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Participation Critical to Success of Workplace Wellness Programs

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More than 80 percent of all employers — 85 percent of large companies and 81 percent of smaller companies — have employee wellness programs in place, according to bswift’s 2013 Wellness & Benefits Administration Benchmarking Study. However, many of these wellness programs are not working as well as they could, as just 44 percent of them have employee participation rates higher than 50 percent.

“High levels of participation are critical for wellness program success, but companies are falling short when it comes to outcomes-based incentives that reward participants for their actions and increase engagement in these programs,” Brad Wolfsen, executive director at bswift, said in a news release. “To move the needle on wellness, assessments must be objective, progress must be measurable and employees must be invested in their own wellness success.”

According to the study, 64 percent of large employers use health insurance premium discounts, credits, surcharges or penalties in their wellness programs.