10 Creative Wellness Program Incentives That Really Work

Woman enjoying Wellness Program Incentives in the form of gift card

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Let’s talk about what really works in wellness programs. It’s not just the promise of better health — it’s the incentives that spark real excitement. Consider this: a Harvard Business Review study revealed an average return of $2.73 for every dollar spent on well-designed wellness programs. Clearly, these programs are more than just a nice-to-have; they’re a smart investment. So, what incentives are driving these impressive results? In this blog, we’ll uncover 10 creative wellness program incentives that are making a real difference in companies today.

1. Insurance Premium Discounts as Wellness Program Incentives

One of the most straightforward yet effective wellness program incentives is offering discounts on health insurance premiums. This strategy not only encourages participation in wellness activities but also provides a tangible financial benefit to employees. Here’s how to implement it:

Participation-Based Discounts: 

Offer a reduction in insurance premiums for employees who regularly participate in wellness program activities, such as health screenings, fitness challenges, or educational workshops.

Health Milestone Achievements: 

Structure discounts around achieving specific health milestones. For example, employees could qualify for lower premiums by meeting targets like a non-smoking status, healthy BMI range, or regular exercise habits.

Preventive Care Engagement: 

Encourage preventive care by offering premium discounts to those who complete annual check-ups or vaccinations. This approach promotes proactive health management.

Tiered Incentive Structure: 

Create a tiered system where the more wellness activities an employee participates in, the greater the discount they receive. This can motivate continued and diverse engagement in the program.

By incorporating insurance premium discounts as an incentive, you not only boost wellness program participation but also align employee health goals with financial benefits, creating a win-win situation for both the employees and the organization.

2. Wellness Challenges with Prizes as Wellness Program Incentives

Introducing wellness challenges with prizes as part of your wellness program incentives can effectively boost participation and enthusiasm. These challenges, focusing on various aspects of health, can be both fun and rewarding. Here’s how to incorporate them:

Step Count Challenge: 

As a wellness program incentive, launch a step count challenge. Offer fitness trackers or sports store gift cards to those who clock the most steps, motivating everyone to get moving.

Healthy Eating Challenge: 

Another engaging wellness program incentive is a healthy eating challenge. Reward participants with things like meal prep subscriptions or healthy cooking class vouchers for their dedication to nutritious eating.

Mental Wellness Challenge: 

Encourage mental well-being through a challenge that focuses on mindfulness or meditation, integrating it as a key wellness program incentive. Prizes such as subscriptions to wellness apps or spa vouchers can be excellent motivators.

Team Fitness Competitions: 

Foster team spirit with fitness competitions, an exciting element of your wellness program incentives. Winning teams could receive group rewards like a team outing, promoting camaraderie and collective health.

Sleep Improvement Challenge: 

Promote better sleep habits by offering wellness program incentives for a sleep improvement challenge. Prizes like high-quality pillows or sleep aid gadgets can encourage participation and showcase your commitment to all aspects of employee health.

Incorporating these prize-based challenges as wellness program incentives not only adds an element of excitement and competition but also significantly enhances engagement in health and wellness activities among employees.

3. Extra Paid Time Off as Wellness Program Incentives

Offering extra paid time off is a compelling wellness program incentive that can significantly boost employee participation. Here’s how to integrate it into your wellness initiatives:

Wellness Milestone Rewards: 

Grant additional paid time off to employees who reach certain wellness milestones, such as completing a health challenge or consistently participating in wellness activities throughout the year.

Wellness Activity Participation: 

Use extra days off as incentives for regular participation in wellness program activities. This could be structured as a reward for consistent engagement over a set period.

Mental Health Days: 

Encourage employees to prioritize their mental health by offering specific paid days off for mental wellness. This not only serves as an incentive but also highlights the company’s commitment to overall employee well-being.

Fitness Achievement Days Off: 

Reward employees who achieve specific fitness goals, like completing a fitness challenge or participating in a company-sponsored sports event, with extra paid time off.

By incorporating extra paid time off as a key part of your wellness program incentives, you’re not only providing a highly valued reward but also reinforcing the importance of balancing work with personal health and well-being.

4. Wellness Points Systems as Wellness Program Incentives

Implementing a wellness points system is an innovative way to drive engagement in your wellness programs. This system rewards employees for participating in wellness activities with points that can be redeemed for various incentives. Here’s how to structure it:

Earning Points: 

Employees earn points for participating in wellness activities like attending health seminars, completing fitness challenges, or reaching health milestones. Each activity can have a designated point value.

Diverse Redemption Options: 

Create a catalog of items or experiences for which points can be redeemed. This can include gym memberships, fitness equipment, wellness retreats, or even health insurance premium discounts.

Tiered Rewards System: 

Implement a tiered system where more points lead to better rewards. This encourages ongoing participation and allows employees to set and reach higher wellness goals.

Bonus Points for Special Achievements: 

Offer bonus points for significant achievements or milestones, like quitting smoking, achieving a fitness goal, or participating in community health events.

Regular Points Updates and Transparency: 

Keep employees regularly updated on their points and make the redemption process transparent and straightforward.

Incorporating a wellness points system as a wellness program incentive not only makes participating in wellness activities more engaging but also gives employees the flexibility to choose rewards that are most meaningful to them.

5. Fitness Gear and Wearables as Wellness Program Incentives

Providing fitness gear and wearables can be an excellent incentive within your wellness program, encouraging employees to engage in and track their health and fitness activities. Here’s how you can implement this incentive:

Earn Fitness Gear: 

Set up a system where employees can earn items like yoga mats, water bottles, or workout clothing as rewards for participating in wellness program activities or achieving certain health goals.

Fitness Tracker Milestones: 

Offer wearable fitness trackers, such as Fitbits or Apple Watches, as incentives for reaching significant milestones in the wellness program, like a certain number of steps walked or workouts completed.

Custom Branded Gear: 

Create custom-branded fitness gear for the company. This not only serves as a motivational tool but also promotes a sense of unity and company pride.

Health and Fitness App Subscriptions: 

Provide subscriptions to popular health and fitness apps as rewards. These can complement the use of fitness wearables and offer additional resources for personal health management.

By using fitness gear and wearables as wellness program incentives, you provide employees with practical tools to monitor and improve their health, making wellness activities both rewarding and fun.

6. Health Savings Account (HSA) Contributions as Wellness Program Incentives

Contributing to employees’ Health Savings Accounts (HSAs) can be a highly effective incentive within your wellness program. This approach not only supports employees financially but also emphasizes the importance of investing in their health. Here’s how to integrate HSA contributions into your wellness initiatives:

Wellness Activity Contributions: 

Offer contributions to an employee’s HSA for participating in specific wellness activities, such as completing health assessments, joining fitness challenges, or attending wellness seminars.

Health Milestone Bonuses: 

Provide HSA bonuses to employees who reach significant health milestones, such as achieving a certain fitness goal, maintaining a healthy BMI, or successfully managing a health condition.

Preventive Care Rewards: 

Encourage preventive healthcare by contributing to HSAs when employees complete routine check-ups, vaccinations, or preventive screenings.

Progressive Contribution Scale: 

Implement a system where the more an employee engages in wellness activities, the more the company contributes to their HSA, thereby encouraging sustained participation.

By using HSA contributions as wellness program incentives, you not only provide a tangible financial benefit to your employees but also promote a proactive approach to their health and well-being.

7. On-Site Wellness Services as Wellness Program Incentives

Offering on-site wellness services is an excellent incentive that can significantly enhance participation in your wellness programs. These services provide convenient and immediate health benefits directly at the workplace. Here’s how to implement them:

Regular Health Screenings: 

Set up periodic health screening sessions at the office. This could include blood pressure checks, cholesterol tests, and even flu shots, making it easy for employees to stay on top of their health.

On-Site Fitness Classes: 

Offer a variety of fitness classes, such as yoga, Pilates, or aerobics, right at the workplace. This removes barriers to exercise like travel time or gym membership costs.

Massage and Relaxation Services: 

Provide relaxation services, such as chair massages or meditation sessions, which can be a great way for employees to de-stress during the workday.

Nutritional Counseling: 

Bring in nutritionists or dietitians to offer individual or group sessions on healthy eating, weight management, and nutritional guidance.

Incorporating these on-site wellness services as incentives not only makes participating in wellness activities more convenient but also demonstrates the company’s commitment to the immediate health and well-being of its employees.

8. Company-Wide Recognition as Wellness Program Incentives

Implementing company-wide recognition as part of your wellness program incentives can significantly boost morale and encourage participation. Recognizing employees’ efforts and achievements in wellness not only celebrates their commitment to health but also motivates others. Here’s how to incorporate this incentive:

Wellness Achievement Awards: 

Create an awards program to recognize individuals who have made significant strides in their wellness journey. This could be for outstanding participation in wellness challenges, notable health improvements, or consistent engagement in wellness activities.

Feature Success Stories: 

Regularly feature employee wellness success stories in company newsletters, intranet, or meetings. Highlighting these stories can inspire others and showcase the real impact of your wellness program.

Wellness Leaderboard: 

Maintain a wellness leaderboard that tracks and displays employee achievements in real time. This friendly competition can promote a sense of community and encourage continuous participation.

Annual Wellness Gala: 

Host an annual event to celebrate the collective achievements of the wellness program. Acknowledge top participants, share the program’s successes, and use the event to introduce new wellness initiatives.

By incorporating company-wide recognition into your wellness program incentives, you create an atmosphere of appreciation and encouragement that can significantly enhance the overall effectiveness of your wellness initiatives.

9. Subsidized Gym Memberships or Fitness Classes as Wellness Program Incentives

Offering subsidized gym memberships or fitness class passes is a practical and highly valued wellness program incentive. This approach supports employees in maintaining regular physical activity, which is crucial for overall health. Here’s how to implement this incentive:

Partnerships with Local Gyms: 

Establish partnerships with local gyms and fitness centers to provide discounted or subsidized memberships for your employees. This can make access to fitness facilities more affordable and convenient.

Reimbursement for Fitness Classes: 

Set up a reimbursement program where employees can get a partial or full refund for attending fitness classes. This could include yoga, spinning, Pilates, or any other group exercise classes.

On-Demand Fitness Subscriptions: 

Offer subscriptions to on-demand fitness services that employees can use at home or in the office. This caters to those who prefer exercising in private or have busy schedules.

Incentives for Regular Gym Attendance: 

Implement a system where employees receive additional rewards or recognition for regularly attending the gym or fitness classes, encouraging consistent physical activity.

By including subsidized gym memberships or fitness classes as part of your wellness program incentives, you’re directly supporting your employees’ physical health while also showing that the company is invested in their well-being.

10. Healthy Food Options as Wellness Program Incentives

Offering healthy food options can be a highly effective incentive within your workplace wellness program, encouraging employees to make nutritious choices. Here’s how to implement this incentive:

Healthy Eating Contests: 

Organize contests where employees track their healthy eating habits, with rewards for those who consistently make nutritious choices or show the most improvement in their eating habits.

Subsidized Healthy Meals: 

Provide subsidized or free healthy meals in the workplace cafeteria. This could include salads, smoothies, or other nutritious options, making it easier for employees to choose healthier foods.

Healthy Cooking Workshops: 

Host workshops or cooking classes focusing on preparing healthy meals. These can be an engaging way for employees to learn about nutrition and healthy cooking techniques.

Fruit and Vegetable Vouchers: 

Offer vouchers or discounts for local produce markets or healthy meal delivery services. This not only promotes healthy eating but also supports local businesses.

By including healthy food options as wellness program incentives, you encourage employees to adopt healthier eating habits, contributing to their overall well-being and productivity.


As we conclude our journey through these 10 creative wellness program incentives, it’s clear that their success relies not just on the ideas themselves, but on how effectively they are executed and embraced within the workplace. From promoting healthy eating habits to encouraging regular physical activity, each incentive is a step towards building a more engaged and vibrant workforce.

While the implementation of these varied incentives requires careful orchestration, the process can be greatly simplified with the right support systems in place. This is where a tool like Woliba can play a crucial role. As a platform designed for managing employee wellness and engagement, Woliba helps in seamlessly integrating these incentives into your company’s wellness program. It provides an effective way to organize, track, and measure the impact of each initiative, ensuring that your efforts in promoting employee wellness are both recognized and rewarding.

In essence, a comprehensive approach to employee wellness, supported by versatile tools like Woliba, can transform these incentives from mere concepts into key components of your company’s culture, leading to a healthier, happier, and more productive workplace. Contact us today!

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