You may have taken dozens of vacations, but don’t you still catch yourself heading out the door going over a mental list? Passport? Check. Swim suit and sunscreen? Check and check. Mail pick-up arranged? Coffee pot unplugged? The more experience you have, the more effective your pre-launch check list usually is—and the less likely you are to be the person turning the cab around because your luggage is still sitting in the hallway.
Launching a wellness incentives program requires the same kind of preparation. In case you haven’t prepared a list (and checked it twice), we’ve put a few together for you to help make sure you haven’t missed anything.
[simplesidebar]Based on our 2013 Incentives Best Practices Study of 52 employer clients, which tracked the rewards-related behaviors of over 2 million people, organizations with a simpler incentive program have coaching engagement rates 7% higher than those with complex programs. [/simplesidebar]
Have you covered the basics?
- Does your organization have clear wellness objectives that your team understands and can get behind?
- Have you made sure that your incentives design directly supports your overall wellness objectives?
- Is your incentive program aligned with your benefits plan?
- Do you have strong management support for your wellness and incentives programs?
- Is your incentive program simple enough for your population to understand?
- Have you agreed on what requirements you’ll use, such as national or at-risk guidelines?
- Do you require a health assessment as a basis for your incentives program?
- Have you established how long people will have to earn the reward?
- Do you have a plan to handle exceptions, such as pregnancy?
- Are you confident that the overall participant experience is positive? Have you tried it?
- Do you have a plan for new employees, spouses, and family members to participate?
- Do you have an approved budget for your incentives program?
- Have you explored cost-neutral approaches (where premium reductions for participants are offset by additional premiums for non-participants)?
- Have you weighed the pros and cons of self-reported and imported data?
- Do you know what sources of imported data you’ll accept, including biometric screenings, home tests, or provider lab results?
- Have you decided how and when you’ll measure improvement towards your goals?
- Do you have baseline measurements that you can use to compare population health status, health risk levels, and healthcare costs before and after you start your incentives program.
- Have you made sure your incentives plan is compliant with ACA regulations?
Is your population ready for wellness incentives?
- Have the people in your population accepted your wellness programs so far?
- Have they shown that they’re willing to change their health behaviors?
- Have incentives been successful in other corporate initiatives?
- Have you tested your program design with people outside your wellness team to get their response? (Focus groups are a great tool!)
- Have you talked to your wellness program vendor for examples of similar designs and the experience of other clients like you?
- Have you made sure your incentives are fair, and aren’t heavily weighted towards people who are already healthy?
- Are you confident that your requirements aren’t so challenging that people might decide it’s not even worth trying?
Are you ready to communicate your plan?
- Have you developed your communications strategy, with a full-year plan laid out?
- Is your program simple to communicate?
- Do you have wellness communications programs in place that you can use to explain your incentives plan to your population?
Frequent Communication Improves Participation Rates [1. WebMD’s 2013 Incentives Best Practices Study]
- Are your calls to action clear and simple so people know what they’re supposed to do next?
- Do you have multiple communication modalities and messages so you reach everyone?
- Can you target messages to specific segments of your population, such as those who haven’t completed their health assessment yet, or those with certain health conditions or risks?
- Have you thought about how you’re going to communicate to everyone, in different locations and job functions?
- Does you plan include language as required under the new ACA regulations for reasonable alternatives?
Still have questions? Download our Wellness Incentives Workbook, a hands-on, checklist-based guide to wellness incentives best practices.