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Employee incentive programs help companies create a healthy, engaged workforce

Employee incentive programs have proven effective at helping firms boost worker engagement levels.

Employee incentive programs have proven effective at helping firms boost worker engagement levels. These management tools enable business leaders to acknowledge hard working staff members to create a more supportive and positive company environment.

When staff members are motivated and engaged, they are more innovative, reliable and efficient. So, it is not surprising that the use of rewards programs has been increasing. In recent years, a significant amount of the growth for incentives has been tied to employee wellness. Rising healthcare costs have encouraged companies to implement new measures to reduce various risk factors among workers. Risk and Insurance cited a survey by the Midwest Business Group on Health which found that 82 percent of companies offer some type of incentive to help employees make healthier lifestyle choices.

Of the companies running wellness initiatives, 40 percent use rewards to motivate workers, while 37 percent use a combination of incentives and penalties. Positive rewards for specific behavior can have a significant impact on corporate culture. Publicly recognizing individuals' success can boost the sense of pride staff members feel in their organizations, which is a key part of increasing employee engagement. These initiatives are much more effective at guiding behavior than using negative reinforcement alone. This is evident in the fact that just 6 percent of surveyed organizations used disincentives by themselves, according to the source.

Using reward programs to improve compliance
The success of employee incentive programs in corporate wellness developments have led to their use in other areas. Corporate Counsel stated that these initiatives could be effective at ensuring compliance within an organization. Keeping everyone at the company following the correct procedures requires a strong centralized culture. Reward programs are effective tools for motivating workers to identify and report compliance issues. When all staff members know that it is their responsibility to enforce rules, there are fewer opportunities for situations to get out of control.

One of the top concerns for compliance officers, according to Corporate Counsel, is educating employees on regulatory issues. Fortunately, recognition programs offer firms the ability to highlight specific examples in real time. Acknowledging the efforts of teams or individuals who have followed proper procedures sets a clear example for others and shows the value of compliance.

The right work environment lets companies initiate positive changes within their organization. Using reward and recognition programs is an effective way to reinforce specific values to maintain a culture that will engage individuals.

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