Integrating health & wellness into your recognition program

Integrating health & wellness into your recognition program

March 22, 2023

Can promoting employee wellness boost overall well-being? A 2019 study conducted by the Incentive Research Foundation (IRF) pointed to a growing body of research demonstrating that promoting employee health and well-being can have a positive impact on company performance. The CDC also says that healthy employees not only have better quality of life,  they also benefit from having a lower risk of disease, illness, and injury, as well as increased work productivity.

Now, with a decentralized workforce and many remote or partially-remote employees, wellness has emerged as an even more essential consideration for organizations, as they contend with issues of isolation and mental health in a post-COVID workplace, as noted by the IRF in their study, The Role of Incentives in Today’s Decentralized Workforce. The very definition of wellness in the workplace has expanded to include engagement in the work community.

To kickstart an effective health and wellness initiative, your employees need the proper tools to participate and engage, whether in the office or at a remote location. The most effective way to do this is through an online program with the ability to reward your workforce for completing tasks, communicate upcoming health and wellness initiatives, and provide the proper resources and learning materials.


Whether or not you currently have an employee recognition program, incorporating workplace wellness initiatives does not have to be complex. Once your budget is in place—create an annual plan that integrates seasonal activities, holidays, and rewards you wish to include in your strategy. For example, if your employees are based in a location where seasons are prominent, plan an outdoor picnic or an excursion to a nature center when the weather warms up. Or, if your workforce is mostly remote, set up a promotion that encourages a walk at the lunch hour, or a walking meeting. Rewards can be set in place for those that participate.

Not sure where to start? Kickstart your initiative with a survey, asking participants what they hope to gain out of the program. Audience feedback is important at the start and during your campaign period.


A silent campaign will not be effective—and communications should transcend the initial welcome email. Launch communications that promote and excite your audience on a bi-weekly or monthly basis, including promotions for the time period. Communications campaigns not only create program awareness, but also expresses your organization’s dedication and commitment to the initiative. And when people see buy-in at the most senior levels, they are more likely to get on board and participate.

If you already have recurring communications scheduled for your organization, incorporate a new section into your ongoing campaign copy that promotes the health and wellness initiative with a link to your rewards database.


Transparency and ongoing education also can make your company’s commitment to the initiative clear. Create a library of resource materials—including recent health and wellness research, how-to guides, recent program updates, and workplace goals. This database also can be used to continue education with Learn and Earn opportunities.

Additional resources such as annual health and checkup reminders can also be incorporated using communication and resource tools.

Ready to begin? Next Level Performance has over 45 years of experience helping best-in-class companies with all the tools to help with recognition and health and wellness initiatives—from planning, to execution, to promotion. Contact us for more information on our recognition and engagement solutions, or for more information on how health and wellness can fit into your current strategy.