The Wall Street Journal explores incentive based wellness programs for workers that reduce company's health care costs and foster a "more collegial environment." As it turns out, healthy workers are less grouchy.
Wesley Willows got help from Tangerine Wellness Inc., a Boston firm
that designs incentive-based weight-loss programs. The retirement
community now spends $20,000 to $30,000 a year on the program, Mr.
Pratt says, including Tangerine's fees and cash rewards for workers.
Employees earn $3 for every 1% of body weight they lose. In addition,
at the end of a quarter, each member of the winning team receives as
much as $50, and second-place-team members a little less.
Health-insurance claims at the company, meanwhile, for the 12 months
ended in August 2007 — a period that includes the first six months of
the program — dropped 19% to less than $640,000. And for the 12 months
ended in March 2008, turnover plunged 30% — a benefit Mr. Pratt
attributes to a more collegial environment.