How Fitness Rewards Boost Participation in Wellness Programs

How fitness rewards boost participation in wellness programs

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Fitness rewards have become a powerful tool to boost participation and engagement in wellness programs. By incentivizing employees to stay active and maintain healthy habits, organizations are witnessing a surge in participation rates and improved overall well-being.

Organizations have invested billions of dollars in HR strategies to reduce turnover, from on-site fitness centers to half-day Fridays to daily catered lunches. While nap rooms in the office are certainly awesome, the single best way to retain employees is a lot simpler (and cheaper). It’s called recognition.

Organizations tend to assume that salary and titles are the driving force behind turnover. While these factors are certainly important, surveys find that a lack of recognition and engagement drives 44 percent of employees to switch jobs. In fact, if organizations were better thought out, nearly 70 percent of employees report they would be more encouraged to stay put.

In this article, we will explore the impact of fitness rewards on employee motivation, the types of rewards that work best, and how they contribute to a culture of wellness within the workplace. Get ready to discover the exciting world of fitness rewards and unlock the full potential of your wellness program!



Top 5 ways Health and Fitness Rewards Enhance your Organization


1. Rewards Make Your Wellness Programs Much More Effective

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You’ve spent a lot of money putting together your wellness program in an effort to cultivate healthy workplace habits and drive down healthcare costs, but actual engagement is low. Have you looked at your fitness rewards program lately?

For some people, getting healthy is all the reward they need to stick with a wellness program. But for the rest of us… well, a little bit of swag could help.

Indeed, a survey by UnitedHealthcare found that employees enrolled in wellness programs that lack rewards resulted in much lower participation compared to programs with proper incentives. When fitness rewards were added in, engagement jumped by a whopping 60 percent.

Put it this way: Are you more likely to challenge yourself to average 10,000 steps per day if the reward is lower cholesterol levels or if the reward is lower cholesterol levels and a new Apple Watch. Even rewards in much lower price tiers have been shown to incentivize employees to engage in a wellness program.

Think insulated sports bottles, running gear, fit bands, paid entrance fees to organized athletic events, free exercise classes, smoothie makers, gym gags, Bluetooth headphones, and so on.

When it comes to boosting engagement in wellness, every bit of recognition counts. What other fitness reward ideas can you think of?

2. Rewards Build a Positive Company Culture


Culture is the X-factor of any organization. It doesn’t matter how competitive your salaries are or how many perks you offer, nothing can substitute for a positive workplace culture that values inclusion. Every day, your employees should arrive at work knowing they are valued and appreciated for their efforts.

That’s why any employee recognition program must place a priority on inclusion. Praise occurs more organically and more frequently when employees are empowered to recognize peers. 

That’s why wellness platforms like Woliba are built on a foundation of peer recognition to help leaders gain a valuable understanding of what the entire team values, not just the most visible players.

While it might seem at face value that a customized approach that reaches employees at all levels of the organization might be too expensive or time-consuming. Many employers find that a tailored approach actually reduces costs while better serving all workers.

At Woliba, for instance, employees take wellness assessments that pinpoint areas of growth, from weight loss to smoking cessation to healthy eating to starting an exercise program. From there, our powerful tools allow employees to find coworkers with similar goals.

Whether it’s finding a workout buddy or joining a company-wide challenge, your wellness software leverages the power of inclusion to help organizations a culture of recognition and wellbeing.

3. Rewards Boost Profits


We’re going to say something that might blow your mind. Are you ready? Happy employees make their companies more money.

Is your mind blown yet? All kidding aside, at some point down the road, we stopped talking about profits and happiness in the same breath. Work was for work, and personal time was for wellness activities. Fortunately, this is no longer the case.

Employees are savvier and increasingly seek out careers that provide purpose and meaningful connections. Younger employees jump from job to job not necessarily because they seek higher salaries and more prestigious titles, but because they want an organization that aligns with their values.

“Highly engaged organizations have double the rate of success of lower engaged organizations,” explains Harvard Business Review. Meanwhile, Gallup found that highly engaged teams show 21 percent greater profitability.

The statistics show that organizations cannot afford to ignore employee engagement, with an exhaustive report by The Engagement Institute finding that disengaged employees cost US companies up to $550 billion every single year.

Conversely, Willis Towers Watson, reports that companies with high and sustainable levels of engagement have operating margins up to three times higher than companies with low or unsustainable levels of engagement.

One of the single best ways to engage employees is with a full-service wellness program that allows HR professionals to easily manage rewards and recognition programs.

Software like Woliba allows a single admin to foster a sense of inclusion by launching companywide surveys; bring fitness reward ideas into reality; and break down data and analytics by department and location to save time and avoid headaches.

4. Increase Morale

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Morale is one of those hard-to-measure metrics that is critical to the success of any organization. Morale is formed with recognition.

It’s essential that your team believes its work is appreciated by their managers. It boosts engagement and instill a widespread sense of purpose

With a rewards and recognition program integrated into your wellness software, admins can easily and publicly recognize employees who go the extra mile for the organization.

Recognition can be a companywide shout-out over email or in the newsletter, and it can be reflected in giving employees a choice between dozens of different rewards for reaching fitness goals.

Morale is also built when employees simply feel recognized. This can mean taking time to highlight birthdays and work anniversaries that usually fall by the wayside.

When an employee is not made to feel special on their special day, he or she will feel less engaged. Your wellness software can ensure these moments are never forgotten. 

5. Keep Employees Inspired

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The most successful organizations challenge their employees to find creative solutions to difficult problems. Employees who come to get up each morning looking forward to work—that’s the goal of every company, no matter how small or large. You can control so many aspects of the workplace, but you can’t control how inspired your employees are.

Think about the traditional forms of workplace recognition. A pen after three years on the job. A gift card after five. An occasional “job well done” by the boss after a successful presentation.

Should disengaged employees be blamed for poor productivity when their employer is just as disengaged when it comes to recognizing their achievements?

In fact, 85% of companies that spend just 1% or more of their payroll on employee recognition programs see a positive impact on engagement levels. Companies with robust programs, such as Woliba’s, see engagement jump by as much as 60 percent.

According to a McKinsey & Co. study, companies that value recognition are 12 times more likely to see strong business results. These are organizations that see the workplace as more than just a place where you clock in and clock out.

It’s a place that fosters excellent health habits alongside work habits. It fosters personal growth alongside professional growth. It’s a place where employees arrive inspired not just to get work done, but to build bonds.

Final Thoughts

Building such a workplace may seem challenging, but it doesn’t require grand gestures. Employees are inspired by thoughtful rewards for a job well done. Simple gestures like wishing them a happy birthday make a meaningful impact. A wellness challenge tailored to their personal goals also contributes to a positive work environment.

More than anything else, it’s about feeling included. At the end of the day, that’s exactly what corporate wellness is all about.

Woliba’s fitness rewards program is revolutionizing employee wellness by boosting participation and driving engagement. With enticing incentives, personalized challenges, and a user-friendly platform,

Woliba motivates employees to prioritize their fitness goals. Experience the power of rewards that inspire and empower, creating a culture of wellness where everyone thrives. Elevate your wellness program with Woliba and witness unprecedented levels of participation and enthusiasm among your team. Contact us now!


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Employee Recognition

Wellness Challenges

Wellness Resources

Employee Engagement Surveys

Employee Coaching & Events

Employee Reward Management


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