UK employees wants rewards for adopting healthy lifestyle – Willis Towers Watson

A third of UK workers believe employers should reward them for keeping healthy, according to a recent study by Willis Towers Watson. A similar proportion (34%) also responded they would only participate in an employer’s wellbeing initiative if there was a financial incentive to do so, up from 26% in 2013.

There is a general issue around engaging employees with workplace health initiatives, the survey suggests, as 70% of employees do not believe existing wellbeing programmes meet their needs. But employers appear to be responding: 33% said the strategy for encouraging healthy behaviours – for example, weight management programmes – will include direct financial incentives over the next three years, up from 12% stating this is the case currently.

Mike Blake, wellbeing lead for Willis Towers Watson, said:

‘The figures suggest that, despite employers increasing their focus on health and wellbeing, existing schemes are not appealing to employees and, as a result, many feel they need extra motivation to participate, in the shape of financial incentives.’

However, he advises caution in offering incentives, suggesting that a more fruitful approach is to ask more searching questions about the programmes and initiatives that are already in place:

‘For example, are they joined up; do they connect to employees’ wants and needs; is there a broad enough range; and are they well communicated?’
The 'Global Benefits Attitudes Survey' is a global study that explores individuals’ attitudes to their health and retirement benefits. The survey took place between July and August 2017 and was completed by 2,824 employees at medium and large private sector companies in the UK.