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Expanding the benefits of reward programs by changing corporate culture

Panelists at the Health Benefits and Leadership Conference in Las Vegas stated that rewards can be successful in changing employees' behavior, but they should not operate in isolation.

Panelists at the Health Benefits and Leadership Conference in Las Vegas recently discussed how businesses can implement lasting change in employee behavior.

The Leaderboard reports that the discussion was a result of the growing trend of corporate wellness programs and covered whether employee reward programs were effective at delivering results. Studies have shown that rewarding participation in group activities can generate strong results for businesses. The collective atmosphere provides support and a sense of competition that drives workers to achieve goals. It is estimated that for every dollar spent on corporate wellness programs, a company saves $4 on healthcare-related expenses.

The panelists at the conference noted that rewards can be successful in changing employees' behavior, but they should not operate in isolation. Other factors need to be considered to see the best results. For example, implementing a nutritional guidance program for employees will not be as effective for staff members who still have access to cheap junk food from the cafeteria, compared to those working in offices that make healthy options more affordable or available.

"You need to think about how you structure permanent changes so that people end up practicing the behaviors you want by default," said Amy Moore, innovations design leader for Memphis-based Healthways.

The entire office environment needs to be directed toward the changes that a company hopes to see. Business Insider notes that reward and recognition programs can be effective at shifting corporate culture. The source states that recognition is the real key to success in motivating and engaging workers. Organizations should consider how top performers are rewarded and the messages that these actions send to staff members.

Public recognition reinforces specific values and highlights their importance to organizations. The publicity also helps build support for individuals participating in the programs. Most people what to see their friends succeed and the recognition of those efforts could inspire others to work harder to achieve their own goals.

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