Incentives & Rewards vs. Wellness Challenges: The Differences

incentives & rewards

Have you ever contemplated when to use an Incentives & Rewards program vs. a Wellness Challenge? Or possibly you were confused by the distinction between the two programs? Not understanding these differences will leave you unable to administer both programs effectively.

Wellness programs often rely on Incentives and Rewards as well as Wellness Challenges to motivate employees to actively participate and take a hands-on approach to improve their health. While both techniques have been found to increase employee engagement, they’re not created equal. Luckily, we have done the research and narrowed down these programs to three main differences.

What are Incentives & Rewards?

Incentive and rewards are used as a non-competitive way to increase employee participation in wellness programs. There are three main types of incentive-based opportunities: participation, outcome and improvement. Incentive and reward programs can mix and match from these categories to create a well-rounded system. Which type you would like to use with your company will depend on the size of your workforce and the kind of program that they best respond to.

What are Wellness Challenges?

Wellness challenges encourage healthy competition among peers to improve the overall company engagement in a wellness program. By playing to people’s competitive natures, wellness challenges push people to go the extra mile to succeed and make positive lifestyle choices.

Challenges can vary from physical activity, emotional, sleep, financial, nutrition, environmental, biometric health, intellectual, lifestyle, occupational, social, technology and anywhere in between.

What are the differences between Incentives & Rewards vs Wellness Challenges?

  • Social vs. Personal
  • Financial Reward vs. Competitive Glory
  • Short Term vs. Long Term

Understanding these main variations between Incentives & Rewards vs Wellness Challenges can make or break your wellness portal. In addition to understanding these differences, creating and managing effective Incentives & Rewards programs as well as Challenges is crucial to employee engagement and participation. Take your wellness portal to the next level by downloading our white paper which will dive deeper into their key differences and teach you how to successfully implement both programs.