Monetary Rewards Affect Performance in Wellness Programs

April 9, 2016

Unlocking Word Meanings

Read the following words/expressions found in today’s article. 

1. monetary / ˈmɒn ɪˌtɛr i / (adj.) – related to money
ExampleMonetary rewards motivate people to do things.

2. incentive / ɪnˈsɛn tɪv / (n.) – something, like a reward, used to motivate or encourage people
Example: The company offers great incentives for people who come to work on time.

3. morale / məˈræl / (n.) – enthusiasm of a person or a group despite difficulty
Example: The team kept their morale high even if they were losing.

4. shoulder / ˈʃoʊl dər / (v.) – to accept responsibility for something
Example: The owner of the car shouldered the costs of the damage.

5. design / ˌdɪˈzaɪn / (v.) – to create something for a specific purpose
Example: The training program was designed for potential supervisors.


Read the text below.
A new study finds that the fear of losing monetary rewards can improve the results of workplace wellness programs.

Wellness programs are designed by some employers to help their employees stay healthy. Different programs can have various goals, which may include weight management, stress reduction, or assistance in quitting unhealthy habits like smoking. Some programs also help sick employees.

Some employers give incentives to motivate their employees to reach their health goals. A study from the University of Pennsylvania found that the way rewards are presented can affect employees’ motivation.

Fear of loss was found to be a better motivation than the desire for gain. Employees who were told that they would lose the chance of getting a reward were more likely to reach their goals compared to those who were told that they would earn a reward. The study’s findings may help companies design programs that will reap the most benefits.

Some benefits of wellness programs include increasing employees’ effectiveness at work, boosting their morale, and decreasing absences due to sickness. Aside from helping employees, these programs can also benefit companies. Effective wellness programs reduce the healthcare cost shouldered by an employer.

According to Gaebler Resources for Entrepreneurs, the overall cost of implementing wellness programs is very small compared to the benefits a company could gain. However, another study conducted by Rand Corporation found that the amount of savings depends on the type of program conducted. Programs designed to help sick employees were found to save more money than programs designed to help fit employees maintain a healthy lifestyle.

Viewpoint Discussion

Enjoy a discussion with your tutor.  

Discussion A

·         Why do you think wellness programs that help sick employees cost less than wellness programs for fit employees?
·         What activities would you include in a wellness program if you were given the chance to create one for a company?

Discussion B

·         What are the possible reasons why some employees overwork themselves?
·         How can employees maintain a healthy lifestyle despite having a busy schedule?

April 9, 2016