards as a motivator has been shown to be very effective in wellness programs. The difficult part can be in figuring out how to track healthy activities and how much PTO to offer. That’s where IncentFit can help. Get in contact with us today to learn more.

Alternatively, another popular route is to offer wellness rewards through points, or dollars. This is also something that IncentFit can help with, as we make incentive management easy for you by removing all of the administrative burden!

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

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